Crisp Introduces New Exotic FrankenFalafel
Speaking of Crisp-the overpriced falafel place on 3rd Ave. btw. 43+44th that I reluctantly admire for its boldness and tastiness-they’ve done a little menu switcheroo this week. They’ve gotten rid of the Milan (a falafel sandwich with roasted red peppers and feta) and added two new sandwiches. The first is the CLT. At $5.75 it is the cheapest option, and made with falafel, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. I admire them for trying to add a cheaper option, but how can you have a falafel without hummus (or at least tahini.) And, if you are going to get a standard falafel, Crisp is too expensive. There are cheaper options, that are good enough… like at the Prince Deli on the same block. If you are going to eat at crisp, you should get one of their special combos- like the Mexican (falafel with corn and avocado) which I’m kind of into.
Which brings us to their latest creation… “The Exotic”. Falafel with coriander spread, eggplant, cabbage, pineapple, and wasabi vinaigrette. I shit you not. How could I walk away without trying this monstrosity?
At $7.75 it’s the same price as the Mexican… which is too say, it is expensive for a falafel- but you have to admire their balls (terrible pun intended). As promised it had pineapple (you can see it) and all the rest… and I have to say, it kind of worked- in the worst way possible. I’m a big fan of the sweet and savory combo, so I liked the sweet pineapple mixed with spicy horseradish flavor of the wasabi vinaigrette. The falafel and coriander spread (which is the exact same thing as their cilantro spread) provided a nice balance to the strong sweet and spicy flavor, although most of the wasabi vinaigrette was mixed with the cabbage on top of the sandwich- making the first few bites way too sauce heavy. By the time I got to the end, there was no wasabi flavor at all. Hopefully they will get better at mixing the ingredients evenly through the whole sandwich… or you can not risk it and ask for the wasabi vinaigrette on the side.
Will there be people who hate this sandwich? Of course. It is still hard for me to spend this kind of money on a falafel, but these guys are doing some cool things that you just don’t get from the standard falafel places… and most importantly their sandwiches taste good. Will it replace Olympic Pita? Of course not… but it’s a nice change of pace every once in awhile (and for that, I don’t mind spending an extra couple of bucks).
As for the grossness that is falafel mixed with pineapple and wasabi- I will admit it is only for a select group of weirdos… but if it sounds intriguing to you (and you don’t mind shelling out $8 for a falafel sandwich), you just might like it.