By Ava Stryker-Robbins
I am a falafel lover — the fried, deliciousness of chickpeas has been a favorite for as long as I can remember. And combined with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, pickled radishes, pickles, and tahini sauce, I cannot think of a better summer meal.
Last Wednesday, I walked to Zaad — a local Egyptian-owned restaurant — in the blazing heat. Walking was nearly unbearable, but when I arrived at 107th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, where Zaad is located, I felt immediately at ease. The workers gave me a free sample of falafel as I ordered, and began to work, putting obvious effort into my sandwich. I also ordered a mango juice, which added a delicious, refreshing touch to the meal.
The sandwich was beyond delicious; the sweet, sour, and savory flavors morphed together, and the combination of fresh and pickled vegetables, just-made falafel and pita bread provided a scrumptious meal. The mango juice enhanced it, because of its freshness and cool temperature, which complemented the warm sandwich.
The experience of ordering at the restaurant, the quality of the food, and the affordability of the meal ($12 for both the sandwich and juice) brought me joy and solace from the heat.
The Restaurant: Zaad (963 Amsterdam Ave at 107th Street)
The Dish: Falafel Sandwich
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We used to go to Zaad a lot when it first opened. The falafel was excellent. Then I think it changed owners because the same guy was never there any more and they raised the prices. Then Mamoun’s opened so I usually go there instead. But Zaad is a good one.
I love falafel too, thank you for your review, I didn’t know about this place.
I don’t mean to boast but I’m a falafel connoisseur.
Zaad’s falafel is Egyptian style which is unique in the falafel world as it’s make out of fava beans. Most falafel are made out of chickpeas.
This is why Zaad’s falafel has a unique taste and consistency compared to many other falafel. I’ve eaten at Zaad’s several times and yes, the falafel is good and the service is friendly.
this is great, thank you for the tip!
We often enjoy Zaad. The problem is that its very inconsistent. Sometimes its the kind of amazing that you need to tell your friends about. sometimes not good at all. Usually one extreme or the other. Other problem is that it can orders (at the location) can take forever, even with no customers ahead of you. Very friendly staff. I hope the owners take this to heart. Its got a lot of potential.
It is a good falafel, but it`s too expensive.
If you think $8 is too expensive to keep a mom & pop restaurant in business, I don’t know what to say!
When they first opened it was $5.00 or $5.50 for a falafel wrap and we’d buy 3 or 4 at a time. But even at $8 now it’s reasonable.
We read Ava’s post and immediately headed to Zaad for a falafel sandwich. It was truly sublime! Thank you! JT&JW
Just sampled it on this review. And it is excellent! Everything is fresh and tasty!
I just wish these businesses had more space. The obscene costs of rental in this borough really inhibits independent stores. We need commercial rent control!
I like the falafel at Jerusalem restaurant on 104 and broadway.
Didn’t know about Zaad’s but will definitely check it out thanks to this review!