NYSF First Look: Taïm Mobile

truck

We’ve been looking forward to the opening of Taïm Mobile for a while now.  Taïm (the restaurant) was cited as the  Best Falafel Sandwich in New York by Serious Eats earlier this summer, and when we heard they were working on a food truck – let’s just say we were very excited.

In the past couple of weeks,  Taïm Mobile announced their opening day would be Nov. 29th, but they were going to have a soft opening a couple of days before to make sure all the kinks were worked out.  That’s perfect for us to try their food without all the midtown hordes descending on the truck (and without having to wait 1/2 hour or more on line for lunch).

The first soft opening day for Taïm (pronounced ‘tah-eem’) was Friday, but we couldn’t make it there that day – but when were thinking about lunch today (Sat), Taïm tweeted they were going to be in Soho in 20 minutes.  Since we live in the Village, it’s only a short walk away – and it was as good an excuse as any to take a break from Thanksgiving leftovers.

Taïm means “highly pleasant to the taste” in Hebrew.  Would their food live up to their name?

server

I had 3 mouths to feed for lunch, so I ordered a falafel sandwich ($5.75), a hummus sandwich with quinoa salad ($5.50), a side order of hummus & falafel ($6)  to try them “naked” without all the toppings, an order of fries with saffron aioli ($3), and a banana-date-lime smoothie ($5.50)

falafel sandwich
falafel sandwich

First up was the classic falafel sandwich – 4 or 5 average-sized falafel balls in a warm, soft pita with Israeli salad (cucumber, tomato, parsley and lemon mint dressing), hummus, pickled cabbage and tahini sauce.  The falafel itself was nice and crunchy on the outside, but soft, green and herb-y on the inside.  I could definitely taste cilantro, parsley and mint – and there were chunks of chickpeas scattered heavily throughout the batter too.  Delicious!

falafel closeup
falafel cross-section

With the salad, hummus and tahini sauce, this was an excellent falafel sandwich.  My wife, who prefers Middle Eastern falafel like Mamoun’s, said this was the first Israeli falafel sandwich she really liked – and I thought it blew Mamoun’s away (although it was close to double the price).

hummus quinoa sandwich
hummus sandwich with quinoa salad

Next up was a hummus sandwich, which comes with two salads and tahini sauce in a pita.  I chose the quinoa salad (dried cranberries, chickpeas, herbs & lemon) and the Israeli salad to go insde the pita.

This sandwich was really good too!  The quinoa gave the sandwich a grainy dimension (like barley, not sand), and the dried cranberries added another.  Unlike the crunchy falafel, the  hummus sandwich was soft – and it was a totally different experience from the falafel sandwich – but just as good!  Without the falafel, it relied on the hummus, salad and tahini – and they came through great!

hummus & falafel
hummus & falafel side order

I also wanted to try the falafel and hummus without all the toppings and salads, so I ordered a side of hummus & falafel, which came with a container of hummus, 5 falafel balls, and a pita that was different from the sandwiches.  This pita was not opened in the middle, and it was brushed with olive oil, sesame seeds and herbs.

If you want the pure, unadulterated taste of falafel & hummus, the side order is the way to go.  The falafel taste came through pretty well in either the sandwich or by itself, but the real epiphany was the hummus.  Ripping off pieces of the seasoned pita and dipping them into the hummus was a revelation!  The lemon and garlic taste of the hummus was much more apparent this way than in the sandwich.  Man, was this hummus creamy!

pita & hummus
hummus & pita

I also enjoyed the fries, which came with a saffron aioli dipping sauce.  The fries were semi-crisp, seasoned well, and pretty tasty overall.  The saffron aioli sauce was a good complement – you could tell it was mayo-based, but with the saffron and garlic, it went nicely with the fries.  My wife likes her fries with mayo to begin with, and this was even better.

fries & aioli

Last was the banana-date-lime smoothie.  It mainly tasted of banana, but the date became more apparent as the drink progressed.  The smooth part tasted mostly of banana , and the small pieces that came through the straw were dates.  I can’t say I tasted any lime, but it was still a good smoothie.  It was cold and windy today, but this would be a great warm weather drink.

banana date lime smoothie
banana-date-lime smoothie

Now on Monday when Taïm Mobile opens for business, you’ll have some idea of what their various offerings are.  When the quality of the food is as good as this, it’s more a matter of what you prefer to eat than which dishes are better.

Of course you can’t go wrong with a Taïm falafel sandwich, but I hope we gave you an idea of what to expect with some of their other dishes – and you don’t have to be Nostradamus to predict a long and successful life for the Taïm Mobile truck!

Full truck menu here.

Follow them on twitter here.

If you try Taïm Mobile, let us know what you had and how you like it in the comments section.