Shocker: There is Something I Like at Crisp

*Sigh*  Is it over?  Have I finally given in to the pressures of everyday lunch’ing in Midtown?  When Crisp first hung up their sign on 3rd Ave., I figured there was no way in hell I was going to find something redeeming about a place that calls itself Crisp.  From their saying on the wall (“Fast fresh food that syncs your taste with your conscience“) you automatically knew it was going to expensive, and worse case scenario- it would be expensive salads.  (I think between Just Salads, Chop’t and every single crappy generic deli in Midtown, we’re all set on the salads.)

When they finally opened, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that “crisp” actually referred to falafels, and the place was more like a midtownified pita pocket and hummus bowl kind of place.  Not terrible, but certainly nothing to jump for joy about.  With so many great (and mostly cheap) falafel places to choose from in this area, why do we need a place where the cheapest falafel sandwich is $6.75- thanks but no thanks. 

But then something happened.  I tried it.  And I have to say, despite my brain urging me to show hate and disapproval- there is one sandwich at Crisp that I think I can fully get behind. 

Seeing as how they are basically just deconstructed, more expensive versions of the sandwiches, I decided to ignore the hummus bowls during my visit to Crisp.  If you are into that kind of thing (and I’m sure there are alot of you out there who are) feel free to comment below on your hummus bowl experience.  Based on the rest of the food at Crisp, I’m sure they’re just fine.  With that decided I turned my focus to the sandwiches.

On the low end of the choices, you can get the basic “crisp”, a simple falafel sandwich with hummus, cubed salad and pickles, but like I said before, this place is not going to convince me to spend $7 on a standard falafel, when there are much cheaper, perfectly delicious versions elsewhere.  On the high end, you’ve got the Mediterranean ($8.75 with sun dried tomato spread, goat cheese, roasted red peppers… you get the idea), the Milan ($9.75 with pesto, feta, etc.), the Parisian ($9.75 with eggplant, sundried tomato spread and parmesan), and the totally ridiculous, there better be freakin gold flakes in this shit- Athenian ($10.75 with herbed yogurt, green onions, and greek salad.)  Seriously?  $11 for a falafel?  I love pesto, eggplant, goat cheese, feta, even herbed yogurt sort of intrigues me, and I don’t doubt that they are nice ingredients, and taste delicious.  But $8.75+ is just not an amount of money I’m willing to spend on a falafel sandwich.  Leaving me with one choice:  the Mexican. 

A still expensive $7.75, the sandwich comes with cilantro pesto, avocado, corn, salsa, nachos and a jalapeno dressing.  And you know what… I really enjoyed it.  Clearly it’s different than your average falafel (the corn and avocado being really tasty additions) and despite the fact that I don’t love cilantro with all my heart, I didn’t mind the pesto at all.  The jalapeno dressing gave the whole thing a nice kick, and in the end I was pretty satisfied with my choice.  Basically, if you like falafel- but you’re looking for something different, the Mexican at Crisp is a super tasty sandwich, and with $2.25 left under the Midtown Lunch price cap, you’ve got just enough for one of their fancy ice teas, which are not only delicious- but are all served unsweetened, semi sweet, or sweet, allowing you to customize the drink to your taste.

With tax the sandwich and tea comes out to $10.80, and I have to admit some of the more fat voracious eaters among us might still be a tad bit hungry, but it’s quality food- and in the end, that’s what we’re all looking for, right?  I guess it just helps to think of it less as a falafel (which should be a lot cheaper than $8) and more like a quality lunch place, at Midtown prices.


  • Everything is prepared super fresh
  • The Mexican is the perfect balance between getting something more interesting for your money, without going over the $10 lunch mark
  • The iced teas are great, and come in three degrees of sweetness
  • From the look of their website, they seem to be very interested with being healthy and environmentally friendly


  • It’s way too expensive.
  • It’s a perfectly filling lunch, but by no means gut busting
  • Did I mention how expensive it is?

Crisp, 684 3rd Ave. (btw. 43+44th), 212-661-0000


  • Damn, though I haven’t tried it, I have to agree that looks good. But then again it’s pretty fail safe. Hell, top tofu with cilantro pesto, avocado, corn, salsa, nachos and jalapeno dressing and it would taste good.

    Not that I advocate the eating of tofu.

  • “It’s way TOO expensive” not “It’s way to expensive”

  • thanks grammar nazi… i fixed it. clearly when you have your grammar and spelling holocaust, I will be one of the first to go.

  • Zach, take a photo of your Mexican Falafel dump – I bet the two pics will be indistinguishable.

    I guarantee they will both have corn in them

  • Should it be – “There is something I like AT Crisp” ??

  • I like how it’s “GrammEr Nazi”, haha

  • Needs Foie Gras

    Black Pudding.

    ….and Butter.

  • Hey, Zach…and the falafel balls themselves? Say compared to Kosher Deluxe? Cuz in your picture they quite a bit look crispier than KD’s.

  • JustNancy said “balls.” HEEEEEEEE.

  • We some people are only allowed to have Kosher balls.

  • … the pic Zach has only one ball.

  • Dude, I can’t believe you said it better have gold flakes on it. Cuz like, *I* know you’re joking, and the readers know you’re joking… but do the PR flacks at any place scouring your site for ideas know?!?!?! If a falafel somewhere starts being shopped around with gold flakes on it, you’re going to be held responsible for that mess! lol lol.

  • saw a bunch of guys carrying around their boxes today. will have to check it out for dinner tonight.

  • I’ve been there twice since it opened and got the Mexican twice – really enjoyed it….even though I followed the directions on the holder, it was one of the messiest sandwiches that I have ever eaten.

  • I just re-read the Shocker headline on this and I’m thinking there is something Zach isn’t telling us about his experience at Crisp

  • Nachos? In the sandwich? Please explain? Like movie theater Nachos? Like Dorritos? Are there Dorritos in this sandwich?

  • Ha! The person correcting the grammar mispelled his or her condescending name! “GrammEr Nazi”……hehe

  • Haha! Sarah you’re a woman after my own heart. One day I’ll tell you about my spaghetti parm sandwich or the nacho taco.

  • i’ve been there a few times since it opened. have yet to try the mexican but really enjoy the eggplant hummus bowl and guacho mint tea. the eggplant hummus bowl comes with warm pita, hummus, two decent sized slices of fried eggplant, salad fixings and one falafel ball. its delicious and filling considering its mainly just hummus.

  • And on the theme of grammEr, ‘alot’ is not a word.

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