In my opinion, a great falafel sandwich is one of those perfect foods. The sandwich I am describing contains falafel (ground fried chickpeas), lettuce, tomato, hot sauce and tahini sauce served in a warm pita.
It has so many things to admire being both very complex and utterly simple. It is a self contained meal fitting neatly (or not so neatly depending on the sauce) in a warm pita. It is also a study in opposite flavors and textures; It is hot (falafel) and cold (tomato, lettuce, sauce), it is crispy/crunchy (falafel, lettuce) and soft (pita, tomato, and sauce), it is spicy (hot sauce) and cool and refreshing (tahini sauce). This sandwich works great for lunch, dinner, or a late night snack. It goes well with a beer. You can sit down to enjoy it, or grab one to go and eat it while walking.
Mamoun's Falafel Restaruant is a treasure of Greenwich Village. There are so many things I appreciate about it, but I will start with the Falafel. Theirs is a masterpiece and I cannot quite put my finger on why. For whatever reason it is just so awesome. Great flavor, perfect balance of components and spot on temperature. They also make their own hot sauce which is extremely spicy and extremely delicious.
Mamoun's is a tiny place in a great part of the Village. It is always crowded (getting more packed as the night goes on) and yet the wait is never too long. They are extremely efficient. Another great quality of Mamoun's is the value. For as long as I can remember, the price of a falafel sandwich has been $2.50. my wife and I had lunch there last week and our bill was $7.00 (we both had drinks). $7.00 for a delicious lunch in New York City. It is so good and so cheap that it makes me feel hesitant to eat falafel other places since it invariably will cost more and taste inferior.
If you find yourself in the neighborhood, I would definitely recommend checking out Mamoun's. Just go easy on the hot sauce before tasting since I have seen people ruin their sandwich by making it too spicy.
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I am a fan of healthy living, science fiction, the opinion page, Korean food, UCLA basketball and oatmeal. I like to read reviews of restaurants, recipes and cooking products … more
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