Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Restaurants & Food => Topic started by: toddg on November 13, 2007, 05:30:44 PM

Title: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on November 13, 2007, 05:30:44 PM
The wonderfully diverse food carts of Jackson Heights have a growing following city-wide.  They get a significant amount of media coverage in both blogs and traditional news outlets, so there's a lot of information to be found on the web about what you can nosh, where, and when.

Our most well known vendor is of course the beloved "Arepa Lady," featured (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/22/dining/22VEND.html) in the New York Times and famously canonized (http://www.thesquaretable.com/fall02/arepalady.htm) by Jackson Heights' own Jim Leff, co-founder of Chowhound (http://www.chowhound.com).  Jim has been working to raise awareness of other vendors as well: here is his Map of Obscure Street Food in Jackson Heights (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/388653).

Another famous JH food carts is Sammy's Halal, which won the Vendy Award (http://gothamist.com/2006/10/23/halal_cart_take.php) in 2006.

So, which are your favorite carts?  Any ordering tips?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on November 13, 2007, 05:35:04 PM
Today, Gothamist has an article on what is believed to be NYC's first Tibetan Food Cart, Shangrila Express (http://gothamist.com/2007/11/13/shangrila.php), at 73rd & Broadway.

UPDATE: Via JacksonHeightsNYC (http://jacksonheightsnyc.blogspot.com/2007/10/chowhound-reports-shangri-la-has.html), I see that Chowhound (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/454976#3074880) was on this story before Gothamist.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Shelby2 on November 14, 2007, 12:04:40 AM
I am partial to the tacos at the cart on the corner of 84th and Roosevelt outside the Sovereign Bank unofficially (or officially -I'm not sure) called Two Ladies Taco Cart.  However, Jim Leff of Chowhound says don't order the tacos from there- order the sopes or gorditas instead!!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: DijoninJH on November 15, 2007, 04:41:06 PM
I believe the Taco cart is called Tacos Gauchos. If its not, for some reason when we moved to the hood, the people who told us about the cart referred to it by that name.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: cybgrand on November 15, 2007, 09:30:43 PM
Here is a link to a thread Jim Leff started on Chowhound with a map of Jackson Heights food carts.
the thread from chowhound:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/388653
the map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=115495487393878104919.00000111c286a9eac4500
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on December 14, 2007, 01:08:21 AM
Shangrila Express visits Manhattan (http://chungfood.blogspot.com/2007/12/shangrila-express-at-javits-center.html).
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: NY_Epicuriousity on January 03, 2008, 05:19:51 PM
I'm a big fan of Shangrila Express.  The guys running the place are SUPER, super sweet people, and their food is simple but always good in a pinch.

Plus their hot sauce for the momo's and shabala (sp?) is just phenomenal.

I also dig the sammy's guys a bunch too.

Anyone know what happened to the Halal vendor that was right outside of Duane Reade on 37th Avenue?  He disappeared all of a sudden.
Title: Shangri-La (Tibetan Food) Cart!
Post by: MeliZoops on January 06, 2008, 06:55:59 PM
If you haven't already, you MUST go to the Shangri-La food cart on Broadway between Roosevelt and 37th Rd, right off of the Roosevelt-74th Street subway stop.  It's awesome!

They have been touted on Gothamist and i think Chowhound, as well as featured in other publications (maybe NY Post or Time Out?). 

They serve traditional Tibetan food - only about 8 choices.  The MoMos and Shambalay's are to DIE for.  Plus they are the nicest people and will engage you in conversation - ask you how you heard of them, etc.

Be sure to read the articles they have posted on the cart with their reviews and mentions...and be sure to check out their picture of the Dali Lama..

Definitely a GREAT addition and a nice change from all the halal carts.  Give it a try...you won't be disappointed (plus I want them to stick around...)
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: lex on January 07, 2008, 05:31:23 PM
I am huge fan of the two dollar tacos on Roosevelt between 74 and 75th Street.  I belive the sign above the cart says "Mexican Food" and there are usually two guys or a guy and girl working the cart - only open after seven pm.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: buddy on March 17, 2008, 03:09:12 PM
So I ate at one of the Halal carts today.  It was spontaneous or I would have looked up the location and went to Sammy's.  But I was walking along 37th Ave. and saw two carts on 74th Street.  One of them said HALAL so I thought "uh huh, this must be Sammy".

So I went over and ordered chicken and rice.  And I asked the young guy: "are you Sammy?"  He said, "no."  I asked, "is this Sammy's cart?"  He said, "no."  I asked, "how does the chicken and rice come?"  He said "okay".  I asked, "does it come in bread or on a plate?"  He said, "okay".  I asked "do you know much English?"  He just smiled. 

