This might sound silly, but I didn’t know Rainbow Falafel on 17th Street by Union Square stayed open after dark. It’s such a mad house there at lunch time, I figured they just shut down for the day after the rush. (I was also surprised this evening to see how packed Shake Shack is after 7pm — again, I figured they were only open for lunch, but clearly I was way off base about that with about 100 people on line as I made my way through the park.) Back to Rainbow. For $5 including a drink, their falafel sandwich is one of the best bargains in Manhattan. It’s also pretty photogenic, thanks to those juicy-looking tomatoes. I’m not sure why Rainbow Falafel is so good, but I’ve been a fan for a while, or at least ever since I wrote my veggie guide. The falafel is just a bit spicy, a little bit bitter (in a good way), herby, and the texture is perfect. What I really want to know is why I can’t get decent (or cheap) falafel near my office.