Chickpea on Astor Place used to be a reliable source of cheap, edible falafel. Not Israeli-quality, of course, but a reasonable choice all the same. Now, not so much. Be warned: they have raised the prices and Starbucksized the decor with new-agey quotes about chickpeas and their health benefits, but that's the least of it. They now proudly offer "baked falafel," in such flavors as "spinach broccoli" and "jalapeño." Not promising. The woman in front of me on line insisted that they still had falafel-flavored falafel, so I ordered this. It was indeed non-fried, although "baked" is a stretch. It passes through something like the conveyor-belt toasters in college dining halls, and emerges slightly browned and tasteless. With an application of tehina that no doubt more than replaces the calories saved by the not-frying, the falafel itself becomes fit for human consumption. (Or was the issue a fire hazard from deep-frying, with 'health' used as a cover?) The problem comes when you reach the hummus. It may or may not be hummus, but whatever it is, it's best left alone.