There is a whole lotta falafel in NYC. You can't really turn a corner in this city without bumping into a cart dispensing the ubiquitous three-dollar "falafel sandwich", or pita stuffed with lettuce, tomato, and 3-4 of the fried chickpea balls. If you're really strapped for cash this makes for an unparalleled on-the-go meal, especially if you're vegetarian like myself.
But if you've got a few more bucks in your pocket, and a few more minutes to spare in your day, there are also gazillions of tiny eateries where you can pop in for a sit-down falafel experience...Taim in the West Village comes to mind, along with the Maoz chain which has locations all over the city.
Soomsoom, at 166 W. 72nd St between Columbus and Amsterdam, is another great little joint. Cheap, fresh, and delicious. All vegetarian and kosher. Plus an open salad bar with toppings and condiments galore: orange curry sauce, onions with sumac, red cabbage, and interesting herbed croutons are just a few of their options.
My roommate Oscar and I had a great experience there last night--here is a look at what we ate.
First, The Sandwich.
The sweet potato fries.
The Hagalil fries: a battered spiral potato on a stick.
Our tahini/ketchup mixture turned out to be a tasty fry dip!
The mint lemonade.
Warning: as with all falafel places worth their tahini, the seating is limited. Be prepared to stand or wait until a spot at one of three tables opens up.