Yesterday we had the opportunity to go along for a walking tour in the financial district with our friends at Urban Oyster. This specific tour specializes in the food carts and trucks that frequent this area, and adds a good amount of history to put the entire street vendor scene in perspective. While today food from many different countries is available from trucks and carts in the area, hundreds of years ago the first street vendors sold clams caught fresh off the shore. Our group stopped at six different vendors, and got to sample some great food from each of them.
Our first stop was taste of New York’s most popular kind of street food, halal street meat at Adel’s Halal. A great way to gauge the quality of this particular cart was by taking a look at all the taxi drivers nearby enjoying a lunch from Adel’s. The line was reasonably long, but we managed to try some delicious falafel, with white sauce and hot sauce.
Next we stopped at Veronica’s, a Jamaican cart serving a variety of meats, sides and even a unique frozen drink. The owner, Veronica, is an elderly woman with a great repertoire of cooking experience, having started when she was ten. A former Vendy Award nominated cart, the jerked chicken from Veronica’s was spicy and tender.
The next stop on our tour took us to Souvlaki GR, a truck we know well at Foodtoeat and this year’s People’s Choice Vendy Award winner. This lunchtime staple let our group sample some of their chicken and pork sticks, as well as some of their delicious Greek fries topped with feta cheese. The tzatziki sauce for the meat was surprisingly thick, and tasted almost as if it was made from Greek yogurt, its coolness paired with grilled meat very well. The fries have won awards in the past, and proved that none of this praise was undeserved.
By the time we left Souvlaki GR I was feeling pretty full, but we powered on to Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck, which was originally called Wall Street Pizza but has since added several trucks and become renowned for its Grandma Slice. The slice is cut Sicilian style, and baked with the cheese in the crust, with a garlic-flavored sauce of fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese on top. The warm slice was perfect for the cold weather and the sauce tasted extremely fresh, even a little sweet.
Our last meal stop was at the increasingly popular Korilla BBQ truck. The only options they had left when we went were pork and tofu, so we tried both. What I really like about Korilla is that they tried their best to match the meat the proper kimchi, so with the spicy pork we got a slaw-like kimchi, which complemented the flavors very well. We were fortunate enough to get to Korilla while their line was short as well.
Finally it was time for the stop we were waiting for, dessert. We went to the Wafels & Dinges truck for a delicious hot mini waffle smothered in spekuloos sauce and powdered sugar. The sauce, like the truck hails from Belgium, and is a magical kind of gingerbread sauce that they also sell in jars for $7 each. Wafels & Dinges is always a great stop for the friendly customer service as well as authentic waffles. Afterall, the king of Belgium requested they make these waffles as traditionally as possible.
A special thanks to Urban Oyster for making our trip so informative and getting us some delicious samples from these great vendors.