Taim: Heaven in Balls of Falafel
For a shop the size of my tiny Manhattan kitchen, Taim gets a whole lot of press. It won Best Falafel in New York by Serious Eats New York; despite being nothing short of a shack, it’s a Critic’s Pick on New York Magazine; Time Out New York refers to its three flavors of falafel as genius; it’s even featured as one of Gwenyth Paltrow’s favorite spots on her online blog GOOP.
Situated in a jewelbox-sized storefront on the corner of Perry Street and Waverly, Taim is easily missed. Only a small green sign announces it’s presence in what looks like the back entrance to neighboring Doma. Don’t bother trying to eat-in at Taim, unless you’re comfortable noshing al fresco on a nearby stoop. The entire shop is a take-out counter, a massive menu outlining the plethora of tasty options, and no more than 6 or 7 crowded together stools. With crowds at all hours of the day, the chances of nabbing a seat, or better yet, of successfully navigating the cramped space are slim.
Regardless of the crowded space and the spartan service, the food at Taim, fittingly Hebrew for ‘tasty’ is fantastic and fresh. Though not only limited to falafel, the obvious stars of the show are the three flavors of the fried-to-order falafel. Uniquely, Taim offers not only the traditional ‘Green’ falafel, tinged with cilantro, parsley and mint, but also the ‘Red’ with bits of roasted red pepper and the ‘Harissa’ infused with a gentle splatter of harissa sauce. All three are truly delicious – light, airy, earthy, and of such a manageable size that you can pop them like candy. You can have all three together or order just one; you can have them in a platter with Israeli couscous, in a herb-and-oil smothered pita, or just alone; you can enjoy them on a bed of surprisingly good french fries bathed in addictive saffron aioli. No matter how you prefer your falafel, Taim will prepare them perfectly to order and serve them hot and crispy.
Taim doesn’t look like much, but those behind the counter cook up the city’s best falafel in a clean, healthy and immensely satisfying fashion with an extensive series of scrumptious side dishes. What more could you ask for from the snazzier version of a falafel stand from which you can get a filling meal for under $10?
Perfect For: superlative takeout, the perfect summer lunch, falafel fiends, those on the go, starving artists, gluten-free & health-conscious folk