NEW YORK, NY – A new tour invites people to eat their way through the Financial District — all without setting foot indoors.
The six-stop food tour bypasses brick-and-mortar restaurants in favor of mobile food trucks, which the organizers say dish up some of the freshest, tastiest lunch cuisine in the neighborhood.
“This area has a thriving mobile food vending scene,” said Cindy VandenBosch, co-founder of Urban Oyster, the company that launched the Financial District Food Cart Tour last month.
Food blogger Brian Hoffman, 32, an Astoria resident, spent the winter sampling all of the Wall Street area’s street food, and he picked his favorite dishes to showcase on the two-hour tour. In between all the eating, Hoffman sprinkles in tales about the city’s early food vendors and answers questions about permits (they’re almost impossible to get) and Health Department inspections (they’re frequent).
The focus, though, remains on the food, which is served in such generous portions that several of the participants on a recent Wednesday afternoon had trouble finishing everything.
On that afternoon, the tour’s $40 ticket bought: tender jerk chicken with braised cabbage and rice from Veronica’s Kitchen; fluffy falafel and red rice seasoned with paprika and turmeric from Adel’s No. 1 Halal Cart; grandma pizza, which has a layer of mozzarella beneath the sweet, tangy sauce and a dusting of parmesan cheese, from Jianetto’s Pizza; the tofu scramble, sweet potatoes, veggie burger and fake chicken from 99% Vegetarian; a Rib Eye of the Tiger Taco with a variety of kimchi from Korilla BBQ; and, finally, a fresh-off-the-griddle liege waffle with spekuloos spread from Wafels & Dinges.
All of the stops, which vary based on the day of the week, are within a few blocks of each other, so participants didn’t have much time to regain their appetites in between dishes.
“I’m stuffed,” Jeremy Kahan, 29, said after the fifth of six courses. “I shouldn’t have eaten as much breakfast.”
Kahan, who works for a hedge fund and lives near Union Square, enjoyed all of the dishes on the tour but he said he was particularly surprised to find that he liked 99% Vegetarian’s offerings, since he usually prefers meat.
Chris Tyburski, 37, a New Jersey resident who used to work in the Financial District, said he was amazed by the number and quality of the food trucks.
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