Now it was my turn:   He held up two tiny green peppers that I knew were HOT and I said "okay".  He chopped them up and added them to the chicken.  He held up a plastic bottle of something white and I said "okay".  He squirted it on my food.  He held up a bottle of something red and I said "okay".  He squirted that on my food.

So I went home and opened the carton and saw a mountain of rice, chicken, etc. and ate it.  I don't know if it was as good as Sammy's.  I have to say I think the white sauce was mayonnaise.  Whatever it was, I didn't love it.  The chicken was a little grizzly.  Didn't love that. 

I will look for Sammy's cart next time and pass on the white sauce and give it another shot.  All this for science.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on March 17, 2008, 03:26:43 PM
Buddy, thank you for your investigations in the name of science!

Personally, I haven't been able to figure out the Sammy's cult.  I have had some tasty food there, but it's not appreciably different from that of other carts nearby or in Manhattan.  This (http://www.yelp.com/biz/sammys-halal-jackson-heights) seems a bit much to me.  Besides, they appear to be franchising (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/337507).  I'm not sure I've ever actually had something prepared by Sammy (http://gothamist.com/attachments/food_laren/2006_10_food_sammy.jpg) himself.

I've never had an opportunity for a side-by-side taste test... perhaps that will reveal Sammy's food in all its sublime glory.  I know it's hard work, Buddy... I appreciate your contributions to human understanding of these critical mysteries!

In the meantime, don't miss the momos & Shangrila Chicken at Shangrila Express, or my current favorite, pollo or cecina tortas at the Gallo Giro taco cart.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: NY_Epicuriousity on March 17, 2008, 03:42:53 PM
Hey buddy,

Sorry to hear your halal experience wasn't so great.  Todd's pretty much right that there's not a great difference in taste or quality amongst all the halal carts in the neighborhood, but the sammy's cult exists, because he was the winner of the first Vendy awards (http://streetvendor.org/vendies/last_year.html) in 2006, and he also makes his own red and green hot sauces.

He's on the corner of 74th and broadway on the broadway facing side of the street in front of Astoria bank.  He is there some nights too - I've had the man serve me himself.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: jennsch on March 17, 2008, 05:34:57 PM
Anyone know what happened to the Halal vendor that was right outside of Duane Reade on 37th Avenue?  He disappeared all of a sudden.

He's back -- reappeared within the last week or so.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: judibean on March 18, 2008, 12:57:31 PM
Could someone give me the approximate hours for Shangrila Express?  I've tried to find them twice, once on a weekend and once after work and was out of luck both times.  Maybe I was looking in the wrong place?  What storefront are they in front of on 74th St?   Anyway, I gave Sammy my business instead, even though I was really hankering for the much revered momo's.  (Are they similar to Chinese fried dumplings?).  Also, IMO, Sammy's gyro platter is much tastier than his chicken.  I have a cart guy near my work in Manhattan that has the best chicken platter and Sammy's just doesn't compare.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on March 18, 2008, 01:04:39 PM
Shangrila Express is on Broadway, just east of 73rd Street.  I've corrected my earlier post that stated they were at 74th Street.

The cart looks like this:
http://gothamist.com/attachments/nyc_distefano/2007_11_FoodaShangriBig.jpg
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: NY_Epicuriousity on March 18, 2008, 01:09:57 PM
Shangrlia has been pretty intermittent as of late, but thankfully they were there last night.  He's always in the same spot though.

The momo's are similar to chinese dumplings, but they're only steamed, they're bready-er (like it's real dough, and not a wonton skin) and stuffed with a more highly seasoned meat than the chinese.  Also their hot sauce is really good (the owner makes it from scratch himself, along with the dumplings).

Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: judibean on March 18, 2008, 01:15:17 PM
Thanks for the visual!  Will be looking for it tonight!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: buddy on March 19, 2008, 01:20:43 PM
Hey buddy,
..... and he also makes his own red and green hot sauces.

