You can have your mouth-watering falafel and eat it, too. That’s the lesson to be learned when visiting West Village-based Taim (pronounced tah-eem). The amazing eatery boasts a strictly vegetarian, middle-eastern menu, which is adorned with warm and vibrant spices and tireless flavor.
Whether selecting the traditional green falafel, which is prepared with cilantro, mint, and parsley, the mildly spicy harissa falafel, which is prepared with Tunisian spices, or the red falafel, prepared with mixed with roasted red peppers, you will be amazed. The sandwiches are dressed with pickled cabbage, tahini sauce Israeli salad, hummus and pickled cabbage, and the sabich* is a delicious treat that’s packed with sliced eggplant, an organic egg, hummus, pickled cabbage, tahini sauce, amba and Israeli salad.
These are cheap eats, but you wouldn’t know it because Taim isn’t cheap with the spices or their full portions of locally sourced produce. Every ingredient on the plate is fresh and interesting, and even non-vegetarians will bow to the use of robust textures and flavors. The portions are also plentiful. You’ll get bang for your buck and you won’t be worried that you’ll leave hungry, but I can’t promise that you won’t want to order more anyway.
The hummus comes with a choice of any two salads (there are EIGHT types of salad), and the toppings are plentiful and varied. You’ll be satisfied with your selection of Amba (pickled mango-fenugreek chutney), s’rug (traditional Yemeni hot sauce with cilantro, chili, garlic and extra virgin olive oil), boiled organic egg, kalamata olives, feta cheese, spicy shifka peppers and Israeli pickles. The french fries with saffron aioli, the falafel sampling, the jar of homemade harissa, the walnut roll, the numerous smoothies and homemade drinks will win you over.
I recommend that you try the falafel sampler so that you can get a taste of all that’s to be offered in terms of falafel. Be sure to dress it with Amba and s’rug, and top it with the Kalamata olives. Also, if you have a free hand, grab a sabich or a date-lime-banana smoothie. Sidenote: a small portion of the side order of fried eggplant, and it’s absolutely sopping with oil when you receive it, so you may want to avoid it or ask the cooks to drain the oil.
This restaurant is generally crowded and the seating is limited, but that’s okay… you’ll want to be standing so that you can do a victory lap away from the restaurant. Aside from the location at 222 Waverly Place, there’s an additional location at 45 Spring St.