Falafel King

This promising new purveyor of Middle Eastern food opened a few weeks ago in the tiny space formerly occupied by the Kosher Delight deli, and it’s already buzzing with falafel fans. The namesake sandwich ($4.50) contains several extremely well-seasoned patties; if you like them well dressed, you’ll want to ask for extra sauce. One drawback: The pita those patties are served in is on the chewy side; one of our tasters called it “tough.” The chicken shwarma ($4.50) is full of excellent marinated chicken, sweet and peppery, while the spanakopita ($4.99, with salad) is covered in creamy garlic sauce. Some tasters called it “soggy,” others raved that it was deliciously gooey, but all acknowledged its freshness and the satisfying, subtle flavor of its spinach filling. On a platter of vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, hummus, turmeric rice, and salad ($6.50), the tahini-rich hummus was buttery without being greasy, the bright yellow rice was flavorful and expertly cooked, and the leaves were nice and lemony. Even the side salad was more than an afterthought, its dressing zingy and flavorful, not oily or acidic. Whatever you order, don’t be surprised if it’s spicy; the flirty guys at the counter go as heavy on the paprika as they do on the compliments. 1509 First Ave., 206-381- 0857. PIKE PLACE MARKET