Last year, I discovered two great Kosher vegetarian falafel places – Soom-Soom (two locations:East 56th and West 72nd Streets in NYC), and Amba, in Montclair Village, Oakland. Both joints served up delicious falafel and superb hummus at great prices. About four months ago, Soom-Soom announced that it was dropping its vegetarian vibe, and putting chicken on the grill. And just last week, Amba announced that it was doing the same thing. It seems pretty clear that it’s hard to run a clean, kosher, healthy and vegetarian place, and that putting meat on the menu will increase profit margins, and possibly expand the client base. That said, Amba’s hummus and falafel are pretty darn superb, and I continue to frequent Soom-Soom, although I’ve been disappointed that they dropped sweet potato fries from the menu, and tend to run out of chickpeas after 6pm. But then again, I might just have a thing for falafel places named after condiments.
Afterword: I’ve recently become enamored of Green’s, an incredible vegetarian restaurant with locations in San Antonio and Houston. Their kale salad has redefined kale – and salad – for me. It’s a must-eat for anyone below the Mason-Dixon line.