Fresh Falafel with a Homey Touch

Homemade Falafel in Astoria lives up to its name, serving "lovely, tasty food made with great care," says CitySpoonful. The house specialty (distinguished by "mystery spices imported from Lebanon," as the owners told her) is scooped and fried to order, and the result is flavorful, pleasingly soft, and not at all greasy, she reports, "the best falafel I have had in a very long time." Mr Porkchop agrees that it's nice and fresh but wishes it were crisper and more aggressively seasoned.

Ike is not sold on the falafel (he prefers those at Taïm or Kwik Meal in Manhattan) but loves the crunchy, beet-blushed pickled turnips that come alongside: "I had no idea turnips could be so tasty!" Also worth a sniff, says CitySpoonful, are uncommonly fresh tabbouleh and terrific baba ghanoush, tangy from lime and just smoky enough. Hounds are divided on the pita—dry and flavorless, complain some; authentically thin in the Lebanese style, say others—but everyone's taken with the gracious folks who run the place. "It's a nice addition to the neighborhood," says Mr Porkchop, "and I hope they do well."

Homemade Falafel [Astoria]
36-18 Broadway (near 37th Street), Astoria, Queens
718-545-0034

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