Joe’s Kitchen Coffee Cart Also Sells $3.50 Street Meat
Last week, we got a tweet from luncher “Michael” and a forum post form luncher “Chowsue” reporting that a truck on 44th and 6th avenue was serving chicken on rice for a measly $3.50. Between my love a good bargain and concern over how it could possibly be so cheap, there was more than a little internal conflict when I headed over to investigate.
The first issue was finding it. Unlike my old office area, down by 34th street, there’s no shortage of curry carts in the mid-40′s. On 44th and 6th avenue, I didn’t see a single truck, but there were six carts selling one thing or another. I stopped by each of them and found the same $5+ price point that I’ve come to expect everywhere. I almost gave up and walked away until thought to glance at coffee cart, Joe’s Kitchen.
Between the doughnuts on display and all the breakfast sandwiches on the menu, it never occurred to me to look for chicken on rice there. And, really, when I did find it, I was even more hesitant to try it. The sign, with its questionable spelling, odd lettering and pseudo-Spanish subtitles didn’t encourage much confidence.
The more ‘official’ looking menu lists other dishes – gyros, ziti, meatballs, and chicken parm seem straightforward if somewhat suspect, but options like crepes and belgian waffles tread into the bizarre.
The cart is a one man show, raised up above the street in an enclosed cart, which precluded much in the way of multitasking. This led to some difficulty for the lady behind me, who couldn’t manage to get his attention at all. It also made things less comfortable when a homeless lady got in line and started rummaging through her bags while she waited.
When my food was ready (about a 10 minute wait, all told), I was happily surprised to see it overflowing with chicken and the vendor pouring white sauce and hot sauce on top with a heavy hand.
So, how was it? Not bad. The chicken was plentiful, although there was more rice than I’d initially thought. Sadly, the rice wasn’t so great. Not quite crunchy, it was still undercooked. In the end, it’s a good value for $3.50, but given all the great options in the area, I’d have to be really broke to pass up the others to eat here.
Joe’s Kitchen, 44th & 6th