Posts Tagged ‘Food trucks


Luke’s Lobster (FiDi)

HAPPY BELATED NATIONAL LOBSTER DAY! In honor of the crustacean’s day, yesterday Badda Boom and I decided on hitting up Luke’s Lobster truck’s newly minted mortar location in FiDi. I have been meaning to try Luke’s since the first time I met the lobster roll at the Hester Street Fair last summer. Unfortunately I didn’t try it then because I opted for the delish Swedish meatballs! Anyhoo, today was my lucky day but I knew I was going to have to dig deep for this pricey lunch. At $17 for a lobster roll, it’s definitely one of the more pricier lunches you will have.

The background story goes like this. Kid grows up lobstering in Maine, comes to NY to work in finance and through his dismay at the mayo-drenched lobster rolls here, he has an ah-ha moment to start selling his own rolls. He taps his dad who owns a seafood processing operation in Maine to be the supplier. Growing up, he and his dad had developed a great relationship with some of the best lobstermen in Maine so they get the good stuff. The lobster is caught, steamed and airsealed into individual quarter-pound packages within hours and is shipped to Luke’s Lobster. And people, you can definitely tell the freshness in this roll.


The store has two lines. The window up front solely sells lobster rolls while the line inside dishes out some of the other items on their menu, like their shrimp and crab rolls. As we rolled up to the shop, I was relieved to see that there was no line. Perhaps because I wanted to eat at an insanely early 11:30…yes, about the time that some of you are brewing your first cup of joe. BB ended up going to the line inside because this time he wanted to try the crab roll.

Let me just stop here and comment on the kid working the window yesterday. He was SUPER friendly and I am going to go out on a limb here and say he ain’t from these neck of the woods. He was all smiles, commented on what a beautiful day it was and asked me how my day was going. Really? Cut the chi-chat kid. My cranky, stressed-out NY ass wants my lobster roll pronto so I can go back to my 247 email-deep inbox. *pause* *sigh* But instead20110615-042521.jpg, I smiled back and engaged. Sometimes we all need to just take the foot off the gas and enjoy the people around us. Congrats kid, you melted my cranky shell yesterday and got me to smile.

Onto the food. I ended up going with the lobster roll combo which comes with a bag of Miss Vickie’s Chips (not very Maine-ish I gotta say) and a bottle of Maine Root soda pop (my choices were Rootbeer or Blueberry) for the low low price of $17. Without Tax. For that price point, you expect a big sandwich, right? Nope. When you take a look at it, even you men will be saying size matters. What I got was a toasted lobster roll bun (which is essentially a hot dog bun) with lobster in it. But here’s the catch that will make you definitely come back for seconds. The whole thing is stuffed with large CHUNKS of lobster. A quart-pound of fresh, juicy sweet claw meat. They say that there are about 5 to 6 lobster claws in each roll. I believe it. The roll was absolutely delicious. What makes it such a win? There’s barely anything other than super-fresh lobsters in this roll. They line the bottom crease of the roll with a line of mayo and shove a heaping packet of lobster claws into with with a dash of oregano powder on top…that’s it. I’ve been to Maine and I’ve had my fill of lobster rolls here and up there, but this was like nothing I’ve had. It was an ode to the lobster. Luke, my friend, you are on to something delicious here.


This is definitely not an everyday lunch option, but it is definitely something to throw into your lunch rotation to have once every so often to treat yourself with. Will I be back? Well, does a bear shit in the woods?! Yes, I will be back and this time I’m going to have to try that crab roll since Badda Boom inhaled his before I even had a chance to get off the phone. At least I got a picture for you guys ūüôā



The Greek Squad (LES/Mobile)

So just as my stomach was getting ready to remind me it’s lunchtime,¬†Bada Boom¬†peeks over and asks me if I’ve been to the souvlaki truck. ¬†Negative.¬† Vamos!¬† Or as the Greeks would say…¬Ķa¬Ķő¨ saŌā!¬† Ok, I entirely made that up.

So the backstory to this excursion is that one of the three owners, Kostas, is apparently good friends with one of our salesguys, hence, making this truck the hottest thing on the trading floor these past two weeks.¬† The other two owners you ask?¬† They are a married couple who met last April Fools’ Day and got married sixteen days later.¬† No, seriously.¬† How’s that you cynical New Yorkers?? ¬†To read about all of them and their LES outpost click here.

