My search for the best falafel in New York continues….
Who is this Murray guy and why is he so immensely talented? Looking for the best bagels in NY? Turn to Murray. The best cheese? Murray’s does it. He even has perfected the falafel. Murray is a food genius.
Of course, these Murrays are three unrelated guys who just happen to share a name and a mastery of a specific food item. I wish I was named Murray. I might have been made fun of in the school yard, but I would have a successful food store in New York!
The least known Murray is probably the one selling falafel just on the outskirts of Stuyvesant Town, that strange residental enclave on First Avenue. I suspect it has something to do with the far east location, but I’m amazed Murray’s Falafel isn’t talked about more in the conversations about the city’s best falafel.
Owned by a Brooklynite who lived in Israel (Murray, of course), this family friendly (there are kids’ drawings all over the walls) kosher eatery has a menu of schwarmas, salads, and pita sandwiches. On your first visit, I strongly urge you to try the golden fried chickpeas known as falafel.
Just in case the pita wasn’t stuffed enough, the sandwich was served with an extra falafel ball on the side. Maybe this was so you can taste the chickpea fritter unadulterated. Which is exactly what I did. And it was phenomenal.
Inside, the large falafel revealed a yellow color with hints of herbs. It’s not as green as I’m used to, but the flavor was not compromised at all. In fact, this allowed the chickpea flavor to really stand out and I was impressed at how moist and light the falafel was.
Digging further into the sandwich, I was shocked at how many large falafel balls were layered throughout. I’ve seen some stuffed pitas, but this one didn’t rely on much filling (aside from some welcomed cucumbers, tomatoes, and cabbage). Each bite was crunchy, crisp, and packed with flavorful falafel.
I added even more flavor from the two sauces that were served on the side. I can never get enough tahina and I almost thought about slipping the squeeze bottle into my bag. It went beautifully with the green hot sauce, which was loaded with red pepper flecks and fresh herbs (making up for the lack of them in the falafel). It had a potent punch that was tamed by the presence of fresh mint and cilantro.
This Murray definitely needs more attention. He might not be as famous as his counterparts, but his food product is just as good. Don’t be surprised if I join the club and you soon hear about Murray’s Ice Cream. Forget the fact that my name isn’t Murray.
Does Murray’s Falafel have the best falafel in NY? It’s no surprise that it’s one of the best. They’re generous with the perfect falafel that are only enhanced by their unique sauces and fresh ingredients. Murray is a master and gets a 10 out of 10.
|261 First Avenue (between 15th and 16th Street),