‘Shawafel’ spot was plain awful; Closes after failed Health check


BY LORENZO LIGATO  |  A yellow “Closed” sign is glued on the door of Tahini, a student-favorite falafel and shawarma restaurant on Third Ave. at St. Mark’s Place. Located near The Cooper Union and New York University’s East Village dormitories, Tahini became a go-to spot for students seeking low-priced falafel and shawarma sandwiches. It was also home of the “shawafel,” a falafel/shawarma combo.

But after a sanitary inspection by the Department of Health last month, the popular eatery closed its doors for good.

The inspection, on June 1, identified seven sanitary violations, including four violations listed as “critical,” according to department records. In particular, the inspections revealed the presence of adulterated or contaminated food, as well as flies in the facility’s food and nonfood areas.

In addition, the eatery failed to meet the city’s safety requirements regarding food contamination and lacked the legally required handwashing facilities in the food preparation area and bathroom.

While no vermin were detected during the inspection, official records indicate the presence of “conditions conducive to attracting vermin and/or allowing vermin to exist.”

After D.O.H. shuttered the eatery, Tahini never reopened. Workers were reportedly spotted cleaning out the space on Sun., June 24.

The restaurant’s owner could not be reached for comment and Tahini’s Web site appears to be down.