When a friend turned me on to Williamsburg’s FalafaPizza about a month ago, I immediately thought of Queens-based rap duo Das Racist’s novelty hit “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.” Falafel joints that serve pizza are not that unusual, but surely this must be the only one to have copped the iconic Godfather logo. As my buddy and I waited to order a falafel, a woman walked in and asked for a slice. “No pizza, falafapita. Pizza across the street,” the man behind the counter said in an Israeli accent. As it turns out, they were also out of falafel that evening—but I vowed to return to this unusual establishment.
Earlier this week I took the bus from my native Rego Parkistan to Billyburg, eager to try a sandwich of fried chickpea balls from FalafaPizza. The place had changed its name to FalafaPita. Why, I wondered. Was the original sign a printer’s mistake?
“In the beginning we decided to sell pizza,” the shop’s owner, Amit Lavi, who hails from Haifa, told me. “For four weeks we sold two slices a day and then we took it off the menu.” Lavi changed the sign a month ago. Look closely and you can still the outline of the word “pizza.”
That explains the pizza part, but what about the Godfather reference? “I know that’s the logo, but we meant it as the hand of God,” Lavi said, “ensuring that everything will be good, falafel will be good, people will come.”
Lavi made an offer I couldn’t refuse, and convinced me to order what he calls a sabich enhanced ($4). As I waited for my sandwich, a dude wearing a yarmulke walked in and asked for a slice of pizza. (Guess he didn't see the new sign.)
For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of eating a sabich, imagine as follows: Take a pita, add hummus, slices of hard-boiled egg, fried eggplant, fried onions, lettuce, tomato, Israeli pickles, tahini, and splash of the spicy pickled mango sauce known as amba. This sandwich is already a powerhouse of contrasting textures and flavors, but when it’s enhanced with two perfectly fried falafel balls, it’s even better. It’s so good I had a second one. While I was eating it, I couldn’t help but wonder whether Lavi had ever heard of the band Falafel Mafia.
295 Broadway, Brooklyn NY 11211 (map) 718-302-0020
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.