Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moshe's Falafel

First stop on the block by block challenge for 46th Street between 5th and 6th Aves.

I think I have passed Moshe's Falafel (at least) a hundred times. I had always heard they had good falafel, yet somehow I've never gotten it. I've walked all the way to the Port Authority area to get Pick-a-Pita falafel but haven't gone across the street to Moshe's. Crazy, right?

The stand is there every day at lunch and there's always a line. They move really quickly and spit out falafel sandwiches at a rapid pace. In addition to their namesake falafel, they also have soups and salads. But it would appear that people really go there for the falafel.

The falafel sandwich (which is a cheap $5.25 right now) consists of a big fluffy pita stuffed with multiple falafel balls, lettuce, tomato, tahini and (if you want it) hot sauce. It's garnished on the end with a pickle.

Here's what I liked about it:

(1) The falafel had a good texture, was fluffy and not dry. I had read some complaints online that the quality of Moshe's had gone downhill and that the falafel balls were dry. I was happy to see that wasn't the case with my sandwich. I really liked the fluffiness of the falafel, and the first bite was great.

(2) When the falafel is mixed with the lettuce and tomato and drenched in tahini and hot sauce, the flavor's great. (See next section, #2)

(3) A big filling sandwich but it doesn't hurt your wallet. I think it used to be less than $5 but at $5.25 it's still a bargain.

(4) The pickle was good.

And here's the less good stuff:

(1) The pita was kind of thick and bready. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but it helps the sandwich to feel heavier.

(2) The tahini and hot sauce didn't sink to the bottom of the pita, so by the time I got to the bottom, all I had was falafel and pita with no veggies or sauce so it was kind of boring.

(3) The salad is just iceberg lettuce and tomato. I love adding salads to my falafel, whether it's beet salad, cucumber salad, etc. There's nothing wrong with only having lettuce and tomato, but I missed the diversity of flavor that you get with some of the other salads.

(4) It's a bit messy. When I opened the aluminum foil, I got tahini all over my hands. Not a big deal, since I was going to be eating the sandwich with my hands anyway, but probably not the best lunch if you need to be somewhere right after and can't wash all the sauce off your hands. Or if you're walking and eating at the same time.

Was it good falafel? Yes. Was it great falafel? I'm up in the air on this one. I haven't had falafel in awhile so it's hard to compare. There's also so many types of falafel and the ones I've had more recently are more dense and less fluffy. I guess the more important question is, would I go back to Moshe's for another falafel sandwich sometime. The answer is yes!

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