Just like when I realized what I had been missing with Shake Shack …the embarrassment may never leave me.
Taim is a tiny storefront in the West Village. Really small…only a few seats at the window, and even those are cramped and tiny. It’s best to get takeout or, on a nice day, eat outside. It is possible to sit comfortably if
But however tiny and cash only this place may be, it’s worth it.
The falafel is outstanding.
An uber popular choice that lets you try the three flavors of falafel offered here. Be sure to dip the balls in the creamy tahini, a middle eastern sesame paste that is somewhere between peanut sauce, tzatziki, and heaven.
Green: with parsley, cilantro, and mint. This traditional falafel is special mostly because of its texture – dense and moist, with a very thick, crackly crust. The taste is classic middle eastern, fragrant with the parsley and mint. The hit of cilantro adds a welcome, sharp flavor.
Harissa: mixed with Tunisian spices. This is my favorite flavor. It has the same marvelous texture as the green but with the added slight heat of harissa, one of my all time favorite hot condiments. The paste is fiery but earthy at the same time, akin to a less smoky chipotle. The harissa falafel elevates the chickpeas, adding fire and salt. It isn’t super hot, just a bit spicy for those of us who like to mix it up.
Red: mixed with roasted red peppers. This tasted a lot like the original green falafel, but with less of that fresh taste of cilantro. the red peppers were not noticeable in the taste of the falafel and this was probably my least favorite. That said, it is still heads and tails above most other falafels in town.
The way to go if you eat in – if you are going to walk as you eat, go for the more user friendly sandwich. This comes with a selection of those wonderful falafel balls, fresh Israeli salad, a wonderfully lemony tabbouleh, and a few pieces of the most tender, fluffy za’atar dusted pita bread on the planet. No exaggeration, it is the best pita bread I have had in ages…it’s enough to make me realize why Israel is called the holy land.
Be sure to help yourself to some of the sauces served alongside, including the oily, garlic laden s’rug (like chimichurri) and the addictive spicy-sweet mango sauce called amba.
It’s oily. It’s messy. It’s soft and slick and might be too much for some people.
Some people who have no tastebuds.
This overload of creamy, fatty, eggplanty-goodness put the meal over the top. Be sure to get an order.
The food here is incredibly cheap, especially for the quality. Everything is made fresh to order, the staff is courteous and extremely adept, and the food is really, really good. They have a food truck. They have a restaurant. They even have another sit down restaurant that has now made it to the top of my list. There is no reason that you can’t go get some of that falafel this week, right?
Take it from me…to wait one more day before you try Taim is one day too long.