Thursday, November 17, 2011

King of Falafel and Shawarma

Frankly, I was a little afraid to try the King of Falafel and Shawarma.

It wasn't so much the fear of street-cart food poisoning, or even the big piles of greasy, greasy meat on the grill. No, I was scared I would love the falafel so much that I'd get one every damn night. I have to pass the cart on my way home from the train, and it would be only too easy.

On a recent Tuesday night, I gathered up some courage and paid my first visit to the 2010 Vendy award winner. The atmosphere around the cart, which parks itself near the C-Town on Broadway, was surprisingly festive. Four guys dressed in maroon shirts and chef pants manned the grill, and one of them handed out free falafel to waiting customers as sort of an amuse-bouche.

The King is certainly cheap: $3 got me two large falafel balls, sauce, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickled vegetables wrapped in a pita. The falafel itself was crisp and spicy, but the pita was your standard (for Astoria, at least) doughy white disc. I'm pretty sure the pickled vegetables were beets, but somehow I found them tolerable. (Update: turns out they're pickled turnips. Also not my favorite, but better than beets.)

On the whole, the sandwich didn't blow me away. A little hummus and some freshly made pita would have helped. (Once you've tried Taïm in the West Village, it's hard to settle for less.) So it turns out resisting the siren call of falafel will be easy. If they open a grilled cheese cart between the subway and my apartment, however, I'm in trouble.

 King of Falafel and Shawarma
Broadway and 30th St.

Veg friendliness

Food quality



  1. When we get falafel around here the pickles are red colored, but not beets. I've never asked but I think they are pickled radish or turnip that are colored red (maybe with beet juice).

  2. Ryan, you are correct: they're turnips! No wonder I could stomach 'em.

  3. I'm more of a pita-pocket girl than a gyro-style-wrap type girl, but... I mean... you can't really beat 3 bones for a sandwich like that, right?

  4. hi
    first i want to say thank you for trying our Falafel , am sorry you did not get the vibe you want . so as of this Monday i will start serving the Falafel in pocket pita so you will get to have a better test and a great Vibe .

  5. You missed the point. It's the quality of the falafel that's the thing.
    I know the place you speak of in the west village and 6 bucks it better be heaven. So occupy there and the rest of the real people will eat in Astoria