Monday, September 27, 2010

Maoz Vegetarian Review

38 Union Square East, NY, NY 10003
(btw 16th and 17th Streets)
(212) 260-1988

Hours: M-TH: 11a-11p; F-SAT: 11a-12a; SUN: 11a-10p


Food Type: Vegetarian Kosher

Overall Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 karats

I first tried Maoz in Portugal when I was roaming around Europe and I wasn’t a huge fan at the time. But a couple of years ago, I ran into Maoz in Union Square and love (or at least strong like) at second sight is possible. They have locations all around the world and now have 5 locations in NYC. Maoz is an all vegetarian falafel spot and holds its own in a city with as many falafel joints as pizza places. The falafel balls are fresh, crispy and tasty. The other ingredients like the hummus, lettuce, and pan-fried eggplant complement the well made balls. The fixins’ bar (check out the pics) is the best thing about Maoz – they have chickpeas, olives, pickles, carrot salad, Broccoli, mushrooms, tabouli, different kinds of salsas, and all different kinds of sauces including garlic and yogurt. The pitas taste fresh and are available made of white or wheat.

The freshly made lemonade and Belgian or sweet potato fries are a great complement to the falafel and you can actually get all of them together as a “value meal”. You can also ord

er the falafel as a salad which is sometimes far less messy.

The Union Square location is small but clean. It is more of a grab and go type of spot and has only

a few stools around the perimeter for dining in. I would recommend taking it to go and sitting at one of the tables in Union Square Park on a nice day. The Upper Westside has much more seating space with some long picnic tables for dining in. Most of the locations tend to get pretty crowded during peak hours but the service is pretty quick. The workers have been pretty friendly in my brief encounters the last few times I have been there.

The prices are recession sensitive. A meal deal with a falafel sandwich, fries, and a drink will run you $8.75 and if you aren’t as hungry, you can opt for the junior meal deal (a smaller falafel sandwich) which is $7.30. The salad box meal deal will run $9.50. And the best part is that the fixins bar is help yourself, so you can pile that stuff on.

I wouldn’t usually rate a grab and go spot like Maoz so highly but it is good, fresh, healthy food that is decently priced served in a clean location, so it ranks highly among the quick eats category.

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