Food for thought: Amazing city street foods
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 23:10
One major thing that cities around the world share is a certain brand of street food. Philadelphia boasts its famous cheesesteaks, Brighton has its fish and chips and I have personally sampled and loved the satay and curry of Kuala Lumpur. Of course, there’s also bad street food. One hot dog from a New York City vendor and you’re likely to spend the next couple of hours having a ball of grease sit in your stomach as it slowly seeps into your bloodstream. However, that’s not to say that New York doesn’t have any good street food. The last time I was there, I had the good fortune to sample what Madison Square Eats, a semi-annual culinary pop-up market had to offer.
Madison Square Eats is a collection of food trucks operated by some of New York City’s most popular restaurants and well-respected chefs. It is located just outside Madison Square Park and the Flatiron Building – the perfect lunch or dinner spot for many New Yorkers. Furthermore, it offers a wide range of food styles, having everything from burgers, pizza and grilled cheese to Mexican, Korean and Mediterranean style food.
The first time I went, I tried a spicy pork bibimbap bowl at the Seoul Lee Korean Barbecue truck. I did not find the spicy pork too spicy ¬– it had a nice kick to it but wasn’t overpowering – and the pickled vegetables were nice and crunchy, not soggy and soft as pickled vegetables can sometimes be. The rice was well cooked and everything in the bowl came in good proportion.
The next time I dropped by the market I tried a “Pollo Asado” burrito from the Calexico truck. It features marinated grilled chicken, avocado sauce, beans (black or pinto), Monterey Jack and pico de gallo, all wrapped up in a warm tortilla wrap. Quite frankly, it was delicious, and definitely worth spending an extra dollar for the “crack” sauce (chipotle).
If you’re feeling something more exotic, try a hotdog from Asiadog. They top their hotdogs with all kinds of tasty Asian toppings. For example, the “Ginny” dog comes with kimchi and seaweed flakes, giving it a salty, spicy flavor, and the Vinh dog comes with aioli, pate, cucumbers, pickled carrot and daikon (radish), cilantro and jalapeno, giving it a cool, refreshing texture. The “Sidney:” Thai style dog is topped with relish with mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, crushed peanuts and fish sauce, giving it a sweeter taste.
In addition to many other delicious entrees, you can get all kinds of dessert at Madison Square Eats as well. The Doughnuttery features miniature donuts and warm apple cider, the Melt Bakery has ice cream sandwiches and cookies to die for, and the Macaron Parlour offers everything from candied bacon to maple cream cheese frosting, s’mores and red velvet.