Taksim Has A Great Lamb Appetizer, OK Falafel

I walk by Taksim all the time on my way to and from work, and a recent hankering for Mediterranean finally had me wandering in to check out what they had to offer. The menu mostly consisted of entrees and platters priced out of ML range, but the small sandwich section of the menu definitely had potential.

There are six sandwich options ranging from Chicken Adana to Lamb Kofte, all priced at $7.50 with the exception of Falafel at $5.50. I was waffling between the meat options for a while, but then an appetizer caught my eye: Traditional Turkish Lahmacun. Thin crust flat bread with minced lamb, red peppers, tomatoes and onions topped with parsley ($3.95). I definitely wanted to try this, so in order to stay under $10 I went for the falafel sandwich.

I’ve never had Lahmacun before so I have no idea if this is authentic or not, but I loved this, and it was well-worth the $3.95. If I wasn’t starving, this probably would have been enough to hold me over until dinner. It was a large, flat, naan-like bread, folded in half and filled with the lamb and vegetable mixture, which looked like this:

It was very lamby in flavor, which was great and paired perfectly with the soft, chewy bread.

The falafel sandwich came wrapped in a tortilla and was more like a small falafel burrito than a “sandwich.” The sandwich itself was pretty unremarkable and paled in comparison to Soom Soom or Omar’s, also nearby in the neighborhood.

There were a few average falafel balls, with lettuce, tomato and hummus. It was heavy on the tortilla and light on flavor, I’d say if you’re having a falafel craving, this probably isn’t the best place to satisfy it.

The house was packed the day I went in, so based on its obvious popularity and the success with the Lamb Lahmacun, I’ll be back to sample some of the other offerings. Rachel has told me she loves their kofte, so that just might be next on the list!

Taksim, 1030 2nd Ave (btw 54+55th), (212) 421-3004


  • check out Ali Baba’s (34th & 3rd) lahmacun, made on crisp flatbread. delicious!

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    I absolutely love lahmacun. Did they serve it with anything? Every time I’ve had it stateside it’s been served with lettuce, tomato, onion, and lemon wedges on the side. Put the fresh veggies on top, squeeze some lemon juice over it, fold and enjoy. Now I’m really in the mood for some Turkish food mmmm.

    • It did come with a small salad and lemon wedge, wrapped separately. I didn’t know you’re supposed to assemble them together, I’ll definitely try that next time!

  • I’m a big fan of the lamb adana sandwich. Noms!

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    I believe that regional differences are coming into play here. Falafel will be different depending on whether they are Turkish, Israeli, Lebanese, Egyptian, etc. Most are still assembled traditionally, but I think that the Israelis have taken it to the next level with their various offerings of combinations and toppings – ala Crisp, Maoz, SoomSoom, etc.

  • Nice! This is in my new neighborhood and will likely become a part of the rotation. Ground lamb ftw!

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    I ate here once and recall the owner being very gruff. Am I recalling the correct place?

  • I went there last week. There were no cheap lunches there. I didn’t see any sandwiches in the $3.95 to $7.50 region. I had the Donor in a wrap, but I remember it costing at lest $9 and came with “steak fries.”

    The donor was OK. It wasn’t as good as the Donor place that closed on 7th Ave.

    I didn’t see the Lahmacun anywhere on the menu, but maybe I didn’t notice it.

    I think these guys may have changed their menu since your visit.

    The restaurant was busy and I was there after 1. This is a good sign. I might go back again if I really feel like walking past Omars all the way to 2nd Ave.

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