Alan’s Falafel Returns After Storm With New Name, Serving A Delicious Veggie Burger

alan's vegetarian

Several of the carts downtown remained in their spots during Hurricane Sandy providing food, coffee and conversation to neighborhoods without electricity or operational restaurants. Alan’s Vegetarian Delights cart (which you may know as Alan’s Falafel) was out in its spot on Broadway (btw. Liberty & Cedar) on Wednesday just as the icy snow started falling. In addition to the new name, Alan’s has an expanded vegetarian menu including Italian classics with fake meat.

They had been unable to make it into the city since the Friday before Hurricane Sandy hit, which was 12 days away from the city and seven days of lost business, as one of the workers told me. The cart’s workers were happy to be back and have people to feed, and I’m happy to report that they have a veggie burger and fries that’s a delicious value.

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I really like that Alan’s now serves “un meatballs” and “un chicken” hero sandwiches along with meatball parm, just in case there are any vegetarians out there who feel like they’re missing out on giant Italian gut bombs. This seems to up the competition of the 99% Vegetarian Food cart across the way, but I’m guessing most people will still order falafel. Also a highlight: tater tots!

For years, Alan’s served falafel sandwiches and platters to Financial District workers, but a couple of weeks ago they debuted new signage and an expanded meatless menu. Along with some faux-meat takes on Italian classics, they added a vegetarian burger and fries ($6).

The soy burger is wide and thin and can be tricked out with lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese if desired along with mustard, ketchup and even white sauce or hot sauce if you want a little street meat mash up. Really, if you didn’t know it was meatless you would think this was a standard fast food burger, and with the pile of fries was a great deal. You can get the burger for $4 if you don’t want fries with it.

Sure, you could stick with the falafel at Alan’s, but if you want a change of pace he serves a fine veggie burger.

Alan’s Vegetarian Delights Cart (formerly Alan’s Falafel), Broadway btw. Liberty & Cedar streets


1 Comment

  • Based upon this review, I deviated from my usual trip to the 99% Vegetarian Cart to try some of Alan’s veggie lunch items. I had a veggie chicken cutlet and a veggie burger. Midtown Lunch readers should be aware that Alan uses commercially packaged, frozen vegetarian “chicken” and “burger” patties. They are not freshly made. The chicken cutlet was grilled and placed on a hero roll with lettuce, tomatoes, shredded “mozzarella” and my choice of sauces.

    The roll was unseeded and a bit soggy. The “mozzarella” was taken from an industrial sized bag of already shredded cheese. I noted, and pointed out to Alan, visible mold growing on the cheese in the bottom of the bag. The chicken cutlet was generic in its taste, helped along only by the presence of Alan’s white and hot sauces.

    The veggie burger was a bit more tasty. I’ve had Boca Burgers and Gardenburgers before and both are acceptable when I don’t have time to cook. Alan’s burgers were a bit like those.

    I also had an order of stuffed grape leaves, which were passable.

    All in all, I was disappointed in my meal from Alan’s. There’s no excuse for using spoiled or outdated ingredients. I would certainly have preferred to buy freshly-made veggie burgers and veggie cutlets and not frozen products. I would have preferred the hero roll be freshly purchased from a bakery this morning. Clearly these were not.
    I will not be making a return trip to Alan’s.

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