Chickpea Looks to Break the Kolache Mama Curse


When Kolache Mama closed on 45th Street between Madison+Vanderbilt, they were the second such business to close in that very location. One might even say the spot was cursed… that is, until now. Chickpea of the “always baked, never fried” Downtown falafel fame had moved uptown, and by the looks of Friday’s crowd, it’s here to stay. I’ve never seen anything on that street with lines out the door!

Falafel Platter

I went in completely unprepared, relying on what looked good and what I saw others ordering (aka falafel wraps!) Mind you, this is baked falafel which keeps it a special green color not often seen by non-parental types. For an additional $2, the platter seemed to be enough food to tide me over to dinner since it comes with a good amount of hummus and bulgur wheat. Did I mention this place is sort of healthy? They don’t just serve falafel; chicken, turkey, and lamb are also available. The falafel is good, it has nice spices and a palatable texture, but it’s still not fried deliciousness. This is definitely for those who are craving your street cart falafel, but need something healthier. The wheat was very enjoyable, a great alternative to rice.

Falafel Platter

The hummus has options as well: original, roasted red pepper, basil and toasted pine nuts, and jalapeno and scallion. Luckily, the platter came with a pita to spread their creamy original hummus on. In essence, I could have made my own falafel pita with extra to share or save. Though the tahini was nice on the falafel and wheat, it completely ruined the salad I had picked out for myself-you have the choice of four ingredients.

Falafel Platter

And next time I will completely be splitting the platter. For $8, I got one of the most filling meals in a while, but since it wasn’t a greasy mess, I didn’t need a mid-afternoon nap in the conference room. I had to throw in the towel with three falafel pieces left, I felt like such a quitter.

Chickpea, 45 East 45th Street (btw. Mad+Park), (212) 697-1666


  • Boycott until they start frying the falafel balls. A dry baked golf ball is not gonna do it for me.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Funny…I just posted about the Chickpea located in Penn Station about 2 hours ago.

  • I’m a big fan of this place.

    The falafels are not as dry as you’d expect, and you get a good amount of food. I thought their hummus was also tasty.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I’m sorry but just because there was a line on opening day hardly means the place will be successful. Hello Pasta had huge lines, they even ran out of food, and now every time I walk by the place is empty. Their falafels are horrible I’d even prefer Maoz over them.

    • I’d prefer Maoz too since they’re fried at Maoz. But Maoz is nowhere near this place. I wasn’t aware that it was opening day-I guess time will tell to see if it lasts.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    “Palatable texture” …… now that’s some stretch. The only words that come to mind for me are “dry” and “cardboard”

  • All baked? Sounds like another niche idea. Hope it works.

  • dry yes … but nothing a triple squirt of mayo, er, I mean “white sauce” couldn’t solve

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I love hummus. So how did the hummus taste at this Chickpea?

  • lol…2 places closing at the same location in 2 yrs isn’t all that uncommon for NYC. Of course, some would say the whole city is cursed.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I feel your pain, Blondie. I got the hummus platter here once with an extra pita and thought my stomach was going to explode about halfway through it. And I left two falafel behind.

  • The healthiest falafel I like is Crisp.
    Taim would def. break the curse.

    Good luck to Chickpea!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I happen to really love this place. What I enjoy even more than the falafel, is the chicken Shawarma. Has some nice zest to it. Go with some white sauce and hot sauce and add some spicy peppers. Pretty filling and I don’t feel sick afterwards. A great regular spot for me.

    I usually go with the basil hummus. The hummus is really superb and there is a large selection of flavors.

    If I want unhealthy I’ll get the best stuff at a cart.

  • This place sucks. Dry falafel balls & blend hummus. I won’t go back.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.