Guest Post By Vivek Sukumaran, Astoria Correspondent
I am not a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if it weren’t for some of my religious beliefs,Â I would probably be classified as a carnivore. Because of that, I would say my experience with eating good falafel would be very limited. That said, last week when I walked by Moshe’s food cart on Park Avenue between 27th and 28th, I knew I had to check it out. Also, I feel compelled to point out before I go further that as a native New York City resident who loves good food but is broke right now, my affection for street food is quite high. I love it, especially on those late nights, and have different expectations for the quality of food in cart, then others.
The review below is after a trip taken last week (which was my second trip in a week), where I decided to gather the thoughts of some my fellow office mates, Sarah – a fellow foodie – and Alyson – who enjoys a good falafel. We all agree that the cart looks great from afar, has a great staff, and catches the crowd’s eye with the free samples offered on those sunny days… As for the rest, I have decided to let the street food rookies, go first….
Guest Commentary by Sarah Coniski, Upper West Side Correspondent: Though I appreciated the sample of the falafel and its flavor and texture prior to my purchase, I was not impressed by the flavor and experience post-purchase. Though the falafel remained tasty, the lack of overall flavor was disappointing. Admittedly, I did not take advantage of the hot sauce option, but the vegetables and tahini were flavorless.
Will I go again? Probably not – though I may be more inclined to visit another street cart after this first visit to one since I confirmed that there was running water and soap available.
Guest Commentary by Alyson Buck, New Jersey Correspondent: I’m by no means a connoisseur but I do love me a good falafel. And having never visited a street cart before, I was up to the challenge. At Moshe’s, the free sample was a great perk and his crew is top-notch. The falafel pita? Not so much. I was not impressed with its mealy texture and basically flavorless lettuce and sauces. I also was also hoping for hummus because I like my falafels Mediterranean style, but there was only a white sauce that tasted more like ranch dressing than tahini. The price was right at $4.75. But for a quarter more I could’ve gotten a foot-long from Subway and been just as content. Just saying.
In short, Moshe’s was good but not to-die-for. I’m not in any rush to go there again, but will go to another street cart. I used to be afraid of street meat, but so far so good. I’m a convert.
And now for your Astoria Correspondent’s thoughts…As mentioned above, my experience with falafel is quite limited. I don’t know if I have ever come across my go-to-place yet…until now. I love the way the falafel tastes. It is light, crispy, has great texture and the oil used – canola, I believe – really adds some nice flavor. I agree the vegetables used aren’t the freshest, but that is more of result – in my opinion – of the food sitting in a cart all day as opposed to it not being good quality. I also didn’t mind the Tahini sauce. And overall, especially since it was less then $5, I have to say, I am a convert.The Basics Name:Â Moshe’s Food Cart Location: Park Ave South between 27th and 28th Who to take: Self, Co-workers Price: Under $5. Â $. Overall: Â Mixed reviews. Â 3 stars.