I must admit that I am a little spoiled. Where I work in midtown Manhattan, there are at least three of every type of restaurant and deli. You can grab a quick meal to eat in one of the public spaces on a sunny afternoon, or you can dine in luxury with an entire wait staff at your beck and call.
My favorite lunch, though, is the street food. The lunch trucks that occupy every corner for blocks around offer such treats as bagels and coffee, gyros, Middle eastern, and South-of-the-Border. Quite a few of them have been named in Zagats 2011 (and proudly display that fact on the side of the wagon).
Street food was not born here, but it was certainly thrown into the limelight and taken to new heights here. With very few exceptions, it wasn’t until a few years ago that all I could purchase from a street vendor outside of New York was a hot dog, a sandwich, or perhaps a burrito.
Things have certainly changed since then. The Food Network has an entire show dedicated to the street food vendor, and the types of food being served has expanded exponentially. I think it’s great! Now I can sample a new dish without committing a lot of time or money to it. And, if I happen not to like it all that much, there is always someone at my office who is willing to take it off my hands.
Everyone has a favorite street food. Mine happens to be the grilled chicken and rice with yogurt and hot sauce from the truck on 54th Street. I don’t know what they do to it, but is far superior to anything I have ever cooked at home. Some days, when at a loss as to what to cook for dinner, I bring a couple of dishes home (and hope I don’t get mugged for it on the train).
Do you have a favorite street food? Inquiring minds want to know.