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This Sunday is the Vendy Awards, and in light of that fact, here’s some news about Midtown Carts that you might be interested in:
1. The guy in the Jiannetto’s Pizza Truckon 47th btw. Park & Madison told me on Tuesday that the truck that used to be on Park and 51st will be returning in the next week and a half. Look for it next Friday or Monday to be back… no word on the whether the truck that crashed was fixed, or they bought a new one.
2. For those of you looking for your BBQ fix at one of the three Midtown Daisy May’s BBQ carts, you may have been very disappointed this week. Two of the three Midtown carts have been packed up and stored away for the winter (the one on Park & 47th and the one on 55th btw. 6+7th). The one on 49th btw. 6+7th will remain open… (thankfully it’s the one outside my building!). Look for more carts to pop up in the spring. (For those of you Downtown, the Wall St. cart is still open as well.)
Finally, we saved the most shocking news for after the jump… best not to scare the young children. It’s terrible, and it involves last year’s Vendy Award winner for best cart…
Food carts are a funny thing. Some people love them, some people hate them. They are universally accepted for some things, like hot dogs, or pretzels but seem mysterious for other things (the term “street meat” comes to mind). I’ve seen very few restaurants that specialize in the “Halal Food” you get at a cart, and there are not many carts that stray from serving some form of Gyro, Falafel, Hot Dog or Pretzels. You’ve got your breakfast carts (bagels, donuts and coffee) which are popular for their price, and the fruit carts, which offer people who love to be healthy a chance to eat at a cart. (Those people don’t tend to enjoy skillet fried lamb, covered in white sauce.)
Some carts are destinations (Hello Berlin Cart, Daisy May’s BBQ Cart, The Arepa Lady in Queens, or the Carts at the Ballfields in Red Hook), while others remain nameless, taking advantage of a highly populated corner of the city. I love eating at carts. It’s not because the food is so great, but it just seems like more fun. There something about the immediate gratification, the fact that their kitchen is on the side of the road, and of course- weird meat sort of excites me (that didn’t come out right). (My favorite street meat ever… the lady on the right selling street meat on a stick- in Bali)
A little over a month ago, I walked by a new cart near my office… Happy Teriyaki BBQ on 50th between 6+7th. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Teriyaki Cart before in Midtown… and because of my love of Asian food I was immediately interested. Shortly after, I started to receive the emails… the first one said it was terrible. Worst food ever. But then I got two more, one that recommended the spicy pork and another that swore by the BBQ Tofu. I’m always up for trying a new cart… so yesterday I headed over with my reluctant wife to check out this new cart.
What we ordered, the pictures and the +/- after the jump…
So, Fashion Week is almost over, and despite it being only one block away from Bryant Park, I didn’t get my picture of a model eating at the Chicken & Rice Cart on 43rd and 6th ave. But it didn’t stop me from enjoying a medium order of delicious chicken, served over rice, at this Midtown street meat institution.
There are many halal carts, serving many things in Midtown. And if you are one of the adventurous lunch eaters willing to eat at the Midtown carts, you know that they are not all created equal. Not only do they all serve their own “type” of halal food, the quality can vary immensely depending on what cart you decide to get your street meat from. The undisputed “Chicken & Rice” king, seems to be the cart on 53rd and 6th (it was a Vendy Award runner up for best cart last year). But unfortunately, that cart doesn’t open up until 7pm. So for lunch, the cart that comes up the most is the Chicken & Rice cart on the SE corner of 43rd & 6th.
Pictures and the +/- after the jump…
Two months from today, a bizarre and amazing event will be happening for the second straight year. The Vendy Awards! That’s right. An award ceremony that singles out the best street vendors in New York City. Last year our good friends Rolf & Wolfgang from the Hallo Berlin Cart beat out the halal cart on 53rd and 6th to take first prize. This year should be even bigger- and we’re hoping that Midtown can take home the top prize again!
You can nominate your favorite cart for the Vendy Awards by going to http://www.streetvendor.org. The Street Vendor Project is a non-profit that helps to protect street vendors’ legal rights, and educate vendors on how to start and maintain their businesses legally.
You can complain all you want about the food in Midtown, but if you like food carts, Midtown is a pretty sweet place to work and eat. We’ve got some of the best (including two of the three finalists in last year’s Vendy awards!). Check out some of the carts we’ve reviewed, plus some we’re planning on hitting up soon- after the jump…. Read the rest of this entry »
New Yorkers love their BBQ. If you doubt that, try going to the Big Apple BBQ Fest at the beginning of the summer in
Bryant Park Madison Sq. Park (I’m retarded). I had read tons about it- but couldn’t believe what I saw when I actually went. People waiting hours in line to buy these tiny $7 plates of BBQ from different vendors from across the country. And if you want to try all the different choices, you’ve got to go with an entourage of friends, each waiting in a separate line. Go alone and you have to sit in 3 different one hour lines to get what would be considered a meals worth of food. And worst of all- what does it say about the BBQ places in New York City? Are they so bad that you’d be willing to wait an hour for four baby back ribs from Illinois.
Well, despite people’s willingness to wait hours in line every June in Madison Sq. Park, there are *some* decent BBQ places in NYC. Which one is the “best” is always up for debate- you know, when people aren’t arguing about where to get the “best” burger in town. (Actually the irony of the BBQ fest being in Madison Sq. Park was not lost on me. It is also home to the longest burger line in New York City.)
Lucky for us in Midtown there is no real dispute as to where the best BBQ is. Seeing that Dinosaur, R.U.B., and Blue Smoke are all outside of Midtown- it leaves only one true choice for the best BBQ (for the purposes of this blog of course). Daisy May’s BBQ. (Beware those of you who feel the need to speak up for Virgil’s on 44th… unless you want to be accused of being a tourist who knows nothing of good BBQ).
The actual Daisy May’s restaurant is on 11th Ave. & 46th St., but they have graced Midtown with the presence of THREE carts serving BBQ sandwiches and chili during lunchtime. I thought everyone knew about Daisy May’s… but once again, I brought my sandwich back to my desk, and the guy next to me asked where I got it. I had to answer “The BBQ cart. You know… the one that is right outside the entrance of our building”. Of course, this is the same guy who asked if my sandwich from Cosi was a falafel… (If you work next to someone like this- and I know you do, please forward them a link to this blog. They need our help the most…)
Pictures, where you can find the three different carts, and the +/- after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »
For German sausage freaks, July 2006 was a terrible month. Not only did you have to watch your Football (aka Soccer) team lose in the Semi-Finals of the World Cup in their home country- but you had to suffer the indignity of not being able to drown your sorrows in a delicious bratwurst during lunch time.
Well, there’s good news. As of yesterday, the Hallo Berlin Cart is back and operating at it’s usual spot on 54th st. & 5th Ave. Back from their annual July trip to Germany, the Babiel Brothers’ cart is back open (as usual) from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm and serving up the best German sausage Midtown has to offer. Choose from 10 different kinds of sausages, in all sorts of different combos.
Our favorites (for no other reason then our love for the pictures of Kennedy & Mao Zedong): The Dictator or Democracy Special. Dictator special… you get no choice. One Berliner frank, one bratwurst. Topped with German fries, cabbage, onions and crusty bread for 6 bucks. The Democracy Special… your choice (obviously) of any two wurst, covered in German fries, cabbage, onions and 2 pieces of Bavarian meatballs. Served with crusty bread for $8.
I’ll save my review of the cart, and the +/- for another time… see you on line this afternoon! After all, what could be better then eating sausage, outside in 97 degree heat!