We admit that the first time we ordered the falafel waffle at this new Broadway shop, we did so only because the name is fun to say. But chef/owner Dylan Moore (profiled by Gretchen Kurtz for Chef and Tell) packed so many addictive layers of complexity into the dish — it's more of a salad, really — that we keep going back for more.
Let's start with the waffle itself: It's a gluten-free square cut into two thick triangles sporting a green-gold hue and conveying the familiar falafel aroma of cumin, garlic and other Mediterranean spices. Denser than a standard breakfast waffle but lighter than a Greek-deli falafel, the waffle proves a worthy base for shouldering the load of sauces and bright tastes that make up the rest of the salad. While the satisfying crunch of a typical deep-fried chickpea sphere is missing, the waffle makes up for it with fluffy texture and dead-on falafel flavor: earthy from the garbanzos and herbal with parsley.
A healthy dollop of cumin yogurt moistens the waffle, and a smaller scoop of mint chutney adds brightness. Beneath all of that, a dice of cucumber, red onion and tomato soaks in a tangy, vinegar-based marinade. Crumbles of feta cheese up the Mediterranean quotient with more tang and funk. The whole dish is just a relentless series of blows to the tongue, with sharp uppercuts of acidity followed by roundhouses of richness from the yogurt, cheese and waffle.
The salad backs up its clever moniker with serious culinary chops. It's just one of many international surprises on Moore's menu, which meanders casually from Greece to Thailand to Japan with many points in between, toying with tradition for fun and satisfying breakfast dishes, salads, soups and sandwiches.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.
No. 100: Masala Beef at Biju's Little Curry Shop
No. 99: Bacon Shrimp and Grits at Bacon Social House
No. 98: Porchetta and Kimchi Sandwich at Brider
No. 97: Squab-and-Sunchoke Tortellini at Abejas
No. 96: Housemade Burrata at Viand
No, 95: Schweinshaxe at Rhein Haus
No. 94 Kimchi Jeon at Seoul BBQ
No. 93: Zuppa Pomodoro at Parisi Italian Market & Deli
No. 92: The Ocean Salad at Sushi-Rama
No. 91: The Signature Bowl from Churn & Burn
No. 90: Green Chorizo at Los Compadres
No. 89: The Diavola Calzone at Pino's Neighborhood Pizzeria
No. 88: Biscuits and Green Chile at the Noshery
No. 87: Chirashi at Izu Sushi
No. 86: Brisket and Ribs at GQue Championship BBQ
No. 85: The Tornado at the Chowder Room
No. 84: Korean Fried Chicken Wings at Yong Gung
No. 83: A Meatball Hero at Lil' Ricci's New York Pizzeria
No. 82: Shakshuka at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen
No. 81: Late-Night Ramen at Brazen
No. 80: Potato Tacos at El Tejado
No. 79: Corned Beef Heart at theWay Back
No. 78: The Fried Bologna Sandwich at Snarfburger
No. 77: Sweet Corn Mezzaluna at Bar Dough
No. 76: Duck Confit at Table 6
No. 75: Croque Monsieur at Fire
No. 74: Tahini Cookies at the Preservery
No. 73: The Alferd Packer Salad at MAD Greens
No. 72: The Tuna Poke Bowl at Ohana Island Kitchen
No. 71: Mini Chile Rellenos at La Loma
No 70: The Combination Banh Mi at Vinh Xuong Bakery