He's on the corner of 74th and broadway on the broadway facing side of the street in front of Astoria bank.  He is there some nights too - I've had the man serve me himself.

thanks.  finally found it.  It was a little better than the one I had off 37th Ave.  Got the same dish for comparison minus the white sauce.  Sammy's chicken was less grizzly and his hot sauce was thicker and hotter.  I like it.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: judibean on March 20, 2008, 10:55:39 AM
Found Shangrila Express last night and got an order of momos and shambalays, with free chicken soup to boot.  When I dug in, I was quite disappointed, maybe because it was hyped up a bit on this board and in other places.  The momos look exactly like steamed Chinese potstickers (not wontons) on the outside, but lack the flavor punch of potstickers on the inside- where are the tiny slivers of onions, mushrooms, scallions, SALT AND SEASONING?  The shambalays were not much better- they had the same bland meat inside.  The sauce that came with both didn't help.  It was very spicy (good) but somewhat bitter and I was surprised enough by that that I opted for my own soy sauce instead.  The only thing I really liked was the chicken soup- very rich in flavor.  I'm not getting the overall appeal of this place, but to each his own.     
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: andolicious on March 21, 2008, 12:20:55 PM
i've had the shangrilla express but i dont really enjoy their food except for the momos. other than that its sammy's or the taco cart in front of the train station on roosey. the one called "El Gallo Giro" the only time i've ever had tacos from the other cart was by mistake and those tacos arent good at all. you can taste that they're kind of cheap with their ingredients.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on April 24, 2008, 12:08:37 AM
Not much news on JH food carts recently, but here's a Chow report on new yummy Mexican carts in Woodside (http://www.chow.com/digest/5300).
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Greentea822 on April 24, 2008, 12:23:43 PM
A friend of mine from BK mentioned something about suckling pig in JH.  anyone know anything about that?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on April 24, 2008, 12:28:28 PM
There's a suckling pig on one of the Ecuadorian carts on Roosevelt, north side, in the mid 80s.  The last time I saw the cart, it was on a Saturday, early afternoon.  The cart also sells humitas (similar to a tamal) in addition to other Ecuadorian favorites.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: GregNYC on April 27, 2008, 02:07:25 AM
I am huge fan of the two dollar tacos on Roosevelt between 74 and 75th Street.  I belive the sign above the cart says "Mexican Food" and there are usually two guys or a guy and girl working the cart - only open after seven pm.

Last night, I went to this cart, located right out the subway station.  I liked their chicken tacos.  They serve it with tomatillo salsa, onions, cilantro, with limes, radish and jalalpeno on the side.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on May 05, 2008, 02:36:00 PM
According to New York Magazine (http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/46628/), the Arepa Lady is back for the season!  Track the latest news here (http://blog.myspace.com/arepalady).
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on May 16, 2008, 10:54:52 PM
I've been a momo addict as long as Shangrila Express has been around.  So I was happy to see a couple of new items added to their menu: Chele and Dopa Katsa.  New adventures!

Chele is described as dry, spicy beef served over rice.
The Dopa Katsa doesn't have any description at all.  I had to taste that one first.

I previously asked about the Dopa Katsa - what is it, and how is it served (in bread, over rice)?  I was told that it was beef, that it was very spicy, and that it was served as a "snack" (not in portion size, but in eating style).  Today I returned to order it.  The person working today had no idea what I was asking for, and had to step out of the cart to see what I was pointing at.  Once he understood, he prepared a generous portion of very spicy beef tripe.  Tripe is not my thing, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I tried it and it was delicious.  It's not very snack-like, so perhaps it is intended to be eaten as an appetizer.  In any case, mystery solved. 

Next adventure: Chele... stay tuned!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: buddy on May 17, 2008, 01:45:35 PM
todd, you're a more adventurous eater than I am.  tripe! yikes.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: spanishfish on May 17, 2008, 04:40:46 PM
Tripe can be delicious in menudo, which they happen to serve at Coatzingo.
I didn't see it on the menu, but they did have it when asked.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on May 17, 2008, 09:47:36 PM
It's not something I would order intentionally, and although the Dopa Katsa was very tasty, I didn't finish it.  But I'm glad I tried it once!  People who do enjoy eating tripe in other cuisines should like this.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Shelby2 on May 23, 2008, 10:24:13 AM
If you're looking for a large selection of tropical fruits on a cart and don't mind a long walk, there's a guy who usually sets up on Northern Blvd. around 111th St. in Corona.  The other day he had sugar cane at least 5 feet high, plus he had small bags of sugar cane pieces that he'd stripped of the bark.  Also papyas, a few kinds of mangoes and even a few things I didn't recognize.  I bought chopped mango and it was the best (sweetest) I've had from a cart so far this year.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: yt28 on June 01, 2008, 06:30:58 PM
There's a new food cart by the 74th St station! It's a teriyaki chicken/spicy pork joint, run by (I think!) Nepali ladies! They were offering samples - it's generic teriyaki chicken but I didn't try the spicy pork...

