222 Waverly Pl (7th Ave South)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 691-1287
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
2nd Cuisine: Family Friendly
Area: Greenwich Village
Payment: Cash only
Taim is a tiny storefront in the West Village, with only a few seats at the window, and even those are cramped and tiny. It’s best to get takeout or, on a nice day, eat outside. But however tiny and cash only this place may be, it’s worth it. The falafel is outstanding.
The Falafel Sampler is an uber popular choice that lets you try the three flavors of falafel offered here. Be sure to dip the balls in the creamy tahini, a Middle Eastern sesame paste that is somewhere between peanut sauce, tzatziki, and heaven.
Green: with parsley, cilantro, and mint. This traditional falafel is special mostly because of its texture – dense and moist, with a very thick, crackly crust. The taste is classic Middle Eastern, fragrant with the parsley and mint. The hit of cilantro adds a welcome, sharp flavor.
Harissa: mixed with Tunisian spices. The paste is fiery but earthy at the same time, akin to a less smoky chipotle. The harissa falafel elevates the chickpeas, adding fire and salt. It isn’t super hot, just a bit spicy for those of us who like to mix it up.
Red: mixed with roasted red peppers. This tastes a lot like the original green falafel, but with less of that fresh taste of cilantro.
The Falafel Platter is the way to go if you eat in – if you are going to walk as you eat, go for the more user friendly sandwich. This comes with a selection of those wonderful falafel balls, fresh Israeli salad, a wonderfully lemony tabbouleh, and a few pieces of the most tender, fluffy za’atar dusted pita bread on the planet.
Be sure to help yourself to some of the sauces served alongside, including the oily, garlic laden s’rug (like chimichurri) and the addictive spicy-sweet mango sauce called amba.
The food here is incredibly cheap, especially for the quality. Everything is made fresh to order, the staff is courteous and extremely adept, and the food is really, really good.
Review By: Sarah Spigelman