So as we head to Old Slip, I see the Mexicue truck right on the corner.¬† Ok, mental post-it note in place for next week! ¬†Parked a few cars behind it was the blue and white truck with a huge, unorganized mass of people standing on the sidewalk in front of it.¬† After status-checking the crowd, we determined where to get on line.¬† After about a 15 min wait on line we finally got to the front where the Fiddler on the Roof greeted us.¬† Well, not really, but the kid clearly stole his hat.¬† He took our order and wrote down “Felson” as our name.¬† Not really, but¬†Bada Boom¬†didn’t have the heart to correct him with the line expanding behind us and Kostas swarming in the crowd next to us.¬† After we ordered we walked to the back of the crowd and sat on the steps of the building.¬† NOTE: we learned that you are not allowed to “sit” on the steps, but rather you are morrrre than welcome to stand, smoke, spit and anything else your heart desires on the steps…just no glut contact please.¬† Okeedokee.¬† After about a 10 min wait for Fiddler to shout, or more like mumble, the name “Felson”, we were up.¬† Total turnaround time from getting on line to getting our food, about 30 mins.

Now for the food.¬† The truck offers three meal options: souvlaki stix, pita souvlaki and the bikteki sandwich (Greek burger).¬† The first two come in chicken or pork options and the burger is beef.¬† We decided on getting a chicken and pork pita souvlaki each and sharing the Greek fries. ¬†The chicken and pork souvlakis are pretty small so if you have a decent appetite, you’ll want to get two…or three.¬† Both souvlakis were served with lettuce, tomato and a rich yogurt tzatziki sauce on a really fresh pita.¬† The overall¬†pita¬†dish was¬†pretty good in the sense that the meat was tender and moist with very good flavor.¬† However, I have to ask…how the hell is there no lamb on this Greek menu?!¬† If you were going to have only two meat options for your skewers and souvlakis I think it would have been a wise decision to go with two meats that were not so similar…like Chicken and Lamb or Pork and Lamb orrrr how about Chicken, Pork AND Lamb? Just a thought Kostas, just a thought.


So we decided on sharing the Greek fries which was smart because they are a regular order of fries covered in feta and oregano.¬† As if the soggy fries weren’t already bad enough for you, the feta just put it over the edge.¬† My tip is to definitely get them, but take some of the cheese off because if health concerns aren’t a factor for you, the over-saltiness of the cheese will be.¬† You’ll thank me.¬† To be fair, I have to add that the fries probably¬†got soggy because of the walk back to the office and the steam in the bag¬†most likely¬†compromised the original quality of the fries.

The food was good but I don’t know if I could do this meal multiple times a week.¬† Between the thick, rich tzatziki sauce and the quarter-pound of feta on the fries, this meal may be too heavy to throw in my regular rotation of lunching options.¬† I’m going to have to go back in 2 weeks with another co-worker who’s dying to try this, so maybe I’ll go with the straight protein option¬†in the souvlaki stix and tell them to hold the pita.¬† At least I have two weeks to make the oh so hard decision between chicken or pork!


Korilla BBQ

For a few weeks I have been waiting to try me some yummy Korean BBQ tacos, but the¬†Korilla BBQ truck believes in this silly concept called “dining democratically.”¬† Silly because those kids uptown¬†at Columbia¬†U. sit in their dorms and hit the polls…hard.¬† Bah-frickin-humbug.¬† Since I work¬†in FiDi,¬†I guess it’s good for my waistline that we hit the jackpot only every few weeks, but it’s not good for my cravings!¬† Well, a few weeks ago we got lucky…but not so lucky.¬† As only¬†fate¬†would have it, the truck came to FiDi on the one day that the winds were blowing the patina of Lady Liberty herself…and they parked their wheels one block away from the waterfront.¬† Ugh, eff it.¬† I’m gonna battle the 60 mph winds and get me some Bulgogi.

As I get blown up to the truck,¬†I notice¬†it’s ginormous.¬† Without a doubt it’s one of the largest trucks hittin the NYC pavement right now.¬† Even with the bad weather, there was a line but the guys are fast, friendly and efficient so it moved pretty fast.¬† The taco to get is the Bulgogi (Korean beef) taco, but they also offer pork, chicken and tofu along with six different types of kimchi.¬† I got mine with¬†regular and cucumber kimchi with the K’illa 5-chili hot sauce¬†and the Korean hot sauce, but¬†told them to hold¬†cheese (Korean BBQ and kimchi with cheese?!¬† Think not.).¬†¬†By the¬†time I¬†got back to my desk, the wind had¬†completely destroyed my umbrella, I had lost my hair tie and had a¬†soggy paper bag full of some yummy tacos.¬†¬†ÔĽŅ

The tacos were everything I had hyped them up to be in my mind.  When you dive into the tacos you can tell how well the meat is marinated when your mouth is overwhelmed by how perfectly sweet, spicy and succulent each bite is.  To make it even more awesome, the two types of kimchi I had balanced the taco out by providing great crunchy texture. 

