A Sandwich a Day: Shawarma at Homemade Falafel

A Sandwich a Day

A new sandwich every day.

In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.


[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Like at Cedars Meat House a few blocks away, Homemade Falafel does a rather nice Lebanese-style shawarma ($6). It's a simple thing, and all the better for it: just some beef, sauce, a little vegetable for crunch, and pita that gets out of the way. (Tomatoes do no good here and are best omitted.)

But it hits all those notes so well—the cinnamon-spiked beef with delicate crisp edges, the pungent and sour turnips, the squirt of nutty tahini—that it's not hard to wolf the generously stuffed sandwich down. The trick is the sauce that forms when the tahini mixes up with sweet beef juices and the pickle brine, similar in format to a Big Mac's special sauce and about as addictive.

Homemade Falafel is pretty limited in decor, and probably best suited to takeout, but they have a winning shawarma on their hands.

Homemade Falafel

36-18 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11106 (map) 718-545-0034