Has the Ecuadorian Street Food Lady Moved to 48th?

Got this email from Lunch’er “Spencer” who has been stalking a lady selling Latin food on the sidewalk of 48th btw. 5+6th on Fridays for the past few weeks. Not sure if a) she’s only there on Fridays, and b) if it’s the same Ecuadorian lady who used to sell food on 46th btw. 5+6th. (I haven’t seen her in awhile…)

“Two Fridays ago I was with a co-worker who gets a jump on the lunchtime rush by going out every day at 11:30. He hits Variety Cafe 19 out of every 20 lunches (the other one being Tina’s Restaurant). As we’re walking from 6th Ave. on 48th towards Variety, someone drops a can of soda and I pick it up and hand it back to a little lady with what is essentially one of those metal laundry/grocery upright carts filled with plastic bags of all sizes and colors. I see it is food and waste no time asking what she’s selling. She says sheepishly “food” as if I’m going to bust her. Instead I said I’d take a plate, and to allay her fears I take the first thing she offers. It ends up being a piece of fried fish over a bed of awesome yellow rice, drowned in a great shrimp sauce.”

But wait… there’s more.

“The next Friday I find her again (this time on purpose) setting up in the same place at exactly 11:30. I ask fish? And she says fish is in a soup and holds up a huge (think large soup from Chinese place) thing of green soup with chunks of white fish in it- but I am scared. I’m sure it’s awesome I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I say “what else,” thinking she can’t bank her whole day’s sales on that, and she says tongue. I’m also scared. Then she says pork & chicken mixed with rice. So I got that, and it was essentially really good ten ingredient fried rice that had not just crispy bits of pork and spiced chicken, but also veggies and very finely diced hot dog! Amazing.

So this past Friday I go again at 11:30 a.m. (she wasn’t there on Thursday) and don’t see her. I hope she’s just running late and sure enough that’s all it was. I help her with her cart and cooler out of the subway, and before she has a chance to get settled I find out that she has the fish and the pork again. $7 is a bit much for illegal plates, but it is clearly homemade and really good so I gladly paid. The pork was crispy and awesome though there was not too much, and it came with white rice which wasn’t as good as the yellow.”

Any other reports of Latin food being sold from the sidewalks of Midtown? Feel free to put them in the comments. I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody is around the few days before Thanksgiving, but I’d be down with some sidewalk food beginning of next week!


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