We decided to try Azuri Cafe in NYC, New York as some say that it is the best falafel in the City; better than Taim, Mamoun's, etc...
The place is very small with only 4 tables. We saw the owner there who not only did not say hello, but was very grumpy. Well, we went there for the food, not the owner! Anyway, they play on it as they quoted the NY Times who in 1999 said:
"With just a few rickety tables, Azuri Cafe, a kosher Israeli restaurant and takeout shop, is not the most stylish place around. It's not the friendliest, either. But when you taste the food, you can see where the gruff owner, Ezra Cohen, puts his energy. ".
Then, on their website they wrote: "A place you want to call home"! Really? Maybe for the food, but not for the owner for sure!
The place serves vegetarian as well as non vegetarian specialties. You can find Shawarma Gyro (isn't it kind of the same?) that is made with chicken, beef or chicken shish Kebab (where is the lamb?), chicken liver or falafel. The problem is that they do not describe their menu and a lot of dishes clearly either needed a description or a definition! Considering the personality of the owner, I could not picture myself asking him questions. Especially after I ordered the Shak Shuka plate (I wanted to see if it was the shekshouka) and he responded in a growl that it would take 25 minutes! So we just ordered falafel.
The cook (who was nicer) prepared them. He first fried the falafel. Then, opened a whole wheat pita (we did not have a choice between whole wheat and white as other customers who came after did) and stuffed in it hummus, red cabbage, taboule...and of course the falafel. They topped the sandwich with tahini sauce and pickles.
The sandwich was big for sure. You immediately notice the crunchiness of the falafel. They were very good and I did not detect any greasiness. The sandwich was overall good, but was missing some flavor.
I definitely prefer Taim not only for the sandwich, but also because their menu is more original with sandwiches like the Shabish that was delicious! So, in the battle between Azuri Cafe and Taim, Taim won!
The owner would have been nicer, it would not have changed my mind...
Enjoy (I almost did)!