The recipes at Mr. Falafel are generations old, according to Murad Habib, the son of the Seventh Avenue restaurant’s owner, Aladin Habib.
And Mr. Falafel is 30 years old, opening its doors between Third and Fourth streets in 1982, so they have experience in cooking Egyptian cuisine—and all their food is homemade.
The gyro meat is a mixture of chopped lamb and beef that is marinated in spices over night. Then in the morning, the meat is packed into a cone shape and then placed inside the vertical grill pit for 30 minutes, slowly rotating, so each side is cooked to perfection.
Asking for a gyro at an Egyptian joint may confuse you, for a gyro is actually Greek, and shawarma is Middle Eastern, but Habib said the gyro spices are closer to the Egyptian recipe he grew up eating before coming to Brooklyn when he was 21.
The Lamb Gyro Platter ($13) comes with rice and a vegetable. I usually get black-eyed beans. The portion is huge, almost enough for two meals.
The lamb meat is juicy and tender. The rice and beans are a perfect combination, making each bite part of a hearty and balanced meal.
But the secret is in the sauce: Mr. Falafel’s Hot Sauce.
It is an Egyptian recipe, of course, that Habib makes in-house. It is made with tomato paste, jalapenos, onion, garlic, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, cumin and paprika.
It is thick (not watery like Tabasco), hot, but not overwhelming. It adds a unique zing.
Mr. Falafel’s Hot Sauce is the perfect kicker to the Best thing We Ate [Last] Week.