simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Lunch Limbo
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Friday, 3 August 2007

Lunch Limbo

This is a trend for which I have been waiting a long time - better street food vendors. Hot dog and pretzel carts don't do the job anymore, certainly not for lunch. Most people I know of buy most of their lunches out. The plethora of options and convenience of delis and other takeout venues in NYC wears down one's resistance and soon the idea of bringing lunch to work becomes a charming notion and dim memory. But we get spoiled here and soon even the absolutely incredible selection of foods in a deli or green grocer is not enough - we still feel there is "nothing to eat" and one graduates to small takeout restaurants. But the best of these become quite expensive on a regular basis (sandwiches at $8-$10) and one is left in lunch limbo - what to eat. What we really want is a prepared, cooked MEAL that is excellent and inexpensive. Enter the high quality street food vendor, where $5 will go a long way. I wrote of this already in my posting of NY Dosas - a Vendy Award winning Sri Lankan food cart on Washington Square. But now we have a new problem - lines (I understand that NY Dosas gets as many as 60 people waiting in line). New Yorkers are suckers for "the best" and there are always many willing to wait in line to get that special thing, best thing, get something first (iPhone, Harry Potter book), blah blah blah. We tried Calexico yesterday, a Vendy Award finalist. We had been trying for some time, but unless you phone them in advance by 11:45 AM (they have a cellphone) or get there by noon, you're looking at huge lines. The food was good, but I'm not sure it was worth strategic planning in our office for a week to score a meal without waiting for an hour ...

NOTE: The cart in the photo is Speedy Gonzalez specializing in TexMex and is located on Broadway in SOHO - good food, no lines (the last time I was there).


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