Taïm Falafel & Smoothie Bar | 222 Waverly Place (at 7th Ave.) | 212.691.1287 | www.taimfalafel.com

I HAVE TO MAKE a concerted effort—especially over a summer of barbecue and other grilled meats—to round out my diet with some healthier fare. Remembering this, after eating grilled Italian sausage sandwiches in my friend's bar's backyard yesterday evening, it was easy to decide to finally try out what is supposed to be—according to New York Magazine, the New York Times, and scores of Yelpers—the best falafel sandwich in all NYC.

This falafel sandwich is served at a small, pretty, spot called Taïm, tucked away on Waverly Place in the West Village, which I finally found by a little before noon.

This was the very first falafel place where someone asked me which kind of falafel I wanted. I chose the harissa falafel—in whole wheat pita—flavored with Tunisian spices, hoping that I would enjoy it enough that it would warrant repeat visits to also try the traditional green (parsley, cilantro and mint) and colorful red (roasted red peppers) falafels, pairing it with a strawberry-raspberry—thai basil smoothie.

I want to go back already! An excellent handful, the falafel sandwich hit with spot on flavors in every bite. Earthy, aromatic, richly seasoned falafels were soft and generous on the inside with just a shell of fried crunchiness on its exterior. The vegetables were cool and crisp, and whatever else they threw in the perfectly toasted pita bread was just outstanding.

Add to that how sizable the sandwich was to my tummy as well—with a nice fruity smoothie whose sweetness was deftly cut by Thai basil—and this became one of the most satisfying lunches I've had in a long time. I wanted to try one of their walnut rolls (nuts, spices, sugar, wrapped in phillo dough and baked!), but I was full.

Full enough that I wouldn't be hungry until hours later (I've yet to eat anything since and it's almost 7 p.m.). Full from healthy, vegetarian food! That tasted extraordinary. And to top it all off, it was one of the few lunches I've had in the last few weeks that didn't run me 20 bucks (final bill: short of twelve dollars).

I don't do "best" anything. But I do have favorites, and Taïm is my new favorite falafel place. If there were as many of these fine falafel shops in the city as there are decent barbecue joints, ah, what a city that would be...!

Bun Apple Tea!


Taïm on Urbanspoon

Taïm Falafel & Smoothie Bar | 222 Waverly Place (at 7th Ave.) | 212.691.1287 | www.taimfalafel.com