Trying out Joe’s Kitchen Cart’s Chicken Parm
I actually stopped by Joe’s Kitchen Cart (SE corner of 44th+6th) within hours of Clay picking up the $3.50 street meat platter last week, and had the same doubts and misgivings. The odd menu, the double duty of a coffee cart trying to extend its hours into lunch without a clear agenda or needed space, and incredibly low price point are all red flags that would warrant most customers walking to one of the more trusted carts in the area instead. I knew that I should try something other than the platter, and once I saw Chicken Parm ($5) on the menu, I knew it would either be a disaster or EPIC!
For starters, my meal took a good 10 minutes to make as nothing was prepared ahead of time. This is street meat, people. You need to be prepared! For me, it’s no problem since I rarely have some place to be, but for the vast majority of you, those extra 5 minutes of waiting for food might mean not getting a chance to eat your lunch. We frequent the carts and (some) trucks specifically because of their fast turnaround. As for the sandwich, I’m sorry to say it wasn’t epic, just average. It was a lot of sandwich for the money, but that may be its sole redeeming quality. The chicken was pan-fried before being placed in the sandwich with Rinaldo marinara sauce and Polly-O mozzarella, similar to chicken parms made by college students. In other words, no beautiful breaded cutlet here smothered in melted homemade mozzarella. Not terrible, but not enough to stop me from getting my chicken parm fix at Park Italian or Little Italy a block up.
I still kind of wonder how their baked ziti is.