Tag Archives: Middle Eastern

My search for the best falafel in New York continues….

TURKISS, 104 Macdougal Street (between Bleecker and West 3rd Street), Greenwich Village

When one falafel joint closes, another opens. It doesn’t always work that way, but it almost always does in and around Bleecker Street in the West Village. Yatagan sat on Macdougal Street for years churning out doner kababs and falafel. I never made it to Yatagan, but now that it’s been replaced by Turkiss, I finally got to give the space a try. (more…)


Category: Falafel

I bring my sense of food adventure with me on the road, searching for the most authentic, iconic, and delicious dishes of a different region…

Fight to the DeathI knew I’d have my fair share of seafood in Boston, but I didn’t realize it would practically be my entire diet for a week. I like to eat the local, iconic food in a city and what else is there really to eat in Boston?

That was my dilemma when researching the possibility of filming an Eat This episode in Beantown (the episode launches tomorrow). Not to bring up a sore subject, but New York has very obvious iconic food. Boston?  Not so much. Even when I asked people from Boston what “the food” of that city is, it took some serious thinking to come up with an answer. Chowder, roast beef, Italian food, what?

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Category: Travel

Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. NYC Food Cart Tour is my exploration of the hard-working vendors feeding NYC’s population every day.

The greatest day in mobile food vending is back. On September 12, the Vendy Awards will take place on Governor’s Island honoring the greatest in New York’s food vending community. Tickets are still available for purchase here. For the next few weeks, I’ll be documenting all of the nominees in three categories.

Rookie of the Year: The Shuka Truck

We have so many trucks selling pizza, Korean tacos, and lobster rolls. But nobody was attempting to make Middle Eastern shakshuka (eggs cooked in tomato sauce) from a mobile vehicle until Josh, Solomon, and Gabriel appeared on the scene earlier this year with The Shuka Truck. The three friends who were soldiers in the Israeli army together are now cooking up egg sandwiches and platters with the traditional red tomato sauce, mixed with hummus, or with their own colorful creations of veggie-laden green or a rich, earthy white sauce.

The Shuka Truck

Dessert of the Year: Butter & Scotch

At their Crown Heights cocktail and dessert bar, bakers Keavy Blueher and Allison Kave pair their inventive riffs on childhood treats (like s’more pies or maple bacon cupcakes) with boozy drinks. Sometimes the booze ends up in the desserts too. Even better. You can also find Butter & Scotch‘s delectable goodies at Smorgasburg on certain weekends.

Butter & Scotch

Market Vendor of the Year: Carnitas El Atoradero

Earlier this year, the food world mourned when Mexican favorite Carnitas El Atoradero announced they would be closing their Bronx eatery due to escalating rents. Immediately fans and customers rallied and owner Denisse Chavez found a new home at Vendy Plaza, where she sells her lovingly prepared homecooked delicacies, and will also be opening a new restaurant in Brooklyn.

Carnitas El Atoradero


Category: Video

My search for the best falafel in New York continues….

GAZALA PLACE, 709 Ninth Avenue (between 48th and 49th Street), Hell's Kitchen Gazala Place in Hell’s Kitchen (and its bigger, newer location on the Upper West Side) is the only place in New York to get Druze cuisine. The Druze are a religious people that live throughout the Middle East and have a fairly distinct cuisine. The most notable difference is their very large and thin pita breads cooked on a griddle called a sagg.

Appetizer Platter at GAZALA PLACE

I’ve enjoyed many delicious meals at Gazala Place and am especially fond of all their breads and savory pies. On a recent meal, I paid special attention to their falafel, which was served as part of their appetizer sampler platter alongside hummus and labneh.

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Category: Falafel

My search for the best falafel in New York continues….

KULUSHKAT GOURMET FALAFEL, 446 Dean Street (between 5th Avenue and Flatbush Avenue), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

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.

No Falafel For You!

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?

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Category: Falafel

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York CityMANOUSHEH, 193 Bleecker Street (between Sixth Avenue and Sullivan Street), Greenwich VillageEast of Sixth Avenue, Bleecker Street is where restaurants go to die. With the abundance of college students and tourists coming through here, you’d think this stretch of Greenwich Village would be prime real estate to open a food business. But unfortunately very few of the fast-casual concepts survive. Since I’ve lived in New York, I have seen more turnover on this street than anywhere else.

So when I saw a new place called Manousheh recently open on this block, I didn’t pay it much attention. I figured it would last a few months and then something else would come and replace it. Except this time I tasted the food. And if everybody else does too, I think it will be here for a long time.

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