Oh man, all these decisions I have to make when I step out of the train station...
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Gherm on June 02, 2008, 12:29:27 PM
I've been having some great quesadillas at a cart between 85th and 86th on Roosevelt. Spicy chicken with potatoes or just plain chicken. They're only around on the weekends, but they're delicioso.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on June 04, 2008, 12:18:57 PM
Grub Street has summarized an interview of Cesar Fuentes, vendor and spokesman for the Red Hook Food Vendors Committee in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  Pork Chop Express blogger, J. Slab, sat down with Mr. Fuentes to address issues including the change from the use of the vendors' traditional food tents to the new City mandated food trucks.  Mr. Fuentes expresses concern over the higher costs associated with compliance with the City's new rules and how this may affect the Red Hook vendors.  As a side note, when asked about his favorite tacos, Mr. Fuentes gives a thumbs-up to the taco trucks that line Roosevelt Avenue along the #7 train route.

Grub Street Summary (http://nymag.com/daily/food/2008/06/summer_preview_red_hook_vendors.html)

Pork Chop Express Blog (http://porkchop-express.blogspot.com/2008/06/red-hookd-interview.html)

Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Birch-Ed on June 04, 2008, 02:12:03 PM
Guys...you guys are brave.  I would never buy food from a Cart. 

Word of warning...most of you know where Sammy's Cart is, always on the Broadway side close to the corner with 73rd Street.  On the 73rd Street corner close to Broadway, there is another cart that only leaves once a week to clean his cart.  He is there 24/7.  This particular one, besides the cleanliness, he stores all his plates and extra food in his blue-ish green van which is usually parked right by his cart.  The food in his van is not refrigerated and we have called the Fire Department a few times on him because he would keep extra propane gas tanks in his car ( about 6 at a time ) which was hazardous.  We've talked to the Health Department  a few times in reference to his practices. Last February he was contacted by the Health Department and was ordered to leave, but he is back with the same practices.  So watch what you eat!!!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: buddy on June 04, 2008, 06:22:37 PM
Birch most of the time I'd agree with you especially about the carts... where do they go to the bathroom?  when they cough or blow their noses how do they clean their hands?  etc. etc.

And yet, like George Carlin has said in his "fear of germs" riffs: we have become a nation neurotic and obsessed with "GERMS".  "In prison, before they give you a lethal injection THEY SWAB YOUR ARM WITH ALCOHOL?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y-yH_Qyipc
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Birch-Ed on June 05, 2008, 07:05:29 AM
where do they go to the bathroom? That I have not witnessed.

 when they cough or blow their noses how do they clean their hands?  This I have witnessed and they just wipe their hands on their pants..


And remember I can only speak to the ones that I can see from my terrace.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on June 05, 2008, 10:03:42 AM
As a fan and frequent customer of food carts, I find the are equally as professional in their food handling practices as their indoor counterparts (at least those quick-preparation places where you can watch your meal being made). 

That said, while I enjoy watching my meal being prepared, but certainly understand why some may find it unappetizing.  Sausage-making is a metaphor for a reason.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on June 05, 2008, 10:04:54 AM
Delikatessen visits Sammy's Halal (http://thedelikatessen.blogspot.com/2008/06/gyro-night.html).
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: GregNYC on June 05, 2008, 02:58:48 PM
where do they go to the bathroom?

Some of the carts have a rotation of 3 people, with 2 people at the cart at any given time.  The third person can leave, for what I assume is a break.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: buddy on June 06, 2008, 07:40:35 PM
okay. that's good to know.  when I think of some of the road side stands I've eaten off (Mexico, London, Prague) and nothing's killed me yet, I suppose I can eat off the local stands here in JHs.  Maybe I'm more squeamish with age... or maybe I'm more discerning.  who knows.
Title: Suckling Pig?
Post by: hoodsy on June 08, 2008, 01:41:06 AM
There was (is?) a stand on the NW corner of Roosevelt/81st that featured roast suckling pig, hominy, tamales, everything absolutely delicious and authentic.  Haven't seen them in recent weeks.  Any info of this stand, run by 2 women...?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on June 12, 2008, 04:11:06 PM
At Serious Eats, Joe DiStefano describes the new offerings (http://www.seriouseats.com/newyork/2008/06/beef-tripe-momos-shangrila-tibetan-cart-jackson-heights-queens-nyc.html) at Shangrila Express (http://www.shangrilainhurry.com/).

He loved the Dopa Katsa (but remember, folks, you read it here (http://www.jacksonheightslife.com/community/index.php?topic=35.msg6577#msg6577) first!).
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: JHICON on June 12, 2008, 04:16:32 PM
There's a new food cart by the 74th St station! It's a teriyaki chicken/spicy pork joint, run by (I think!) Nepali ladies! They were offering samples - it's generic teriyaki chicken but I didn't try the spicy pork...

