Astoria's Falafel King Looking to Open Brick-and-Mortar Eatery
ASTORIA — Astoria's King of Falafel and Shawarma wants to take his famed street cart eats indoors.
Fares "Freddy" Zeideia, who has been serving Middle Eastern treats from his Astoria food cart for more than a decade and later launched a second cart in Manhattan, says he's also looking to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Though doesn't have a specific location yet, Zeideia says there's a good chance it would be in Astoria. He says he would offer a menu similar to what's served at his original cart at Broadway and 30th Street, where people line up for his oval-shaped falafel, grilled marinated chicken and lamb-and-beef shawarma.
"Having the experience of the street food, but in a restaurant," he said of his vision for the place, adding that he would offer weekly specials as well as Middle Eastern dips and spreads served with pita.
He said his plan is to have sit-down tables as well as takeout and delivery, something his fans request regularly.
"I get a lot of calls — everybody wants the delivery," he said.
Zeideia opened his Astoria cart in 2002, and has since earned a loyal following. He was awarded the prestigious Vendy's Cup award in 2010, and started selling his well-known falafel as a ready-made mix in local supermarkets last year.