Your First Look at the King of Falafel & Shawarma Express
If any of you have had the fortunate opportunity to eat Astoria’s King of Falafel, you understand what caused this massive line yesterday. I stopped by around 2:30 to see how Freddy was doing and the story behind the cart moving to 53rd and Park. I also wanted to score some falafel, of course!
For those of you worried that this means the end of the Astoria cart, have no fear! This is Freddy’s second cart and he plans on keeping it on this corner for a while, with him manning it for at least the next few weeks. He saw the opportunity to vend in Midtown and did originally want another corner on that block, but this permit was the only one available.
As we could see from the lunch photo yesterday, he was in the weeds all day, partly because one of his guys didn’t show up. By the time I got there, there was barely any meat left, and Freddy was making falafel almost to order. He looked like he’d been hit by a truck, but he was his happy, friendly self. I even witnessed the last four pitas of the day. Though the day didn’t have any of his famous belly dancers, Freddy is planning on having his music–which I’m sure Lever House will love!
For those of you unaware of Freddy, his falafel are famous–he makes them deliciously garlicky and in an oval, as opposed to spherical. Plus they fry up perfectly. In his pita, he stuffs the falafel along the side and packs them in with lettuce, tomato, onion, turnip sticks, and pickles from the West Bank. And his hot sauce is some of the hottest around. I had a wee bit and my mouth was on fire. $4, and you have your meal. Trust us, you’ll be hooked, one of the customers behind me was already making plans for what she should get today. The cart is lunch only, so be prepared for lines for the next few weeks.
King of Falafel and Shawarma, NW corner of 53rd and Park (writing that made me so happy!)