Street food and food trucks are huge here in NYC. Trucks have their own twitter feeds, die-hard followers, websites dedicated to discussion of these trucks, annual awards for food vendors, etc. So you can see that we have a bit of an obsession here. Street meat, along with the dirty water dogs, are the original food cart vendors. There are hundreds of these carts all throughout NYC – just check out Midtown Lunch’s review of them. The food is Middle Eastern in origin and taste, much like shawarma or gyros, but not served in sandwich form (though you can get it that way).
I was a relative street meat novice, having eaten plenty of shawarma abroad but never having ventured out to eat the street meat here in NYC. Clearly that was a mistake on my part. Rick finally took me to the vendor he goes to during lunch to teach me the ways of the street meat. We both work down in the Financial District so we hit up the food carts on Broadway between Liberty and Cedar. The cart Rick goes to doesn’t have a name but it was reviewed on Midtown Lunch (apparently this guy doesn’t work there anymore though).
Rick ordered the lamb and chicken platter, which comes served over rice with the white sauce and hot sauce and a soda. It is a lot of food. You could probably make this into 2 lunches and for $6 that’s a pretty great deal.
Despite the dire warnings that I would end up with meat and sauce all over myself if I ordered the sandwich, I decided to go for it anyway. After all, Rick had ordered the platter and we couldn’t technically get the same thing! The lamb and chicken come doused with white sauce and hot sauce in a pita wrapped in tin foil…the tin foil is the only thing holding together this beautiful mess of food. And it is messy but totally worth it. The hot sauce is SPICY. If you don’t like spicy food do not get the hot sauce! Seriously. My lips were on fire. Still, it was one of the more enjoyable lunches I’ve had recently. The meat is tender and flavorful. The sandwich also comes with a soda but is only $5. Can’t really make 2 meals out of this one though – you just gotta eat it all before it falls apart.
Midtown is more known for its street meat than downtown but I’ll be hitting this food cart up again sometime soon.