Friday, February 20, 2009

Azuri Cafe

Azuri Cafe
465 W 51st between 8th and 9th

For me, falafel in NYC meant Chickpea or Mamoun’s and now with Chickpea closed, just Mamoun’s remains. I’m not sure why I haven’t branched out more, though Pick-a-Pita was a good find in midtown and Taim in the west village is worth a stop, but after reading about Azuri Café and hearing my co-worker rave about how great this falafel place was, I took it upon myself to make the trek up to 51st for lunch. Azuri is a small, kosher, Israeli café (closed Fridays and Saturdays) serving falafel, shawarma and a number of Israeli salads. We ordered a couple of sandwiches, sat down at one of the few tables and watched as our sandwiches were crafted. Adding hummus, bagaganoush, chopped parsley, onion, a number of other spreads and spices, and topped with a couple of pickle spears, our pitas were ready. What was particularly promising was that each bite had the taste of everything that went into it, as opposed to other falafel sandwiches where you wind up eating through salad and tahini before ever getting to the falafel or the pocket of hummus on the bottom. The crispy exterior of the falafel ball gave way to a soft and mild filling, the pickles added a salty and sour flavor with the different salads combining into one of the best falafels I’ve tried in the city. Mamoun’s at $2.50 is significantly cheaper than Azuri at $5.50 but I would have a hard time deciding between two from Mamoun’s and one from Azuri. Certainly worth being part of a lunch routine.

1 comment:

  1. The pickles sound like a great complement to falafels.