El Rey Del Sabor: Two Years, 3 Carts Later

El Rey Del Sabor, Midtown NYCCan I just take a quick minute to get nostalgic about El Rey del Sabor? It was actually two years ago this week that I first tried the original cart on 60th and 3rd.  They had been open for just a month, parked behind Bloomingdales (on 60th and 3rd), and needless to say I was excited.  Back then it was just one cart, run by Vilio (who cooked the food) and his sister Rosa (who made the tortillas by hand.)  This was back before their Mexican cheesesteak, their second cart on 49th and Park, their run in with Rafiqi, the fight their third cart on 43rd had with that halal vendor, and of course plantergate. Rosa no longer makes the tortillas by hand (the 3 carts are way too busy), but they now serve al pastor, and chalupas.  Of course last month they were nominated for the 2010 Vendy Awards, and yesterday they got a full spread in Serious Eats: New York. They’re facing some stiff competition at the Vendy’s this weekend, and I don’t know if they can pull it off (Patacon Pisao and Schnitzel & Things are some fierce competition). But no matter what happens it won’t make us feel any less proud.


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    Did they recently raise their prices on some things? Seems like what I had the other day was $1.00 more than it used to be.

  • I like them all too but when push comes to shove the smashed banana sandwich with the BBQ in it reigns supreme

  • I’ve tried many of the top carts in NY and El Ray is one of the very few I return to frequently, they just do it right, not the best Mexican food I know, but very good and good Mexican is not easy to do.

  • They have al Pastor?!?!?! I only just recently went for the first time, last week. I went to the 43rd St cart. I don’t remember seeing it, otherwise I definitely would have gotten it. I got three taco’s, beef, chicken, and pork. The pork was not al Pastor.
    PLEASE let me know if / where I cans till get it.

  • I hate to have to acknowledge this, since I really liked this cart, but the one on 49th at least seems to have gone way downhill. They take absolutely forever, screw up orders, and the food just doesn’t taste as good as I remember. I’ve stopped going there even though I work right on that block. Maybe it’s time to give them another try and see if it was just a couple of off weeks.

  • Thanks Mamacita! Next time I go, I will just order it and hope for the best!

  • Patacon Pisao and Schnitz are definitely stiff Vendy competition, but so is Bistro Truck. It’s outside midtown, but is one of my faves. And you can’t count out Freddy, who has been a Vendy finalist twice before.

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