With nothing on their menu over $8, I am such a fan of this one.¬† There are so many more options on their menu (which you can check out here) so stay tuned for more updates when the truck finally makes it downtown now that we have a shot in hell since winter break is right around the corner.¬† Hallelujah!!ÔĽŅÔĽŅÔĽŅÔĽŅ


Big Gay Farmers Market?? (Union Sq)

Last night Little Miss Chatterbox and I ended up going to see Eat Pray Love in Flatiron.¬† But we needed to kill some time so we figured we’d meet at the Union Square Farmers Market.¬† I’m there every Wednesday but I never really stop and reeeally look.¬† I do drive-by purchases.¬† I figured this was a good time to check out everything this gold mine in the middle of Manhattan had to offer.

The minute LMC kissed me hello, she said we needed to find Orange Mint.¬† Ok, I’m clearly about to get skooled on hybrid herbs…and let me tell you, I had NO idea.¬† There’s Pineapple Sage, Chocolate Mint and yes, Orange Mint.¬† When you rub the leaves between your fingers, you’ll smell the namesake flavor.¬† Pretty neat.¬† Stay tuned because we are planning on using that Orange Mint during one of our dinners somehow.¬† I’ll keep you guys posted ūüėČ

While LMC was analyzing which herbs to get, I wandered.¬† The golden Shiro plums looked juicy and so sweet.¬† Then there was the usual farmer’s market fare:¬† corn. peaches, radishes, tomatoes, potatoes, sunflowers and everything else you can think of.

Ok, 40 mins until the movie and we were done with the market so we¬†started walking up Broadway,¬†but as¬†we’re chatting and walking, eagle-eye me spots the Big Gay Ice Cream truck.¬† If you’re any kind of NY food truck fan, you KNOW about the Big Gay Ice Cream truck!¬† Problem is that it’s never around when I want to check it out…but there it was.¬† MUST. HAVE. NOW.¬† With an¬†ice cream cone named¬†the Salty Pimp and a vendor with kitten ears serving it, I knew this was my kind of food truck.¬† We saw a daily special sign offering tamarind-infused balsamic glaze.¬† Tart and sweet?¬† Have we not learned anything about me by now?¬† Vanilla cone with the glaze please!¬† As LMC and I were devouring the insanely creamy ice cream, she pointed out something so true…when we were kids, we probably wouldn’t have been into this oddity of flavors.¬† Who knows?¬† Perhaps.¬† All I knew is that it was working for me right now!¬†¬†This was the perfect way to¬†pre-game for Eat Pray Love ūüėȬ† Not sure when they are around, so check out the truck’s schedule on their site.¬† If you are an ice cream fan, (and if you’re not, then you must have a third eye and hail from the planet Melmac) this is a definite must make stop.¬† Enjoy!


NYC Restaurant Week: Summer 2010

It’s that time of the year again.¬† Restaurant week has been announced for the summer and will run from July 12-25.¬† This¬†summer¬†marks the peak of restaurant participation–275.¬† But this time they are bringing out the big guns trucks.¬† Since NY is the birthplace for food trucks, wouldn’t the next logical step be a Restaurant Week food truck?¬† Of course it would.¬†

This truck parks itself and allows busy¬†New Yorkers on the go to be able to try, for $6,¬†some¬†of the Restaurant Week soups that are offered on the participating menus.¬† In the philanthropic spirit, $1 from each soup sale will go to Hot Bread Kitchen.¬† For those who are interested in checking out the liquid lunch (no, not THAT kind) the truck will be parked from July 12-14 on Broadway and 50th and from July 15-16 in Flatiron on 5th and 18th.¬† If you wanna plan out your meal ahead of time (*ahem* like urs truly) check out the offerings each day.¬† For those who like to wing things…then just roll up to the window be surprised.


