i have never been much of a fan of street meat. the thought of cheap chicken or 20 cent hot dogs cooking inside a small, sweaty cart has never seemed really appealing to me. even in prague, when all the boys cherished their late-night jaunts to the sausage stands where they would satisfy their beer-full bellies with kielbasa and smazeny syr (that's fried cheese), i could never find much enjoyment in the endeavor. i was once persuaded to buy a street hot dog in old town square simply by watching an obnoxious tourist devour one next to me and ended up throwing it out after 2 1/2 or so bites. all that has changed overnight since i read new york magazine's 14-page spread on the wonders of new york's best street food.
according to the article, the best food cart in the city belongs to the arepa lady in jackson heights. suprisingly, i had actually heard of her by name before reading this article. her cart is located in jackson heights, on roosevelt avenue and 78th st., and she only works late nights on friday and saturday. her specialty: two kinds of columbian arepas. now, people reading this should know how i feel about arepas, particularly my neighborhood arepa place caracas, which serves unbelievable venezuelan-style arepas. all of a sudden, i'm dying to make a pilgrimage for some midnight arepas in jackson heights.
some of the other carts that sound amazing:
- tony "the dragon" dragonas on 62nd st. near madison ave, specializing in char-grilled chicken with rice
- the esquites man on fifth ave near 53rd st. in sunset park, toasted corn in a cup, sauteed in butter and topped with cojita cheese, cayenne, and lime juice
- dogmatic dogs at bleecker street park on bleecker and hudson, specializing in gourmet sausages inserted into baguettes with special condiments
-calexico on wooster and prince, making socal style mexican food like carne asada soft tacos
check out new york magazine's top twenty list.