The falafel revolution certainly has been in full force in NYC for quite a while now, with tons of shops opening and making Middle Eastern street food convenient to eat. Despite finding great falafel in the city, I’ve been on the search for those delicious fried balls in Williamsburg that can satisfy my craving when I can’t make it over the East River.
This search continued until I came across Newtown, a small vegetarian shop located on the Bushwick/Williamsburg border. The restaurant is on a quiet street set within the industrial area behind Bushwick Ave., and does not draw attention to itself. Unless you happen to walk down Waterbury St. you would never know it was there. The decor gives a homey vibe, with old-time photos lining the walls and antiques interwoven within the space. The casual dining space invites guests to BYOB, and is a tell of the straightforward, made-from-scratch menu.
The restaurant’s menu includes hummus plates, salads, sandwiches and soups that rotate depending on the day. The house made hummus, their signature dish, is topped off with tahini to give an added creaminess, and drizzled with just the right amount of olive oil. The pita to accompany is brought to the table warm and on a black stone rather than on a plate. The platters that come with the hummus include the traditional sabich, along with a sauteed mushrooms option, and masabacha, which is warm chickpeas made with a garlic lemon vinaigrette and harissa.
The sandwiches on the menu go beyond the usual falafel pita, with some interesting options that set them apart. Their own falafel sandwich comes with two pitas stuffed to the brim with baked falafel, tabouleh, tahini and harissa, along with a pickled side salad. One of Newtown’s own creations, the Halloumi, is made with herbed cream cheese, tomatoes, roasted mushrooms and eggplant, and pan fried halloumi cheese on rosemary foccacia for a delicious cheese based sandwich. The second out-of-the-box sandwich is the seitan, which combines their house coleslaw and cucumber salad with pan fried seitan chorizo on top of fresh baked focaccia. Their side options round out the menu, with coleslaw, traditional labne, and an assortment of pickles and olives.
Newtown brings a little extra to the table to expand the Middle Eastern food experience in Brooklyn. The quaint shop might be small, but the kitchen is ready to provide an inspired and delicious vegetarian meal for those willing to seek it out. For those who may not, they also offer delivery.
55 Waterbury St.