Lil Zeus Lunch Box Brings Greek Cuisine to Midtown West

Shortly after I alerted y’all to the existence of this magical blue cart, I went back to check out the goodies. I even foolishly asked the guy for “a little hot sauce” – because part of the quality of any street cart lies in how good their hot sauce is, right?? Right! What I ate, and how I fared with their hot sauce, after the jump…

Here’s the menu again — since I was flying solo this time, I wanted to try two meats. I know some of you thought the $1 or so difference to Uncle Gussy’s was unconscionable, so you may really cringe when you see what happened to me. There’s no price listed for a combo platter, and honestly, I didn’t want *extra* or double meat, I just wanted a *mix* of two meats, which should be a buck or so more, right? Well, I asked the guy if I could have two meats mixed, and he said sure. I apparently did NOT learn my lesson from Jerk Pan about asking the price of things not on the menu, because when it came time to pay, I flinched at hearing the total of $11. The guy added “and you can take a soda,” so I blurted out, “Um, can I not take a soda and just pay $10?” and he said sure. I don’t know if that’ll always work – I know there are some carts that are really picky about you paying the higher amount and taking the soda you don’t want – but I didn’t want to break the ML “limit” so I had to say it.

I also asked him for “a little hot sauce” when he asked what I wanted on it. I think my face dropped when, from my angle on the sidewalk, it appeared as though he went *squirt squirt squirt squirt* all over my platter with the hot sauce bottle before closing it up. I didn’t know if I could handle another way-too-spicy lunch…

While I waited, I chatted a bit with the guy in the cart handling most orders. Their system seems to need work – there was one guy prepping platters and sandwiches while the other guy cooked, but the window/s were open in such a way that both of them could be approached by customers wanting to order. Both of them took orders, both of them took money, but the system is clunky – only one of them should take orders and handle money, honestly. It got a little confusing when the guy cooking the meats was trying to take someone’s money, give them food, and take another order… while the guy prepping platters and sandwiches was asking him to put on another stick, another lamb, etc. Apparently, they also offer gyros, though that’s not written out on the menu (the lamb is gyro-lamb, not actual chunks of lamb).

I did find out, however, that they just finished their third week in that spot, and they intend to always be in that spot. They have no affiliation to Uncle Gussy’s – though they certainly know who Uncle Gussy’s is – and simply picked the blue because “that’s the blue of Greece, you know, our flag and everything.” Ah. The guy seemed very confident and happy, assuring me that I’d like the food.

The good: the pork was cut into large chunks. The little mint tossed in the bag was much appreciated because, though I didn’t eat much actual onion (that in my salad was largely pushed aside), my mouth really tasted like onions after I finished eating (not sure what they marinate the meat in). The lamb was nicely crisp, cut into thin slices that gave each edge a really good, almost crunchiness to it. The salad wasn’t just an afterthought; it was Romaine lettuce and there was feta cheese in it, giving it more of a Greek flair than some random iceberg bag mix (though the balsamic vinegar was a little odd).

The bad: the large chunks of pork were a bit unwieldy to eat, and some of my pieces were a little chewy. There wasn’t an awful lot of meat, to be honest, and there was a ton of rice. For those of you who absolutely hate your food touching, these styrofoam containers have no divider so my salad was kind of just pushed to one side, so balsamic vinegar freely mixed into my rice. The tzatziki didn’t taste particularly special (though yogurt based, not mayo), and the hot sauce boasted a nice kick but nothing unbearable (sorry if you clicked through just to hear about my discomfort!), though it was flavorful. Service was a little slow – but that’s to be expected in the first month of a cart/truck, so I have hope that things will start to run more smoothly as they learn. As it was, they did seem to experience a bit of a crunch as more people came over to order.

Oddly, the day I first saw the cart and took pics, it was close to 6th Avenue and alone. The day I went back – I think the next day – there were 3-4 hot dog carts on the corner, pushing it farther in (even more bizarrely, there was a huge group of tourists that was ordering helterskelter from each hot dog/pretzel cart, with only 1-2 people interested in the Greek cart). I don’t know if this was a scare tactic (am I paranoid?) or a hazing ritual, but it seemed bizarre to have literally 3-4 of the same type of cart, then the Greek cart pushed farther along the street than previously.

In any case, I welcome Lil Zeus Lunch Box heartily and feel it’s a welcome addition to that part of midtown. Not too many carts are serving up what they are, though there are some kinks that will hopefully be worked out over time.

Welcome to Midtown West, Lil Zeus Lunch Box!!

THE + (what people who like this will say)

  • Greek cart in Midtown (North)West!!
  • I don’t want to walk to Uncle Gussy’s nor wait in that line
  • One souvlaki stick at $4 is totally enough to fill me up, score

THE – (what people who don’t like this place will say)

  • I have more time than money and will go to Uncle Gussy’s
  • I’m not into visiting carts while they work out kinks/learn their style
  • I don’t like balsamic vinegar on my Greek salads

Lil Zeus Lunch Box, southwest corner of 50th Street and 6th Avenue


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    Thanks for the sweet, sweet content! Seems like this cart’s higher prices don’t really get you anything over other similar carts.

    • I’m hoping with time they find their bearings and target demographic… the prices can change, and they’ll figure things out. They seemed really genuine.

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    Yay! Cart Reviews!!! Thanks! :)

  • Great review maybe I don’t get out of my usual choices of street meat trucks but i can’t remember ever getting bread with my street meat platters.

    • I’ve definitely seen where you get a skewer/kebab and on the end, they’ll stick a piece of this type of bread (which I watched them do for a tourist who got a lecture from a guy on line telling him to not hold his money out like that) – usually at street fairs and the like. However, I meant to mention that the bread might’ve been an addition since I was chatting with him a bit before he packed my meal – I’ve noticed a lot of trucks/carts will toss in little extras like that when I talk to them (or if I’m a regular and they recognize me, obviously). I am not entirely sure it always comes with the bread, which I sadly ignored anyway.

  • Speaking of 50th and 6th, any Sombrero Cart sightings?

    • Not since the end of 2013. Boooo. I haven’t heard of any sightings in Queens, where I think they live(d), either.

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