Famous Out of Bounds Street Cart May Be Forced to Shut Down

Save Tony Video, courtesy of the Street Vendor Project

The New York Times has an article this morning about Tony “The Dragon” Dragonas, the famous street meat and burger vendor situated just outside the Midtown Lunch boundaries, on 62nd & Madison.  According to the Times, the 2005 Vendy Award winner ”has 42 outstanding violations totaling $16,865” and “next month he is scheduled to appear before an administrative law judge, who will determine whether he can continue operating.”

Not mentioned in the newspaper article, but highlighted on the website of the Street Vendor Project, the organization who runs the annual Vendy awards, is Tony’s explanation for the fines:

Last year, the guy in the restaurant down the street started to complain about my smoke. I’ve never really had any problems with the Health Department, but the inspectors started coming every couple of weeks. Every time they came, they would give me 3,4, 5 or 6 tickets. Usually they cited me for the smoke. They also gave me tickets for not wearing my hat, being too close to the crosswalk, and other things. But never for selling bad food — nobody has ever gotten sick or complained about my food.

If “The Dragon” gets shut down, it will be a big blow to the city’s street meat conossieurs.  Get more information, and sign the petition to help save Tony at http://streetvendor.org/


  • Funny how some of the dirtier eateries almost always taste so much more delicious-er…


  • I for one, do not appreciate the smoke from street vendor carts. Here you are, walking down the street after a lunch that has just about filled you up, and suddenly, the smell hits you. The smell of deliciously seared meat. It wafts into your nostrils at first, altering your senses, causing an involuntary production of saliva in your mouth. You can’t help it, like Pavlo’s dog, you’ve been conditioned. As you continue walking, the sweet aroma of burning flesh, eats away at your will power. You check your wallet, and that 10 dollar bill taunts you, says mean things about your mother, it’s infuriating. Just as you are about to pass the cart, resist temptation, and salvage your dignity, you slam that foul mouthed bill down, and walk off with that evil siren of seared flesh assuaging the tension in your mouth. satiated, and victorious, you suppress that feeling of guilt creeping up from your churning stomach. You see another cart off in the distance, You count your change, and quickly dash across the street. You get back to work 10 minutes late. Damn you smokey meat smell!

  • Thing with carts is you CAN SEE IT ALL

    Not like iffy restaurants where out back they have ‘roaches chopping the veggies.

    Carts ARE NYC food.

    Fuck the so called fine dining high brow uber eateries, they’re full of the sort of fuckwit people you’d love to punch.And that’s just the women.


  • Are you kidding me! I hang out by the smoky meat wind daily so it fully permeates my clothes. Mummmm I smell like roasted lamb… turns the boyfriend on ;-p

  • Mamacita, essence of lamb turns most men on, especially the Welsh and the Kiwis. Helps if you get them on the edge of a cliff so they push back. BAAAAAAAA!

  • Mamacita, That reminds me of that Seinfeld episode with George and sex and the pastrami sandwiches. I know smokey meat has an effect of my libido =P.

    wayne: thats… kind of sick…

  • How dare the people complain. i like his food and its reasonably priced not to mention the closest you’re gonna get to homecooked food in the area. Sad situation hopefully there’s a good outcome.

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