|My kinda lady :)|
One of my favorite things about NYC is that beyond our incredibly diverse selection of outstanding restaurants (every cuisine at every price point!) we have a killer street vendor situation. Now yes, in the past few years there's been a proliferation of "food trucks" of every variety in NYC as well as in lots of other major metropolitan areas (a great roundup of the best NYC trucks HERE, HERE and HERE and a nifty truck tracker app HERE), but I'm not talking about food trucks, I'm talking about vendors, vendors who serve up freshly cooked, ridiculously tasty "street meat".
I LOVE street meat. To me there is nothing more delicious for lunch than a freshly prepared gyro meat salad, covered in mystery spices and sauces, served up by the friendly gentleman who runs the cart on the northeast corner of 46th and 6th. (My order = lamb gyro platter, no rice, yes to the soft boiled egg, spicy, all the sauces, toasted pita and sure I'll take a free samosa while I wait!! Grand total, $8) I've also been known to indulge in "chicken on a stick", burritos, falafel, shawarma and egg sandwiches from various NYC vendors.
But some people find street meat to be super sketchy. The idea that the food is stored and prepared in a cart on the street evokes concerns about sanitation and safety to which I say... meh. While I obviously recommend you take a look at the situation inside a cart before you get to ordering (how fresh does the meat look? is it generally clean inside?) the reality is that these vendors have permits they risk losing if they feed you something funky. Just like any food establishment, accidents can happen and carelessness is possible, but in my humble opinion that small risk is worth the mighty tasty reward. Plus, if NY Magazine is publishing lists about it, I'd say street meat is most certainly the real deal. Now excuse me, I've got some eating to do!