Oh man, all these decisions I have to make when I step out of the train station...

that cart use to be around La Guardia college when I went to the people I hate there portions its crappy.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: 718mom on June 13, 2008, 03:17:15 PM
I have tried them all but the one I always go back to is gyro/rice at the halal cart in front of Commerce Bank at 37th Ave.  I get gyro rice with white sauce only baby! It's very good.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on June 13, 2008, 06:05:18 PM
A new blog, Lost Taco (http://losttaco.com/) tackles the challenge of finding the best tacos in New York.   It's written by a veteran fan of the Southern California taco truck scene.  So far, the blog hasn't yet gotten to my favorite taco cart, El Gallo Giro, but several other sites in Jackson Heights are already reviewed.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: abee on June 14, 2008, 04:17:30 PM
that cart use to be around La Guardia college when I went to the people I hate there portions its crappy.

huh?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on June 29, 2008, 12:02:37 PM
Well, the teriyaki cart appears to have given up and departed for a less-competitive location.

But two of our street vendors were written up in the Daily News yesterday...

The Daily News
Get your fast food fix with these 7 great street eats (http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/food/2008/06/29/2008-06-29_get_your_fast_food_fix_with_these_7_grea.html)
BY RACHEL WHARTON
Saturday, June 28th 2008, 4:00 AM

In New York, summer is the time to hit the streets - and we mean for the food. Thanks to stalls, stands, trucks and carts, our city is an international outdoor food court of roast pork tacos, Ecuadoran ceviches, sauerkraut-topped German wursts and jerk chicken. Need help with a plan of action? Start with this must-visit list.

1. Tacos Guichos: One of several taco trucks along Jackson Heights' main drag of street food, Guichos' tacos are always a steal (think roast pork or griddle-seared crispy chicken). Regulars also opt for their sopes, the thick little corncakes topped with Mexican sour cream and beans. But the strip is a street-smart foodie fave, thanks to the fact that you can take a seat in the mini-park nearby. Gleane St. and Roosevelt Ave., Queens, no phone

...

5. Mini-Picanteria el Guayaquileno: Don't let another July go by without trying the sweet shrimp in this massive mobile unit's Ecuadoran ceviche. Served up in a portable plastic tub and doused with a tomato-lime broth, it screams summer. Top it off with crushed plantains or toasted corn or a squeeze of vinegar, lemon juice and hot sauce. Tuesdays through Sundays at 80th St. and Roosevelt Ave., Queens, no phone.

(Follow link for complete article)
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on July 21, 2008, 08:12:28 PM
This is intriguing.  I don't watch or know much at all about the show Top Chef.  But this article (http://eater.com/archives/2008/07/eater_call_to_action_recruiting_top_chef_season_5_spies.php) mentions that in an earlier season, there was a "street vendor challenge."  And it speculates about Jackson Heights being a possible location for another such challenge in the upcoming season.  Could this possibly mean an army of "top chefs" setting up carts in our neighborhood to compete for who can serve up the best street food?  That would just about be the coolest thing imaginable.  Please, anybody in the TV biz: Keep your ears to the ground and let us know if something like this is in the works!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Jeffsayyes on July 21, 2008, 08:59:37 PM
I didnt think that happy teriyaki was that great at all. seemed like dining hall chinese. the guy even had a nametag. hey, the cream rises to the top.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on August 07, 2008, 04:18:44 PM
So not in Jackson Heights, but I tried going to the Red Hook ballfields this past weekend to get a bite to eat.  All the vendors were lined up along the sidewalk and the lines were looonnggggg.  Since this was my first attempt there, I'm not sure if it's always that crowded.  My understanding is that in previous years, the vendors would actually set up shop on the fields rather than sidewalks.  I suppose that since the new DOH changes have been implemented, they have to stay off the grass?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on August 13, 2008, 11:54:49 PM
Love food carts or loathe them, you've got to be cold-hearted not to be tickled by this video (http://eater.com/archives/2008/08/food_cart_song.php).
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Jeffsayyes on August 14, 2008, 01:29:37 PM
yeah, lots of new regulations. in years past, they were stands, not trucks. each vendor had to spend a lot of money to get up to code. lines have been very long in the past.

i havent gone this year. i kind of dont want to change my memories of years past.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: abee on August 15, 2008, 05:00:32 PM
Love food carts or loathe them, you've got to be cold-hearted not to be tickled by this video (http://eater.com/archives/2008/08/food_cart_song.php).

that was so much better than the cheese "alka seltzer road trip" song...
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on August 17, 2008, 06:13:00 PM
Via Serious Eats (http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/08/details-list-of-best-street-food-carts-vendors-new-york-city-america-nyc.html), Details magazine has published a list of 25 of the "nation's finest sidewalk eateries (http://men.style.com/details/features/landing?id=content_7369)."  Kudos to our very own Sammy's Halal for making this elite list.

