Le Gamin’s Merguez Sandwich is Totally Worth the $9


Those who have been reading Midtown Lunch for awhile may recall the Cartwatch of January ’07.  A croque monsieur truck popped up, and just as quickly disappeared a few days later, before ML got a chance to sample their wares.  Since then, I have dreamed of the day when we would be able to buy a French ham and cheese sandwich from a truck- and earlier this week, my dream finally came true.

The Le Gamin truck, which has been parking all over NYC since late last year, finally gave Midtown a chance to try their menu of French sandwiches, crepes, quiche, and (of course) frites.  They set up shop on 47th btw. Lex+3rd on Tuesday and Wednesday, and not even the rain could keep me away from date with destiny!

The Le Gamin Truck is actually a mobile spinoff of the Le Gamin Cafe, which has been open since 1992 (they now have three locations.) The first day I went, they had actually run out of almost everything I wanted to try by 1pm. I settled for the Croque Monsieur (I got the last one of the day), which at $8 was a tad pricey.

Le Gamin Truck

I liked the french bread (which according to their Twitter they get from Balthazar or Amy’s Bread), and the ham and swiss cheese were both tasty- but it leaves you with the overall feeling that $8 might be a bit too much for what amounts to a warm ham and cheese sandwich.  And that might be the case with most of the menu, where everything is priced pretty close to $10.  I guess it all depends on what you expect from a truck.  If you expect your mobile food to automatically be cheaper, you will definitely not like Le Gamin.  If you’re excited to get this kind of French street food, on the street, and don’t mind paying more than what you would spend at a generic midtown deli- you will be excited.

Le Gamin Truck

On the second day, I got what I came for… the merguez sandwich (with caramelized onions and cheese, $9) with french fries ($4) and all thoughts of the food being overpriced washed away under the deliciousness of sausage, onions, and cheese.  Now this is a sandwich that is worth $9.  Sure with the fries that put the lunch over the ML price limit- but considering that it came off a truck (you know I love it!) and French style merguez sandwiches aren’t exactly in abundance in Midtown, I’m going to make an exception.  It was that good.

Le Gamin Truck

The sweetness of the onions perfectly complemented the rich sausage and cheese- with the bread there to soak in all the greasy goodness.  Delicious.

Le Gamin Truck

The fries were well salted, and good. And since they won’t stuff fries into the sandwich, Paris street food style, I was forced to do it on my own.

Le Gamin Truck

Awwww yeah!  It’s not all fun and games though.  Although I loved my sandwich and fries, the truck still has its issues. They make everything to order, so it takes *forever* to get your food- and even the line just to place your order moves pretty slow. This might work when you’re set up in Park Slope on the weekend, but for Midtown Lunch’ing purposes it’s kind of a drag.  Midtown is all about speed and volume, and the truck will quickly learn that people don’t have a lot of time for lunch. Make us wait too long, and we will hesitate to come back.

Le Gamin Truck
Object in photo appears much larger than it actually is.

Another warning… I saw a few crepes being ordered, and while they looked tasty enough, they didn’t appear filling enough to make a complete lunch (which, at $8-9 could be problematic.)  All in all, some of you will love the truck, but more of you will probably find the food tasty but overpriced for what you get.  Unless, of course, you order the merguez sandwich!  I thought it was worth every penny, and I hope they come back to Midtown soon so I can try the lamb dog.

You can read more about the quiche, lamb dog, other sandwiches and salads from the Le Gamin Truck over on Serious Eats: New York.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • French street food from a truck!  I love it…
  • The merguez sandwich is really tasty, and you can’t find anything like it in Midtown.
  • Eating stuff like french fries, and crepes, and quiche from a truck is just much more fun.
  • They make everything to order, so your food comes out pretty warm and fresh.
  • I don’t mind paying a little bit more $$ to eat good, fresh food from a truck.

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Too expensive for what you get
  • The food takes forevvvvvvvver.  I only have an hour for lunch!
  • Fries are good, but $4 is too much!
  • Food from a truck should be cheaper than a storefront- not more expensive!

Le Gamin TruckFind their location daily via Twitter


  • Damn that sausage sammie looks heavenly! Im all over it man.

  • Lamb dog?!?! Mummmmmm…. want. one. NOW!

    Isn’t is crazy (in a good way) that lots of these trucks spend weekends in Park Slope? Brooklyn rules! :-P hee hee

  • We need some quality trucks in Queens

  • I always forget this is in my hood on the weekends. Gotta get on this soon!

  • Monique… Roosevelt Ave … everywhere… everyday … and they are cheep, plentiful and hi quality too… not like the ones selling overpriced undersized crap to Park Slope posers on weekends (uh oh)

    try this one first … shrimp ceviche rules

    Mini-Picanteria el Guayaquileno – corner 80th St

  • The merguez sandwich looks good. Frites don’t look like a must have for $4 and small portion. Might as well hit up the Pomme Frites, even though it isn’t midtown.

  • I’m going to beat you wayne! (PS… please deliver some shrimp ceviche to me)

  • I dont know why, but a package of Merguez is like $7 retail. I’ve seen it for $9/lb at the butchers. I can see why a sandwich would cost so much.

  • gotta give the french credit … they put all of your money towards great food instead of wasting it on soap and clean underpants

  • The French invented the Sausage Butty?

    My lilly white(Yet toned and dimpled) arse they did!

  • There are two places I been meaning to hit up in Astoria, Queens:

    King of Falafel and Shawarma
    30th St and Broadway
    Astoria, NY 11106
    (718) 838-8029

    El Rey Del Taco Truck
    3301 30th Ave
    Astoria, NY 11103

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    There’s a lot more to Astoria than those two places…but not a bad start. Check out Little Morocco on Steinway for $6 merguez sandwiches…$9 from a truck, I don’t know.

  • I’m sure there are more places in Astoria but those are the two carts I think are worth trying, especially to see if they comapre to the midtown fares. Haha. $6 sandwich or a $6 combo plate at the King. No brainer for me.


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    Zach – the Olympic Pita (or whaever they call themselves now) type restaraunts in Brooklyn all sell merguez, including I believe Olympic Pita. I have ordered them several times, but never in a Lafa. Must try it one of these days

  • I went by there at 1:30. They were out of the merguez :(, but they had the Croque Monsieur. The Croque Monsieur was very good and the bread it was on was great, but it’s a bit pricey for lunch at $8. I’m looking forward to trying the merguez.

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    So I have now (twice) walked 4 blocks down and 4 avenues over, to be told they were out of merguez. When (if?) I finally get a couple o’ these “lamb dogs,” they better be freakin good.

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