For the longest time the scope of my Middle Eastern vegetable sandwich knowledge was limited to the mighty falafel. After all what’s not to like? Pita stuffed with the crunchy, fried, cheap, and flavorful orbs got me through many misspent East Village nights in my twenties. The falafel at Wafa’s is excellent, and even better with the fiery hot sauce made by her son, Youssef, and the addition of crunchy pickled turnips. The last time I visited the Lebanese spot in Forest Hills I decided to broaden my horizons with what family matriarch and chef Wafa Chaimi describes as “something different”: a fried cauliflower sandwich ($6).
“You got eat with just salt and onion,” Youssef’s brother, Houssein said when I ordered. “No, let me hook it up for you, Joey,” Youssef countered. Most people get the sandwich with lettuce and tomato,which Youssef says ruins the flavor of the cauliflower. Fried cauliflower flavor sang out in my sandwich, which was modestly dressed with pickled turnips, onions, tahini, and that hot sauce. After the last Sandwich Wednesday it made for a decidedly flavorful, healthful light lunch. Something different, indeed.
Wafa’s, 100-05 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills, 718-880-2055