Bourdain Calls NYC Street Food “Shameful, Terrible, and Indefensible”
I love it when Anthony Bourdain gets all vitriolic on the things that bother him (I find myself agreeing with him pretty much every single time) but I can’t stand by his (totally surprising) opinion about New York City street food. A few weeks ago, after heaping praise on a hot dog cart in Denver for an upcoming episode of No Reservations, Bourdain was quoted saying some not so nice things about his hometown street meat options:
["Really awesome"] is not how he’d describe the frankfurters in New York, which are “standard dirty water dogs” and “completely forgettable,” Bourdain said, a snub that he extended to New York street food in general. “The street food in New York is shameful, terrible and indefensible,” he complained. “It’s absolutely appalling.”
He does clarify the statement a bit to exclude the street food of the outer boroughs.
In fact, he added, if you want something decent, you gotta go to Queens, maybe Brooklyn. “I recently found a taco truck that did tongue tacos — I love tongue tacos — and I nearly sobbed with gratitude,” he admitted.
I’m hoping (as is often the case with stuff like this) his comments were taken out of context- after all, if you’re just talking about the city’s hot dog and kebab situation, then the statement might be 100% true. But if he really does feel that way about *all* Midtown street food, it must be based on some bad experiences from lord knows how long ago. Of course that could easily be remedied with a Midtown Lunch Street Food Walking Tour! Could it be time for a No Reservations: Midtown Street Food edition? Somebody who reads this site must have a connection at the Travel Channel who could make this happen, right?
We could start off with some stew peas with pig tails at the Jamaican Dutchy (on 51st and 7th), follow that up with kati rolls from the Biriyani Cart (on 46th and 6th), chicken and lamb over rice from Kwik Meal (on 45th and 6th), and goat biriyani from the Trini Paki Boys cart (on 43rd and 6th). Oh, and if you want some tongue tacos we can finish things up at the El Rey del Sabor cart (also on 43rd and 6th). And that doesn’t even include any of the new school carts…
What do you say Tony? Unlike your feelings on expensive organic food, or vegetarianism, or well known Food Network personalities, I think it would be pretty easy to get you to reconsider your stance. (I’d put the over under at 2 bites of stew peas.)