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Nov 22, 2006 10:30 PM

Falafel place near Union Square?

SF Chowhound was doing a "walk-about" around Union Square the other day and saw what looked like a great Falafel place (literally a "hole in the wall") a block or 2 downtown and a bit west from the square. I think it was Kosher too.

I had no money with me and was stupid enough not to notice the street co-ordinates (acutally, I wasn't hungry but 10 minutes past it I could not get the idea or the aroma of the place out of my mind).

Does anyone know it and is it any good??

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  1. Sounds like Rainbow Falafel. (26 E. 17th, btw. Boradway and 5th). I don't know if it's Kosher, but it's good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pat Hammond

      I'm not sure that was it.....

      I was walking east on 17th from Chelsea, turned right at the park (passed the whole Filenes mess on m y left) and continued a few blocks downtown. Then I turned right to head back to the Meatpacking district.

      17th and Broadway is further east from where I was, isn't it?

      1. re: MSK

        If it was on 17th, it was probably Rainbow. If it wasn't you should try Rainbow, though it's not kosher. I'm partial to the falafel and baba with extra hot sauce.

    2. The 'Hole in the Wall' place you speak of is on 12th street between University and 5th. much closer to University. Not sure what the name is, but it was a defunct hardware store for years before the current owners set up shop.
      The falafel are very good and it is quite kosher.

      1. I think the place you're thinking of is on 12th street, possibly 13th, just west of University Pl. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks very appetizing. It is tiny, as you say " a hole in the wall," but it actually has a tiny upstairs space with tables. Also, I think it's kosher.

        1. That sounds like it! Anyone have a name???

          1. Do they really have space upstairs? Here's the address from their menu:

            Pita Pocket
            21 East 12th St (between University Place & 5th Ave)
            New York, NY 10003
            212 924-4333

            7 Replies
            1. re: ct75

              It's now defunct. The sign in the window indicates that it will soon be Olympia Pita. I wonder if it's the same Olympic Pita as in midtown and Brooklyn.

              1. re: whitewater

                In that same area you should try ChickPea on 14th st. Outstanding food.

                1. re: princeofpork

                  A lot of CHers love Chickpea but I didn't care for it. I had a falafel sandwich and found the falafel to be dry. The salad was pretty boring. The pita itself, which they make fresh, was delicious.

                  1. re: Nikki NYC

                    I actually agree, though I'm biased because I hate cucumbers and they pre-mix their salad. Pita was pretty much the only thing I liked...

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      Have you tried Taim, a and w? They fry the falafel to order and it melts in your mouth! There are three kinds and I LOVE the roasted red pepper variety! I think if you get the platter you can get sides w/o cucumber. The pita is the best I have had.

                      1. re: Nikki NYC

                        Yep, big fan of Taim, which is second only to Azuri, imo.

                        1. re: a_and_w

                          I haven't been to Azuri but I will definitely visit soon!