At Lunch Now: Day 3 Jamaican Cart Madness

There is no doubt the food is good. The few people who are actually willing to wait in line for this food, are coming back (and telling their friends). But to say they are “working out the kinks” would be a gross understatement. In three days, no progress has been made to get the lines moving quicker… so sad. I want some damn Jamaican food! It’s now been 20 minutes, and 5 people have been served food. When will the madness end… 

UPDATE:  After a whopping 45 minutes of waiting in line, we finally got our food… and as predicted, it was delicious (we had the Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat & a beef patty).  Not worth the wait though.  I pray these people get their act together… more info (and some better pictures) next week.


  • i wonder if it’s just the jamaican cart. i mean, on the days when i feel unadventurous and healthy, i go around the corner to just salad on 51st, and on monday and today i had to abandon that plan and head up to indian food express on 53rd since the line for a SALAD place was out the door and down to the corner of park ave!


    Nah… I don’t doubt that the nice weather adds to lines- but this was 100% because it takes forever for them to serve each meal.  We timed it, and no-joke each person took about 4 minutes to serve.  Compare that to most carts which take about 30 seconds to a minute.   -zach

  • ate at the jamaican cart today, and it was worth the wait! though i’m praying that they figure out how to speed up the service. however, if you’ve ever been to jamaica nothing ever happens in a timely manner. . .

  • I’m glad to see you are giving this cart so much space – the couple who runs it clearly put the food before the experience, but in some ways, I think their “laid back” (ok, ok, slow) service just puts the buyer in that Jamaican-no-worries-mahn state of mind. It’s also one of THE cleanest carts I’ve ever come across and I see it has a HD/flatscreen tv on the side of it – they should DEFINATELY move that to the side where the line forms. That would make the wait semi-bareable (especially if they tuned it to some Raggae-videos-station!)

  • I tried out the Jamaican cart yesterday.
    It was awesome! Probably one of the top 5 things I have eaten in midtown.

    I got there at 11:05am, because I was on break 11-11:45am. There were only 2 people in front of me, and it still took me 15 MINUTES to get my food. Clearly, they will have to change their operations if they intend on staying in business in NY. This is NY, not Jamaica. There are a thousand places to eat within a 10 minute walk. A 15 minute wait for food for no reason at all will not be tolerated.
    But if they change their operations, I can tell you this cart has potential to make some serious cash.

    I tried the goat curry. You have a choice of white rice or rice and pigeon peas. I chose the one with peas. The rice was divine! DIVINE! On top of the rice, they put gravy if you request it, and it was very very good. Also, with this dish comes a little cabbage.
    The goat curry was so good. The rice was heavenly. Worth the wait.

    They had no beef patties today. What? It is 11am…go get someone to make them! The cart is open 3 days and they are having supply problems already?

    They have paper menus in front. I checked the menu and then ordered. They over charged me by a dollar or 2. The menu said $8 and he asked for $10. A little pricey for, but what the heck. He said the prices on the menu were wrong, and then handed me new printouts. I was a little peeved, but 3 people on line behind me stood up for me and insisted he honor the price of the menu he had on display. They handed them all back to him and took the new ones and swapped them and insisted he pay me $2 back, which he did. The chef was nice about at least.

    The lady in front of me works in the building right there. She said he opened on Monday. Since then, the lines have been down the street every day.

    I am just afraid they will not succeed if they do not fix their operations. If they do, I just know they will be successfully and make mucho dinero. While I waiting, everyone on line behind me (and in front) was complaining about the wait…and some just left. Of course I want to see them stick around…soooo….

    So operations need to be changed obviously. Here are some suggestions:
    1. they need more help. 2 people in a popular cart just doesn’t cut it. Moshe’s and Kwik Meal and all other carts of this size have quite a few workers. One guy takes money, one guy keeps an eye on the food and plates it, one guy takes orders, and one guy to bag, etc.
    2. they need to streamline operations. Perhaps get the containers ready, laid out and ready to be filled. Have bags unfolded, laid out on top of each other. Utensils should be wrapped in the napkins already. Little steps that make it like a factory line add up.
    3. I hate to say this…but the chatting should be cut down. Chatting is fine if you can multitask. I can work and chat at the same time. If you can’t, then the chatting is cutting into your bottom line. For example, I sure didn’t want to hear chatting when I knew I only had a short break and needed to get back to the office. This is midtown lunch. A cart. A cart in midtown during lunch is about convenience and time savings. If I had 2 hours to eat lunch, frankly, I would go to a restaurant. Know your client.

    Well I hope this works out. I would go back in a hearbeat. However, I simply can not stand on line for an hour for lunch.

  • Also, to borrow an idea from Golden Krust, midtown east, the famous Jamaican beef patty providers:

    They have a line just for beef patties. Cash. It moves quickly and generated a lot of fast cash.

    Perhaps they could get a guy to stand next to the cart and just handout patties for $2 each!

  • What is JAmaican Cart? I am doing a food project on JAmaidca.

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