Thursday, November 11, 2010

Manhattan food trucks

Ten years ago it was still a town of food carts on busy corners, the ones that sold coffee, rolls, and donuts in the mornings and those that followed selling hot dogs, pretzels, and halal food or similar fare during the lunch hours. Today the carts are still around but food trucks abound.

Much has been written about the food truck phenomenon in New York. Over the last year the trend seems to have accelerated. The variety of cuisines has expanded. What once, with the carts and trucks, was concentrated in dense office district locations, the mecca being 53rd and 6th, has spread throughout Manhattan. My vision of Manhattan as a living theme park is continuing to evolve.

As an example, several days ago I was walking from Union Square to Penn Station. On 6th avenue between 16th and 17th streets, an area with no high rise offices or even large apartment buildings in the immediate vicinity, there was a mottled grey metal food truck labeled "BISTRO". There was a line. I was hungry, looked at the menu, and stood looking forward to couscous royale or salade nicoise, french fries or merguez. With my Algerian bundle in hand I continued the walk to Penn Station and only a few blocks later came upon a Greek food truck surrounded by construction workers. A "Rookie of the Year" in the food truck awards seal was prominently displayed. I picked up a lamb shishkabob to eat as I walked and pretended not to notice any more temptations on wheels.


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