Hey guys, here’s something for you to try this work week: Don’t get lunch somewhere you’ve been before. It’ll make you step outside your comfort zone a little bit, and don’t worry if it fails–your beloved Chipotle burrito will still be there for you afterwards. This is just a way of switching up the routine, getting more familiar with your area, and maybe discovering a hidden gem or new favorite that you never would’ve considered before.
Working in Union Square , I have a multitude of lunch options right at my fingertips, from cheap, grab-and-go eats to sophisticated sit-down spots. Almost two years later, I still feel like I’m discovering new places to try. One of these recently tried spots is Rainbow Falafel, a place that is the epitome of that first type.
Rainbow Falafel is a tiny, tiny…I don’t want to say restaurant because it’s really not. Maybe shop? Basically, the situation is that there’s an opening (I don’t think I’ve ever seen the doors closed), you walk inside, and you’re standing right at the counter where you order. That’s it. Around you are various items for purchase, like what bodegas and convenience stores sell, which adds to the shop vibe.
You can order pita sandwiches, platters, and savory pies–it’s all pretty straightforward. I ordered a pita sandwich that had both falafel and shawarma and was called something like “fawarma” or “shalafel.” I asked for everything on it (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, hot sauce, and tahini), paid, and my sandwich, all wrapped up in foil, was handed to me. Get in, get out, boom!
Another perk of the Union Square area is that grab-and-go places aren’t a deal breaker since I can always pop on over to the park for sits. While I wish the pita was fluffier, the sandwich was spilling over with fillings. And did I mention that the sandwiches are under $5? Hard to complain about that.
So, my exploring brought me to a cheap, hole-in-the-wall falafel joint…what will you discover?
Falafel shawarma pita
26 E 17th St
New York, NY 10003