Lo, a vegetarian option!
The sandwich: Spicy Falafel Pita from Kulushkat, Dean St. between 5th Avenue and Flatbush in Brooklyn.
The construction: Ahh, a lot of stuff. Spicy falafel, definitely. Hummus, some sort of eggplant goo, red-cabbage salad, and maybe some other things too.
Important background information: Falafel might be the No. 1 all-time drunk food. I think it’s the name. Three easy syllables, perfect for chanting once you’ve reached that shameless level of drunkenness where you don’t really care how you appear to the outside world because you’re young and free and you feel great and you just want to let everyone know how much you’re about to enjoy this falafel. “FA-LA-FEL!” Also, it’s fried, delicious, and chock full of carbs for sopping up that booze.
Come to think of it, though, I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten a falafel sober. Maybe falafels are just awesome all the time and I’m missing out. Especially since I really don’t drink all that often, so I pass up a lot of good opportunities to eat falafel.
Kulushkat is about a block from Uncle Barry’s, a new bar in Park Slope owned by a couple of my friends. You should check out both: Kulushkat because they make a hell of a falafel (more below), Uncle Barry’s because it’s a fine bar run by people I know and there’s a Mortal Kombat console in the back. Also, it boasts better odds than most bars that I’ll be there. Say hello. I’ll be the dude with the awesome hair, shouting about falafel.
What it looks like in the soft yellow glow of a Flatbush Avenue streetlight:
How it tastes: Oh hell yes. Did I mention I’m drunk right now? I mean not right now while I’m writing about it, but back then when I was eating it. In retrospect it’s a testament to my experience as a sandwich blogger that I had the wherewithal and dedication to photograph the thing while stumbling toward the subway after several shots of celebratory Jameson because hey you guys opened a bar!
Anyway, that’s not important now. The falafel is crunchy, not too greasy and has just the right amount of peppery spice — not flaming hot sauce, kick-you-in-the-face-spice, more of a back-of-the-mouth type deal, something more subtle that sort of envelops the whole experience without overwhelming it at all. The cabbage adds crispiness of an entirely different texture than the falafel — oh, and a different temperature, too. That’s good, and an underrated sandwich element, I think. A mixture of piping hot and nicely chilled ingredients. A sandwich construction inefficiency, maybe.
The hummus is creamy and tasty, and the eggplant goo is mushy and sweet. The pita is soft and itself warm, and holds up under the duress of the various wet ingredients.
Oh — something important: I noted, even in my drunkenness, that the dude making the sandwich took time to stagger the ingredients. Scoop in some cabbage, some eggplant, a falafel, then some cabbage, some eggplant, another falafel, and on like that. I must have been visibly drunk, but he still invested the time to properly craft the sandwich for appropriate ingredient variability. It was not unappreciated, good sir.
I’ll amount that my judgment was less than perfect, given the circumstances. But I have not a single complaint about this sandwich. It was awesome.
What it costs: $6. It probably wasn’t enough to be dinner (for me), but it seemed like a good value nonetheless.
How it rates: 91 out of 100. A Hall of Famer, drunk or otherwise. I think.