Flatiron Lunch: New “Desi Truck” Brings Kati Rolls to 5th Ave.

Now that Downtown has its very own section of the site, what are we going to post on Fridays at 10am? Answer… how about a new column devoted to those lunches just south of the ML boundaries. Every week we’ll post about a lunch in Murray Hill south, Gramercy, Flatiron, and everything in between… or as we’ll call it from now on: Flatiron Lunch.

_MG_4048 - Version 2

Desi Truck is a brand new Indian food truck that opened up on 27th Street at 5th Avenue just this week. It’s still a bit early and they are planning some changes at least in the look of the truck over the next week, but after a couple visits, I can say the kati rolls alone are worth going for.

Check them out after the jump…


I first came across Desi Truck on my way back to the office from lunch three days after they first started serving there. The truck is still a work in progress. I’m told that they are planning their ‘grand opening’ for the weekend of the Fourth of July, so, the look may change a bit over the next week.

For now, the hand-written menu focuses on chicken and veg more than lamb, but I was told lamb is available. It’s unclear whether they’ve got real lamb or just gyro meat. I’m going to keep my eye on that as they settle in and post a full menu.

The first time I was there, the owner was playing hype-man, pulling aside anyone who showed interest in the truck and offering out samples. I was stuffed from a big meal, but wasn’t going to turn down an offer for some street meat.


He gave me a small portion of chicken curry over rice to try out. The chicken steers away from the browned, griddled variety. Instead, it is served juicy and covered in a creamy coconut curry sauce.

IMG_0519 - Version 2

It was good, but what really has me excited about Desi Truck are the kati rolls. Between Kati Roll, Kathie Roll and the Biryani Cart, I’ve been having a good time exploring the variations on these Indian wraps.

Desi Truck’s kati rolls have a soft, chewy dough that improves on the bread at the Biryani Cart, which I think can be slightly gummy and a little too sweet. It’s got a similar texture but tones it back just enough.


The chicken filling is noteworthy for how little it’s seasoned. Unlike others which have a lot of strong spices involved, the filling here tastes of chicken and caramelized onions. It may be my new favorite kati roll – but I’m going to keep trying them all just to be sure.  (You know… for science.)

Given how recently they’ve been around, I think it’s a little early for the +/-, so I’ll skip over that for the moment.

Desi Cart, SE Corner of 27th Street and 5th Avenue.


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    This was nicely written. Thanks.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    is the curry of the tiny bone variety or the meat chunk variety?

  • @HaveFun: Thanks!

    @Spydr: All boneless.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    The rolls look like an altogether different food compared to the place FKA Kabab Factory. That place’s kati rolls looked much more appetizing from your photos, but if the bread here is better I’ll check this one out first.

  • I went there for lunch today and ordered two Aloo (potato) Masala Kati Rolls (2 for $6). The two guys inside were so busy, they gave me a paneer kati roll by accident! There were four customers waiting in front of me and four in back of me. Overall, it was good. I liked the potato better than the paneer cheese.

  • Just stopped by for the kathi rolls as we were planning on going to roomali and figured lets try this… I got the 2 chicken/anda kathi rolls.

    The wait was a little bit long, we were the only ones on line and waited a good ten minutes. I would hate to see what the wait would be if they get as popular as the schnitzel truck… Other than that, the bread is soft and chewy.. Just the right amount of spices.. I will definitely be coming back here…

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    … ummm… just an observation and i dont know if its true or not… but there are a lot of carts in that area since that truck moved in… there used to be like one clump of treat carts in the park corner and then a food cart on the opposing corner around the block from where the truck is… now there are 2 or 3 more carts in that general area a pretzel/hot dog cart, a halal cart, and a hot dog/halal cart. has anyone else noticed this?

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I’ve noticed at least two more carts – one of 5th Ave just off the corner of 27th (conveniently across the street from my office!) and another on 26th just off of 5th – they’re both halal carts, though I haven’t tried them yet. There’s been a hot dog cart on 5th & 26th, across from the hot dog/ice cream vendor in the corner of the park, for awhile now, but the halal carts are definitely new in the past few weeks.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I just ate at the cart, after reading about it here. And I have to say I was disappointed. I ordered the 4.00$ Aloo Rolls (potato filling). The wrap is essentially a luchi(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luchi)which is Bengali variant of the more popular North-Indian poori (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poori). Either way, it is not a paratha, which is what it should have been.
    The filling was basically aloo, coriander chutney and onions. A lot more could have been done with it, but nonetheless it was bearable.

    I am very picky about my Indian food, but when it comes to street food my general philosophy is if it is cheap and it tastes good, it works for me. In this case, i thought it was moderately prices and failed miserably on the taste front. The wrap had become rubbery and it was difficult to tear it apart and consequently, my jaws are still hurting. The filling, like I said, was only okay but I was really let down by the fact that the kati rolls, were simply not kathi rolls to begin with :(

    • Desi – you should review all the other indian carts, especially the biryani cart. I’m curious :)

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.