After posting my TasteEverything award (see below), it suddenly dawned on me that I had another award to give: “Best Food Magazine That’s Not A Food Magazine.” This I would dole out to New York Magazine which has become a personal Bible, in its way, of where to eat in this Apple we call Big.
Case in point: this week’s issue, “The Best of New York,” features an Eating section that names Taim Falafel the city’s best falafel. I’d never heard of Taim falafel but when I read the address I realized it was right near my favorite stomping ground: Waverly Street. (My favorite coffee shop and book store, not to mention my friend Kirk and my graduate school are all located on this street.) Today I ventured across 7th Avenue on Waverly to sample Taim’s falafel:
It took me a moment to find this place–how Waverly continues across 7th Ave. is a bit confusing–and once I did, I had trouble opening the door. (It was a bit embarassing–has this ever happened to you?–I turned the handle and pushed and the door wouldn’t budge and people inside were staring at me. I think there was some kind of wind/air/suction thing happening. I finally wedged it open.)
Once inside, I soaked in the cuteness of the place. Right away I enjoyed the brightness: the large glass windows allow lots of sunlight in. Next I enjoyed the handwritten menus and then I enjoyedy the flowers. A woman behind the counter with an Israeli accent asked “How can I help you?” I asked where falafel was on the menu and she said: “We have three kinds: roasted pepper, harissa and green” (with cilantro, parsley and mint) “you can try all three on a sampler platter if you’d like.”
“That’s what I’d like,” I said, remembering New York Magazine’s advice “best sampled in a mixed platter with tahini-dappled hummus, tabbouleh and Israeli salad.”
And as you can see, New York Magazine knows its stuff:
What a gorgeous platter of falafel: the most gorgeous I’ve ever had. And the taste matched the looks–everything was scrumptious, especially packed into the herb flecked pita.
The only complaint I can register about Taim is that it’s so small: there are only five stools and a counter for people to sit. While I waited for my food, all the stools were occupied and I was worried about where I’d go once my food was ready. Luckily, two men rose and left just when the woman behind the counter handed me my plate.
Observing me photograph my food, two stools down, an Israeli woman asked me how I heard of Taim. “New York Magazine,” I told her.
“Ah,” she said. “I’ve been coming here for a long time. It’s the best.”
“Can I videotape you saying that on my camera for the internet?” I asked.
“Ok,” she said pensively. Here she is confirming New York Magazine’s claim:
Take it on three authorities: if you want the best falafel, go to Taim.