The Cult of Sammy is somewhat of a mystery to me, but he has somehow managed to become the NYC street cart that gives food reviewers street cred. 
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on August 17, 2008, 06:32:23 PM
yeah, lots of new regulations. in years past, they were stands, not trucks. each vendor had to spend a lot of money to get up to code. lines have been very long in the past.

i havent gone this year. i kind of dont want to change my memories of years past.

You may be on to something here Jeff.  We, along with a couple of friends, decided to give Redhook another go yesterday and this time we anticipated a wait for the food.  We each tried a different pupusa platter from the popular pupusa vendor.  I had the pupusa stuffed with pork.  It was just O.K., and I've had much better in the past.  The pork was mushy and very salty.  The accompanying cabbage was fine.  I also ordered an agua de sandia (watermelon juice) from a different truck.  That was very nice and refreshing as was the aqua de tamarindo (tamarind seed)...although I have to admit that my mom's tamarindo is way better!  Next time I visit, I'll have to try the horchata and compare it to the Ecuadorian Quaker.  I'll also have to try a taco.  The tacos are huge and seem to be more popular than the pupusas.

Going to the ballfields reminds me so much of the days when I used to go to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.  They had a similar scene going on with food vendors on the weekends serving up traditional street food mostly to soccer players and the spectators.  The only difference here is that back then, the food stands were only frequented by those either playing or watching the games.  Lots of fun and great food at a great price! 
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Jeffsayyes on August 18, 2008, 09:45:44 PM
I feel like a run down roosevelt ave is just as good. I had great cemitas on friday night from some truck with a kiss on it. love those ladies.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on October 07, 2008, 01:38:30 AM
Somebody on Chowhound is reporting that the Tacos Guichos stand (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/562811#4086164) (usually stationed at 83rd Street and Roosevelt) is opening a storefront at 90th and 37th.  I frequent the taco stands near the 74th Street Station, so I don't know this one, but it's good to see a little business grow strong enough that they can afford a storefront location.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Breezie on October 07, 2008, 05:29:15 AM
A stand on 90th and 37th? Where would they fit it in?  I live on 35th between 90-91.  I have to ceheck this one out!!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: ShinjukuBaby on October 13, 2008, 09:55:28 AM
Quote
The Cult of Sammy is somewhat of a mystery to me, but he has somehow managed to become the NYC street cart that gives food reviewers street cred.

Really, toddg?  Sammy's Halal is a huge weakness for me.  I grab dinner there at least a couple of times every week.  Soooooo delicious... :smitten:

For me, the arepa lady is the one I don't understand.  What's the big deal?  She's cute, but it's just fried starch.  Maybe I just don't like arepas.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on October 13, 2008, 09:54:49 PM
Don't get me wrong.  I like Sammy's Halal and continue to eat there.  I just don't see a big difference between what he offers and what similar carts in Manhattan offer (e.g. Raffiqi's etc.).
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on November 01, 2008, 09:58:42 PM
Has anybody tried the new tamale truck at 75th Street?

I had their "mole" tamale, which resembled the "Oaxaca" style tamales I used to get in Manhattan (spicy/oily red sauce), but was a bit too high on the starch/meat ratio.  There are several other types of tamales on their menu with unfamiliar names... more research!

Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Heights_Troll on November 04, 2008, 10:03:56 PM
(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/82/212934993_8f5af80e2f_m.jpg)

not sure if he still works this cart (outside of the 74th st subway stop main entrance), but how are the tacos?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on November 05, 2008, 09:12:00 PM
He works in El Gallo Giro, my favorite of the taco carts that work at this location.  I'm addicted to their tacos and tortas.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: abee on November 09, 2008, 09:16:40 AM
What a great picture- did you take that?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: missmarty on November 09, 2008, 09:49:53 AM
Tamale truck!!!???
One could argue that I moved to this neighborhood for tamales. Do tell where it is.
My fav's are under the 7 in that dark tunnel around 64th and Roosevelt, and around 89th st and Roosevelt, a lady and her husband. There are also three ladies competing at the 91st Subway stop. They are a bit pushy and the tamales are not that good.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on November 11, 2008, 10:43:53 PM
Tamale truck!!!???
One could argue that I moved to this neighborhood for tamales. Do tell where it is.

