The lowly falafel sandwich doesn’t have the Brooklyn rep of the bagel or the pizza slice, but when it’s done right it very well might be the borough’s best cheap eat.
At Damascus, a charming Middle Eastern bakery on Atlantic Avenue, the falafel sandwich ($4) is at its peak.
Using a recipe from Lebanon, Gus Matli, who has co-owned Damascus with business partner Tony Sadek for thirty years, prepares a dish that is light and well-seasoned, with hints of cumin, garlic and chilies — and none of that greasy, flavorless nothingness all too common at food carts across the city.
It’s carried by Middle Eastern pickled cucumbers and killer neon-pink pickled red cabbage, which enliven the sandwich with brine and bite. And it’s all enclosed in a light and airy freshly baked pita, which is a world away from the dry and leathery variety often served up as street food.
The sandwich is filling, but you might be tempted to pick up a slice of spinach pie, a glistening piece of baklava, or a container of house-made baba ganoush or tabbouleh on your way out.
The thought and dedication put into the bakery’s wide array Middle Eastern pies, tarts, and sweets carries across even to the under-appreciate falafel.
“This is the best sandwich you’ll ever have” Matli said.
Falafel sandwich at Damascus Bread and Pastry Shop [195 Atlantic Ave. between Court and Clinton streets in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 625–7070, www. damascusbakery.com].