Restaurant Review: Crisp

684 3rd Avenue
(at 43rd Street)
Midtown, Manhattan

110 West 40th Street
(between 6th Avenue and Broadway)
Midtown, Manhattan

111 Fulton Street
(at Williams Street)
Financial District, Manhattan

Vegiboys Rating (3.5/4)

Lured inside by the offer of free sidewalk samples of their appropriately crisp falafels, Crisp gives a slightly more hip approach to the vegetarian falafel counter than Maoz or Crisp, with sleeker décor, more high-brow offerings, and a bit higher cost.

The space is large but with only a few customer tables (though the seating is comfortable). There’s no public bathroom, and it does close early (8:00 PM), so this could be a better spot for lunch take-out by the midtown office crowd. It seems most of their customers agree, as we had the restaurant to ourselves (along with the very friendly cashier) for the length of our dinner.

Unlike their competitors with their basic pitas to be filled by your own choice of toppings at open salad bars, Crisp tends toward fully-created menu items with particular regional sensibilities. Brian’s African was chock-full of fresh veggies. It could have used a bit more sauce to alleviate the overall dryness, but the sandwich was filling and the elements were solidly good. My Parisian had great flavors: melted goat cheese and roasted red peppers helped to give it the right European feel, and the dryness of the falafel was offset well by the cheese and a peanut sauce.

The packaging for the pitas was brilliant. The biodegradable/recycled cardboard box had a perforated top that, when removed, created a great little pita-holder that avoided any mess while eating (perfect for a take-away meal to be eaten on the go or in nearby Bryant Park).

As a final mention, their fridge did include some dessert and pre-made salad options which we did not try. Large mango lassis that we did pull from the shelves were delicious.

At $12.50 each, the price was higher than Maoz, and even a bit higher than Soom Soom, but the sandwiches had a little more creativity to them, and the packaging was fun. If you don’t mind the higher price, Crisp offers the better vegetarian falafel for Midtown and a calmer experience overall.

Food (3.5/4)
Atmosphere & Service
Value (3/4)

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