One of New York’s most popular falafel shops will launch its first location outside the Big Apple in DC this weekend. Taïm, which means “tasty” in Hebrew, is set to open its doors near the Georgetown waterfront on Saturday (permits pending).
Husband-and-wife owners Stéfan Nafziger and chef Einat Admony chose DC for their sixth location because Nafziger has family in the area—or as Admony says, “Why not DC? It’s close, it’s fully of diversity, diplomats, and people from around the world.” The couple launched the first Taïm in the West Village 14 years ago, packing homemade pitas, freshly-fried falafel, and a ton of Middle Eastern flavor into a tiny storefront. Though the brand is growing—Admony says three locations are planned for DC next year—little has changed about the from-scratch approach.
“We never go cheap. We never keep falafel a few days so it gets sour,” says Admony, a Tel Aviv native who’s also behind upscale Israeli restaurant Balaboosta and North African cous cous shop Kish-Kash in New York. “It’s always super bright and gluten-free—we don’t add any baking soda or bread—just veggies, spices, and chickpeas. The pita is baked a few times a day so it’s not getting dry.”
The menu is similar to other locations, though Admony changes items seasonally and recently added a cauliflower shawarma to the all-vegetarian (and largely vegan) lineup. Patrons can pick between two types of fried-to-order falafel—herbaceous green or spicy harissa—stuffed in pita, served atop a salad, or on a platter with tabouli, pickles, and za’atar pita (we recommend kicking it up a notch with s’rug, Yemenite cilantro hot sauce). Another crowd favorite is the sabich—crispy eggplant, egg, hummus, Israeli salad, hummus, amba (mango-fenugreek chutney), and cabbage stuffed in warm pita. Patrons can round out a meal with mezze, fries, non-alcoholic drinks like ginger-mint lemonade, and smoothies.
The counter-order shop has around 16 seats and will launch delivery after opening.
Taïm. 1065 Wisconsin Ave., NW