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.

THE +

  • 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

THE -

  • 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

31 Comments

  • Wait, there are Dorritos in a one balled sandwich around the corner from me? Did I miss something? Can you get different flavor Dorritos? I love Dorritos.

  • Somewhat related to the topic of grammar (or grammer), there’s an unnecessary apostrophe in “lunch’ing,” 1st ‘graf. Unless that’s the new hip internet slang.

  • I liked the Mexican, but the best one is either the Parisian or Mediterranean (they are pretty much identical except for the cheese they put on it). They taste really, really good and they usually let you try a piece of falafel while you wait. Its no bargain- not even close, but its a pretty good meal.

  • @southeastmidtowner – There is a huge difference between Midtown lunching and Midtown Lunch’ing! It’s the whole reason for this site… :-)

    The rest of the mistakes are unintentional. I’m just terrible at spelling and grammar.

  • Me fail English? That’s unpossible!

  • I have a feeling that this Mexican is going places, mine was good =very very good.
    Banish the “grammar nazi” to the backroom of a publishing house.

  • The Parisian is amazingly good. But the 10.57 price tag after tax is real rough.

  • The Mexican totally hit the spot (i’m refering to the falafel, of course ;P ). Actually I was surprised that is was so filling, but for those of you with a second stomach, you can always turn the corner for the .99 cents pizza spot next store to finish-off on the cheap (again, I’m talking about food here… minds out of the gutter please)

  • I too had the Mexican today and wow Very tasty. The nice surprise is the Dorito like chips (prob Doritos) hidden in there that mixes with the avocados for a nice flavor texture combo.

  • Forgot to mention that they have a discount card/frequent eater thingy. Basically everytime you get 100points (1 point = 1 dollar spent), you get $10 credit. So considering it’s pretty easy to spend 10 bucks a lunch there, after 10 visits your getting yourself a free lunch. Put another way, you can kinda look at it as if your getting a buck off everytime you lunch there (so that might help you swallow the high-ish price). Zach, a few places have these frequent eating programs (i just got a card from Yushi… love that Pump has one too). any chance we can get a listing going? Just something interesting to checkout.. and heck, we all know that a bargain/discount makes the food taste better :D

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