What is up with the names of falfel shops in New York City? Pita Hut, Pita Pan, Pita Like a Racehorse... There's a falafel/shawarma place on 8th Ave. between 39th and 40th that makes a pretty good falafel for $6. Pick A Pita. (Why they didn't call themselves Pita Picked a Peppa, I don't know. Maybe the sign would be too expensive.) They're kosher, so they don't put any dairy in their toppings, which might adorn something off the the rotating meat column as easily as they would a few falafel balls. If you're vegan, that's great, because the vegan and non-vegan stuff are well segregated.
All of their sandwiches are served in pita pockets, as their name suggests. You can pick one of two pitas: regular or whole wheat. The whole wheat pitas fall apart easily, so be sure to grab a fork if that's your preference. Or you can screw the pita altogether and get the "platter," which is a salad version, but more copiously appointed and a couple bucks more expensive. Whatever route you go, you're sure to be stuffed by the end of your journey.
They have a wide selection of toppings: hummus, tahini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cucumber and tomato salad, red cabbage, pickles, tabouli, fried eggplant, and hot sauce. I hate eggplant, but they season and deep-fry theirs in such a way that I was able to tolerate it in my first few sandwiches. After that, the novelty of its preparation wore off and I stopped adding it.
If there's one thing I've learned in my brief blogging-about-food career, it's that I'm really good at making food look less appetizing than it really is.The above photo is no exception. Don't let it turn you off; Pick a Pita delivers a solid falafel sandwich that I've returned to more times than I can count.