LUNCHTIME: Rickshaw Dumplings Revisited

So after such a thrilling second date with the dumpling truck, I had to go back last Thursday and finally try the vegetarian edammame dumplings served with sansho lemon dipping sauce.¬† So here I am back again, reporting on the last dumpling left¬†on the truck’s very limited menu.¬† This dumpling was probably my second favorite out of all of the ones I have tried so far—second to the peking duck dumplings I had at the food truck festival.¬† I really enjoyed the whole-wheat wrapped dumpling.¬† The filling is edammame blended with lemon zest.¬† YUM is right.¬† It was very light, healthy and most importantly uber-flavorful.¬† The onlydrawback was the dipping sauce.¬† The lemon sansho dipping sauce was salty—VERY salty.¬†¬†I felt my ankles swelling just a little more with each bite.¬† I don’t know if it was just an off-day or if that dipping sauce is really supposed to be that sodium-happy.¬†

Just to give those that are not in the know a little background on Rickshaw Dumplings, one of the co-founders is Anita Lo—from Top Chef fame.¬† She along with Kenny Lao opened up the Rickshaw Dumpling Bar in Flatiron.¬† If you want a decent variety of dumplings, that is the place to go.¬† If you just want a quick fix or a better lunch option, then for the truck when it’s in your ‘hood because as I mentioned the menu is very limited.


Red Hook Food Trucks (Red Hook)

So after all of these weeks of trying to get here, I got here!  Every Sunday the Red Hook Vendors line up along Red Hook Park (natch) to throngs of people in the know about great home-style South American/Mexican food on the cheap.  There were about 7 or 8 trucks a few weekends ago when we went.  First stop, the corn truck.  Strategy was to get the corn and agua de jamaica (hibiscus juice) while we wait on line for the main dish, PUPUSAS! 

The corn¬†is grilled and you get a choice of the toppings.¬† There’s cheese, chili powder, and/or pepper.¬† All of the¬†above please!¬† Obviously.¬† Since kids (and big kids too) can’t always handle the heat, they let you opt out of the pepper toppings.¬† So as I took my first bite, mmmm.¬† Very good.¬† As I took a few more bites, I realized the corn wasn’t cooked completely through.¬† Lucky for me, I have an iron stomach and it wasn’t going to get upset over some undercooked corn!¬† The agua de jamaica is a sweet, but not too sweet blend of hibiscus flowers, sugar, water and lime juice.¬† Yes, it was good…especially on a hot, humid day in a Brooklyn park.

By the time we were done with our corn we were almost at the front of the line–great timing.¬† So the truck offered a few different varieties of pupusas: Steak,¬†pork, chicken and the token veggie option,¬†cheese and jalape√Īo.¬† For those who are not familiar with this dish, it is a traditional El Salvadorian thick corn tortilla which is stuffed with meat and cheese–most traditionally pork.¬† Hence, at Fashionista’s suggestion, that is the one I went with.¬† Now I was excited.¬† I have this fascination with stuffed foods.¬† Can’t really explain it, but lucky for me my belly doesn’t ask a lot of questions.¬†

Each order comes with two pupusas and a cole slaw like side relish.¬† They are made to order, so they are very fresh and very hot when you first get them.¬† Since we had to walk and hunt¬†for a picnic table, the pupusas cooled off enough.¬† So the first thing I noticed is that, since they are griddled, they were pretty oily.¬† I dabbed them down with napkins before I started noshing.¬† Once I cut through the crispy crust I was done.¬† They smelled so good and SO flavorful.¬† Since the pupusa stuffing¬†is sealed off, there is very little room for the meat to dry up during cooking.¬† With each bite, you should eat a little of the cole slaw because the combination of the two flavors and textures in your mouth are definitely worth it.¬† With our meal wrapping up we knew we wanted some fruit, but not just any fruit.¬† We wanted the chili-limon fruit¬† ūüėȬ† They offer papya, watermelon, mango and one other fruit that I can’t remember.¬† We both opted for the mangos and they were incredible.¬† The soft, sweet fruit works sooo well with the spicy ancho chili-lemon juice that’s poured over it.¬†

We started to wrap up because we felt a few large raindrops and neither one of us brought umbrellas and I was wearing a white shirt!¬† ūüėģ¬† It was definitely a great experience and all for a whopping $12¬†for the whole meal.¬† Now that Fashionista is in Barcelona, I don’t know if I am going to get back here¬†this summer but I know I will definitely making the trek to Red Hook Park at least once a summer for¬†the food trucks.¬†

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