Falafel is taking over New York, one menu at a time. Pitopia’s co-owner, Kevin Cohnen says his hummus bar came about after a visit to Netanya, Israel where a friend had him try his falafel ball recipe and as they say "the rest is history." The restaurant's original location is easy to miss at first but as you come across 37th and Broadway the bright colorful sign jumps out at you. After two successful years, they opened a second location in Midtown’s West Side in March 2014, which is the best proof of the New Yorkers’ love for a good falafel-and-hummus bite. In fact, competing with non-kosher joints in the category, they earned the title of the Best Falafel 2013 in Midtown Manhattan based on readers' voting on MidtownLunch.com. Pitopia has opened a second location at 369 West 34th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenue.
While the restaurant is small and perfect for takeaway, its food is huge in flavor. The house specialty is the Israeli-style falafel, which comes with fried eggplant, Israeli salad and pickles. Connoisseurs say their falafel is “the real thing”- crunchy on the outside with a flavorful soft center, everything one would want from a falafel ball. The salad bar is clean and colorful featuring a wide variety of expected Middle Eastern salads and sides. It includes fresh Israeli salad, fried and steamed cauliflower, chickpeas, beets, cabbage and an assortment of others that need to be refilled every half hour due to the hustle and bustle of this falafel oasis. The hummus bar is a smorgasbord of toppings to mix into the house-made hummus. You have everything from sautéed onions and peppers to hardboiled egg which is a big hit. Another customers’ favorite is the crispy non-oily Sabich, otherwise known as tempura egg- battered eggplant that is fried up and served either in a sandwich or part of a salad/hummus bowl.
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The meat menu features the quintessential Israeli food –shawarma and schnitzels, the latter coming in a variety of flavors, such as Wasabi, General Tso’s or Spicy Buffalo. When visiting this hot spot, make sure to take full advantage of the array of sauces at the end of the salad bar when completing your assembly line to create the perfect falafel or shawarma bowl. The takeout is made easy with their signature colorful carton boxes perfect for housing a pita sandwich without making a mess. When ordering keep an eye open for lunch and dinner specials and combo offers.
Pitopia review #noshersdreamteam #gkrmhunt
T. Blatt- 10/26/14
Pitopia is so much fun to go to. The prices are so reasonable and easy to digest. Pitopia is a fun outing for the entire family, young and old. the colorful decor is pleasant to look at and appealing to the eye. On the other hand the colorful tasty, fresh food is appealing to the palate. The sandwiches are served in sturdy disposable boxes that make you think you are eating fast food, when in fact the food you get is healthy and nutritious. The all you can eat salad bar is plentiful and fully stocked at all times. The sauces that are available add to each dish. I recommend Pitopia to anyone passing through the city whether on a shopping spree or going to the theater.