The tamale truck I've been seeing has been at the SW corner of Roosevelt Ave. and 75th Street during the AM rush hour.  There's also usually a truckless tamale vendor at the SE corner of Roosevelt and 75th, in front of the former Mexican restaurant.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on November 15, 2008, 01:02:29 AM
While driving by the Walgreen's on Northern Blvd. and 78th Street late Friday evening, I noticed one of those silver food vendor trucks parked near the entrance.  Anyone know what type of food he/she's selling?  There were a few customers on line.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on December 03, 2008, 12:37:43 AM
The great Jim Leff marvels (http://jimleff.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-people-read-restaurant-reviews.html) that his Obscure Street food in Eastern Jackson Heights (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=115495487393878104919.00000111c286a9eac4500) map remains so popular (95,000 hits and counting) after it has long since fallen out of date.  (It's because nobody else has attacked this important topic with such dedication, and because the Internet is forever.  People will still be reading his street food map centuries from now, when humanity has long since departed Earth for greener planets.  Historians will be sifting through the archives of Chowhound and JH Life to make sense of our society.  Howdy up there!)

So let's look smart... Anybody interested in collaborating on an updated version?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Jeffsayyes on December 03, 2008, 01:41:52 PM
you know im interested. it still changes very often. If only there was an open source was of doing it....
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on December 21, 2008, 08:54:14 PM
I have long heard rumors of a roast suckling pig cart along Roosevelt in the 80's, but I have never found it.  Today, I found myself exploring further east than usual, and I found an amazing scene around the southeast corner of Warren Street and Roosevelt (Warren is between 95th Street and Junction Blvd.).  There were seven food trucks there, each serving Peruvian and Ecuadorian food, with lots of people crowded around.  Three of the trucks were serving roast pork.  For $10, I got a delicious plate of roast meat, with sides of steamed hominy, roasted hominy, mashed potatoes (or yams?), and yummy giant lima beans.  I think you can get a smaller platter without the sides for $8, but they're well worth it.  I'll definitely be back to explore more of their offerings.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on March 25, 2009, 12:30:24 PM
Daniel Delaney of VendrTV goes on a Roosevelt Avenue food cart crawl with Serious Eats' Joe DiStefano.  It's an informative video that demystifies some of the popular food offerings we often come across while strolling along Roosevelt.  WARNING!  Do not watch while hungry....otherwise, you may find yourself running to Roosevelt!   ;)

Cart Crawl with Joe DiStefano (Jackson Heights, Queens) (http://vendr.tv/video/jackson-heights-cart-craw/)
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Shelby2 on March 31, 2009, 01:09:43 AM
Daniel Delaney of VendrTV goes on a Roosevelt Avenue food cart crawl with Serious Eats' Joe DiStefano.  It's an informative video that demystifies some of the popular food offerings we often come across while strolling along Roosevelt.  WARNING!  Do not watch while hungry....otherwise, you may find yourself running to Roosevelt!   ;)

Cart Crawl with Joe DiStefano (Jackson Heights, Queens) (http://vendr.tv/video/jackson-heights-cart-craw/)

I just watched it.  I am hungry!  I liked the piece.  It did just scratch the surface, as they mentioned in the video, but it hit upon a couple of things that look really interesting to try... like tamales from that tamale cart I pass all the time at 82nd and Roosevelt in front of the yogurt place.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on June 19, 2009, 06:09:30 PM
Not in Jackson Heights, but worth a mention nonetheless.  Grub Street is reporting on June 21: The Day of 2,500 Food-Truck Freebies (http://nymag.com/daily/food/2009/06/june_21_the_day_of_2500_food_t.html).  Just in time for dad's day.  So...if you happen to find yourself in any of the listed locations in Manhattan, make sure you get some tasty freebies!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on June 22, 2009, 10:28:02 PM
Our Vendy Nomination: The Cart With the Pig’s Head (http://nymag.com/daily/food/2009/06/our_vendy_nomination_the_cart.html)

Grub Street wants to nominate one of the roast pork carts in Eastern Jackson Heights for a Vendy.  Don't be turned off by the picture... the food is delicious (http://www.jacksonheightslife.com/community/index.php?topic=35.msg14021#msg14021).
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on July 07, 2009, 06:49:56 PM
Time Out New York compiles a list of New York City's best mobile eats.

Jackson Heights' own El Gallo Giro makes the cut!   :rockon:

New York City’s best mobile eats (http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/restaurants-bars/76130/new-york-cityas-best-mobile-eats)
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Jeffsayyes on July 07, 2009, 09:31:55 PM
Our Vendy Nomination: The Cart With the Pig’s Head (http://nymag.com/daily/food/2009/06/our_vendy_nomination_the_cart.html)

Grub Street wants to nominate one of the roast pork carts in Eastern Jackson Heights for a Vendy.  Don't be turned off by the picture... the food is delicious (http://www.jacksonheightslife.com/community/index.php?topic=35.msg14021#msg14021).

