Author Topic: JH Food Carts News & Discussion  (Read 31535 times)

Offline toddg

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JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« 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 in the New York Times and famously canonized by Jackson Heights' own Jim Leff, co-founder of Chowhound.  Jim has been working to raise awareness of other vendors as well: here is his Map of Obscure Street Food in Jackson Heights.

Another famous JH food carts is Sammy's Halal, which won the Vendy Award in 2006.

So, which are your favorite carts?  Any ordering tips?
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 05:45:15 PM by tgoldman »

Offline toddg

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #1 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, at 73rd & Broadway.

UPDATE: Via JacksonHeightsNYC, I see that Chowhound was on this story before Gothamist.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 01:01:33 PM by toddg »

Offline Shelby2

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #2 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!!

Offline DijoninJH

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #3 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.

Offline cybgrand

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #4 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

Offline toddg

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2007, 01:08:21 AM »
Shangrila Express visits Manhattan.

Offline NY_Epicuriousity

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #6 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.

Offline MeliZoops

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Shangri-La (Tibetan Food) Cart!
« Reply #7 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...)

Offline lex

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #8 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.

Offline buddy

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #9 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.
First, do no harm.

Offline toddg

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #10 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 seems a bit much to me.  Besides, they appear to be franchising.  I'm not sure I've ever actually had something prepared by Sammy 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.

Offline NY_Epicuriousity

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #11 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 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.

Offline jennsch

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #12 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.

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #13 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.

Offline toddg

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Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #14 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

Jackson Heights Life

Re: JH Food Carts News & Discussion
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2008, 01:04:39 PM »