My search for the best falafel in New York continues….
SADLY, UNIVERSITY PITA IS NOW CLOSED.
Falafel has now become as ubiquitious as pizza in this city. You can find falafel on almost every corner and most of it gives the vegetarian dish a bad name. I’ve tried to focus my journey on the most popular and well-regarded falafel joints in the city and I’ve been mostly impressed. It was bound to happen that sooner or later I’d stumble upon some of that bland and dry chickpea balls I had feared.
I’ve walked by University Pita many times. It’s more a window than a restaurant (although there is makeshift seating upstairs). The Israeli-owned kosher spot must do pretty well – especially since they’re in between Union Square and NYU. But based on the falafel sandwich I tasted one evening, they’ve just gotten lucky.
You couldn’t consider my falafel pita overly cheap at $5.50, especially considering the quality was very poor. The most offensive part of the sandwich was the falafel itself: bland, dry, and without any discernible crunch.
Not even the white sauce could bring these limp falafel balls to life. They were tepid and mealy. Where were the spices and herbs that are supposed to be in the mix?
The rest of the ingredients weren’t much better. It was loaded with salty pickles and something that resembled and tasted like cole slaw. Perhaps they’re putting all the crunchy vegetables in the sandwich to distract from the falafel’s lack of crunch. Sadly, I ended up throwing the sandwich away after a few bites.
I’m actually surprised the falafel was as bad as it was. It looks like they’re frying them throughout the day, but mine must have been sitting out for close to an hour before it was served to me. My guess is that the large clientele are bargoers and college kids who are so drunk they can’t taste anything. Sadly, there’s nothing to taste here.
Does University Pita have the best falafel in NY? With falafel balls this bland and dry, not by a long shot. Sadly, they only get a 4 out of 10 for their low quality ingredients and pathetic falafel.
|21 East 12th Street (between Fifth Avenue and University Place),