This is my favorite food cart in the world! I always wondered why they never got attention. One time I got a plate full of pork and a blood sausage. my god.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: dssjh on July 08, 2009, 07:31:25 AM
my inner homer simpson just awakened  ;D

i really adore this cart....the cracklins make the plate for me.

oh and big love for the (comparatively) healthy non-meat options at heutzozingo (sp?) on 75/roosevelt. amazing array of quesadillas including huitlacoche and (this time of year) zucchini blossom.
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: C11106 on July 29, 2009, 02:21:39 PM

oh and big love for the (comparatively) healthy non-meat options at heutzozingo (sp?) on 75/roosevelt. amazing array of quesadillas including huitlacoche and (this time of year) zucchini blossom.


What else does not have meat?  I know arepas do not, if you get them plain with butter or cheese.  Which carts have vegetarian versions of other foods?  Tacos?  Tamales?  Quesadillas, etc. etc?  I feel like most of the carts only list meat items, or I'm not sure what something is, so I don't order it because it may contain  meat...  The halal carts seem to be exclusively meat, correct?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: dssjh on July 29, 2009, 02:41:53 PM
the quesadillas are your best bet, really. i rhink tacos huejotzingo -- the cart closest to the corner of 75th directly in front of the subway -- makes the  greatest variety, including zucchini, mushroom, huitlacoche and plain old cheese, the cart in front of the chase diagonally across roosevelt sells chalupas. three for two bucks. basically a spicy sauce, no meat, lettuce and mexican cheese. they make for a good snack.



What else does not have meat?  I know arepas do not, if you get them plain with butter or cheese.  Which carts have vegetarian versions of other foods?  Tacos?  Tamales?  Quesadillas, etc. etc?  I feel like most of the carts only list meat items, or I'm not sure what something is, so I don't order it because it may contain  meat...  The halal carts seem to be exclusively meat, correct?
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: dssjh on July 29, 2009, 07:34:18 PM
oh, and the tamale lady who is on roosevelt between 75/76 in the mornings makes a top notch meat free tamale....rajas sin carne (cheese and peppers....buck a pop)
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on July 30, 2009, 05:22:18 PM
Here's an opportunity to nominate your favorite food vendor for the popular Vendy Awards.  This year's Awards will take place at The Queens Museum of Art on September 26th.

Time's running out, so nominate your favorite vendor.  No more nominations after tomorrow, August 1st.

The Fifth Annual Vendy Awards (http://streetvendor.org/vendys/)
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on August 06, 2009, 02:52:43 PM
Mark Bittman posts a guest blogger's write-up of Sammy's Halal food truck.

From The New York Times:

An Appreciation of Sammy’s Halal (http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/an-appreciation-of-sammys-halal/)
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on March 24, 2010, 09:45:47 PM
Sara looks for the best Gordita in Queens (http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/03/best-gordita-cart-in-queens-mexican-snacks-corona-jackson-heights-new-york-city.html). 

I've got to get out of my El Gallo Giro taco groove and try some of these gorditas!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on April 05, 2010, 09:27:06 AM
Jeffsayyes discovered the El Gallo Giro mothership (http://iwantmorefood.com/2010/04/04/el-gallo-giro-is-brick-and-mortar-always-has-been/)!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Jeffsayyes on April 05, 2010, 09:50:40 AM
Jeffsayyes discovered the El Gallo Giro mothership (http://iwantmorefood.com/2010/04/04/el-gallo-giro-is-brick-and-mortar-always-has-been/)!

hahahahahahha
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: toddg on May 04, 2010, 09:41:22 AM
El Guayaquileño seeks fame and fortune in the big city (http://midtownlunch.com/2010/05/03/get-ecuadorian-food-from-the-new-el-guayaquilen%CC%83o-truck/).  Hopefully they'll remember their fans back home in JH!
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Chuckster on October 11, 2011, 12:33:17 PM
JHL member, Jeffsayyes and his food tours are profiled in Gothamist!

Take A Midnight Tour Of Roosevelt Ave Street Eats (http://gothamist.com/2011/10/10/take_a_midnight_tour_of_roosevelt_a.php)
Title: Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
Post by: Jeffsayyes on October 13, 2011, 10:53:14 AM
I will be taking a group out this weekend, send me a message if you want to come for a JHL price. Also if you speak spanish or can take professional pictures at night, I'd like to bring you along and I will pay for everything.