Uncle Gussy’s Makes a Mean Lamb Chop (And Their Other Specials Look Great)
I’ve been enthralled recently by the goings on at Uncle Gussy’s Truck (on 51st and Park). I had a lot of respect for the well thought out letter that Nick, one of the truck’s proprietors, wrote to ML about truck legality. And of course Jeremiah’s recent post about their souvlaki gave me lunch’er envy. But when I saw that they were grilling up lamb chops (yes, genuine lamb chops) over rice for a lunch special this week, that sealed the deal. I high tailed it over to midtown east to finally give them a try.
I’m typically a late luncher. Realistically I don’t end up leaving my desk until 1:30 or later. But when I saw the lamb chop special posted in the daily twitter tracker round up (thanks for blowing up my lunch plans, ZB!) I knew I had to get myself to the truck stat. Even the drizzly weather wasn’t going to keep the line away. I got to the truck at around 12:55pm and had my order in by 1:05pm–the last order of lamb chops for the day (sorry to all ya’ll behind me in line). Since I was meeting up with the husband and my mom for lunch I also picked up a Greek Salad topped with chicken and a sausage pita. When I asked if it was Greek sausage, the guy on the truck told me it was actually spicy Italian sausage, but with the tzatziki sauce it tastes “all Greek.”
The sausage pita ($4.00) was good–kind of a melding of the Italian sausage and peppers street food of my youth with a Greek kick. For the spicy adverse, the tzatziki sauce tempers the heat a bit.
The Greek salad was great. Plenty of kalamata olives, tomatoes and feta cheese over a bed of mixed greens. Hidden in the salad was a single stuffed grape leave (if it’s just one, does that make it a stuffed grape leaf?). The grape leaf/leave was awesome–nice and lemony, and as good as my own mom’s grape leaves. That’s some high praise considering my mom spent time in Greece during college and learned her recipe from old Greek church ladies! I had wanted to get souvlaki over the Greek salad, but I think there was a mis-communication and I ended up with just seasoned chicken over salad. The chicken was still great, both tender and flavorful and it saved me an extra $1.50 (adding chicken is just $1.50, compared to $3 for souvlaki) bringing the salad total to $6.50.
And for the pièce de résistance: grilled lamb chops, yellow rice, and a bit of Greek salad (lettuce, tomato, and feta) for $10. The lamb was tender and well seasoned by Nick’s mom (who makes all the specials) and grilled to perfection; not at all tough, just right. My own mom reckoned that it was marinated in olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and spices–probably oregano. I’m not an expert when it comes to identifying cuts of meat, but these looked like the blade chops that I prepare myself at home when I can get them on sale. Though I’m normally a cheapo when it comes to lunch–I like to stay in the $5ish range, for the amount of food and the quality I was willing to spend the $10. Next time they offer this lunch special, I am so there!
This lunch got the thumbs up from all eaters. My husband’s only complaint was that he thought the pita that the sausage came on was a bit bland. Everything else was excellent. It even got my mom’s seal of approval- which is amazing considering this is the same woman who wouldn’t let me have a pretzel from a street vendor as a child.
Uncle Gussy is always parked on the SE Corner of 51st and Park, but you can check their twitter or the ML Twitter Tracker for specials. Today’s? Grecian meatballs in a red sauce, served with greek salad macaronopita (it’s like spanakopita, but instead of spinach it’s pasta wrapped in FILO with feta). Sounds like Nick’s mom went all out today! You might want to get there early…
Uncle Gussy’s, SE Corner of 51st+Park