My search for the best falafel in New York continues….
You can pretty much stuff whatever you want inside a falafel. And some places do. I’ve seen such unconventional fillings like sundried tomatoes, olives, and spinach. It seems these tend to be popular at Israeli falafel joints. And I love it because I can usually get a sampler and try some unique falafel creations.
The strangest filling I’ve ever encountered was at Kulushkät Gourmet Falafel in Prospect Heights. They call it their chicken falafel. Now I’ve seen places that mix chicken schawarma and falafel into one sandwich (usually called a shawafel), but this was the first time I had seen chicken stuffed inside the falafel. But why not?
My first speedbump happened when I wanted to try their Falafel Sampler. The sampler only comes with two of their four falafel options. So in order to try all of them, I had to order two samplers. I attempted to reason with the chef and convince her to let me try all four (even for an extra charge) in one order, but the rules were set in stone. I ended up with two samplers with a total of 16 falafel. That’s too much, even for me, and while I got to try all four flavors, I was upset that I had to waste some of the food. They should rethink this policy.
The next big problem for me was that I could not distinguish between the four different types of falafel. They all tasted fine and had a nice warm crunch with some varying textures, but if there were differences in flavor, they were extraordinarily subtle.
I was surprised that the spicy falafel was not red (but greenish brown like all the others). There may have been some chili flakes hiding, but it tasted much the same as the original one with no extra heat.
The Gilly is a creation of theirs with mushrooms and spinach. It might have had sllightly earthier notes, but I didn’t get any distinguishing flavors. And to be honest, I had a hard time telling which one was which on the plate.
I was most excited by the chicken, of course, but again, it tasted like all the others. I even had to ask to make sure I did indeed get one with chicken. They explained to me that the chicken is ground up and added into the mix. That’s great, but the chicken just disappears into the chickpea fritter. Once in a while I might have gotten an extra chew from the protein, but it certainly didn’t add any flavor.
To be honest, I liked their original one the best. It was the most lively and the green color glowed slightly more intensely. They get the crunch right and it’s loaded with herbs and seeds. It’s a worthy falafel and I don’t think there’s any need for them to try to get fancier. After trying all four varieties, I say skip the sampler plate and stick to the original. And where’s the fun in that?
Kulushkät translates to “shut up and eat,” and in all likelihood, I should probably just take a hint from them.
Does Kulushkät Gourmet Falafel have the best falafel in NY? They make a pretty good falafel with lot of crunch and a bit of an anise flavor, so its disappointing that their special falafel flavors fall flat. All in all, 7 out of 10.
|KULUSHKÄT GOURMET FALAFEL|
|446 Dean Street (between Flatbush and 5th Avenue),
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn