Though we’re not the first to proclaim that Taïm serves the best falafel in New York City, we can effortlessly declare that this woefully small café in the West Village makes some of the best falafel we’ve eaten in the United States. Thirty years ago, we don’t remember seeing falafel very often, except in remote Middle Eastern restaurants. Since then, they have spread like wildfire across the country — thanks to the Mediterranean craze — though we’ve had more terrible falafel than we could count. Having wasted stomach space on chewy, chalky, flavorless, dry, bready mouthfuls of bad falafel, we were rightfully overwhelmed by Taïm’s savory, crispy, extremely tasty preparation of the now ubiquitous fried chickpea spheres.
Cooked to order, Taïm’s falafel come in three flavors/colors: traditional green (parsley, cilantro, mint), harissa yellow (mildly spicy with Tunisian spices), and pepper red (mild roasted red peppers). Smooth hummus, Israeli (tomatoes, cukes, parsley, lemon-mint dressing) and tabouli salads, and tangy babaganoush are sure to satisfy any connoisseur. The sabich sandwich layers fried eggplant with a hard-boiled egg, hummus, pickled cabbage, and tahini. Authentic dipping sauces include amba (pickled mango) and the spicy s’rug (chili, garlic, cilantro). Plus, you can wash your meal down with your choice of an inventive smoothie (e.g., date-lime-banana, strawberry-raspberry-thai basil) or a homemade lemonade (e.g., ginger-mint, brown sugar)! The restaurant also has its own food truck, parked daily in various spots around Midtown and Brooklyn. Taïm is open every day 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the schedule for the Taïm truck can be accessed at http://www.taimmobile.com.