Archive for '45th and 6th'

Is 45th & 6th A Viable Food Truck Stop Again?

The NW corner of 45th street and 6th avenue used to be a food truck favorite spot, bringing a regular swath of trucks almost every day of the workweek. Then, the NYPD crackdown in Midtown ruined the fun, forcing trucks to find other often less lucrative locations to park during the lunch rush. But, it seems that slowly things have been reverting back to the good ol’ days. This week, on Tuesday, Schnitzel & Things couldn’t park at their planned spot on 40th & 6th due to construction, so they moved uptown to 45th & 6th.
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NYC Cravings Brings Taiwanese Fried Chicken Awesomeness to the Mobile Food Scene

I have to give Danny from Food in Mouth full and complete credit for this one. On Friday he posted about the newest truck to hit the mobile food scene here in New York City: NYC Cravings. Terrible name… but the food sounded intriguing.  At the end of his post he begged them to come to Midtown for lunch, and yesterday they obliged- parking on 45th btw. 6+7th. Huge crowds turned out for their Taiwanese style fried chicken, served over rice with “a secret pork sauce” and by 1:15 they were out of food.

I was lucky enough to be there on the early side, and got to try what could be my new favorite truck in New York City.

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The Treats Truck Will Try Her Luck at 45th St. Today

Back in June we mentioned how long the line for the Treats Truck had become on Wednesdays- the one day a week it’s parked on 45th btw. 6+7th. The owner Kim herself has told me it’s her most popular spot, which may lead one to wonder- “Why don’t you park there more often?”  The people want it.  It would be good for business.  What’s stopping her?  Two words.  Mister.  Softee.  Last spring, when the weather started to warm up, and the Mister Softee truck returned to its regular spot on 45th & 6th, a “conversation” ensued.  Kim was told she couldn’t park on that block, but a “deal” was struck between the two vendors allowing the Treats Truck to park on 45th and 6th one day a week.

And that’s the way things were… until the Wafels and Dinges Truck arrived.   Read more »

Wednesday Treats Truck Line is Out of Control; Help May Be on the Way Soon

I decided to stop by the Treats Truck yesterday after hearing rumors that the Wednesday lines have gotten crazy on 45th & 6th. Sure enough the line was down the block, and that was at 2:30!  I don’t even want to know what it’s like during peak lunch time.  That corner is easily owner Kim Ima’s most popular spot, and she used to park there twice a week, but now that it’s summertime, and the ice cream trucks are back she is only “allowed” to park in that spot once a week (competition among carts in Midtown is fierce, and there is a lot of politics and jockeying for position between the carts.)

You may remember the Treats Truck only started parking in that space regularly last winter, when the ice cream truck that has occupied that spot for years went into “hibernation.”  Clearly he’s back (it’s freakin hot out), which is why Sugar is only there once a week now- but I have a great idea to get the Treats Truck more days on 45th & 6th, and hopefully make the lines shorter…  Read more »

Wall Street Journal… Welcome to Midtown. Need lunch?

 

So the news broke on Weds, and was confirmed yesterday that Rupert Murdoch plans on moving the Wall St. Journal from their Downtown offices to the News Corp. building on 6th Ave. & 48th St., smack dab in the middle of Midtown.  Well, let me be the first to say welcome!  We’re actually neighbors (I work in the McGraw Hill Building across the street), and there are plenty of great lunch options within walking distance of our block.

According to the NY Observer, you guys are leaving behind PJ Clarke’s.  Well don’t you worry, the original one is here in Midtown- although 3rd Ave. is a pretty long walk away. 

Some much closer options, after the jump… Read more »

Day in the Life: Muhammed “Kwik Meal” Rahman

Ever wondered what the white sauce is made from at your favorite chicken and rice cart?  Or where the cart even comes from?  Where do they prepare the food?  And, of course- is it clean?  Have you ever wondered what it was like to run a street cart?  Here is a glimpse into the life of one person that knows the answers to all those questions…

Much has been written about Muhammed Rahman.  Born in Bangladesh, this chef has become famous for being that street cart guy who used to work at the Russian Tea Room.  Now he owns and operates Kwik Meal, a Lamb & Rice cart on 45th & 6th which opened in 2000.  Since then Rahman has opened two more carts (one on 45th & 5th, and one on 47th & Park) both run by his brothers.  Food costs are high, and profits are low- yet he would never go back to cooking at a restaurant, because he loves the interaction with the customers you only get running a food cart.  This is a day in his life…

Photos & Timeline by Ryan Devlin

 

6:00am: Muhammed Rahman wakes up in Jackson Heights, Queens. Heads to garage (also in Jackson Heights) to pick up his cart.

6:28am: Arrives at the garage in Jackson Heights, and gets the cart stocked with goods. As is required by law, all the food, drinks and sauces must be prepared and stored in the garage, or other DOH approved facility.  Nothing can be prepared at home. Rahman buys most of his supplies directly from wholesalers and has them delivered directly to the garage.  The cart is stocked up with supplies for the day, including the meat which had been prepared the night before, and left to marinate overnight.

6:55am: The cart is hooked up to the truck, and they leave the garage with cart in tow.

 

7:25am: The truck arrives at corner of 45th and 6th, at which point the truck tows it into place before the workers straighten it out by hand.  The whole process takes about five minutes.  On this morning, the sidewalk had already been hosed down by the building’s maintenence man… but if they show up to a dirty sidewalk, Rahman will rinse it off himself while the truck waits with the cart. 

7:30am: The cart is secured in its spot.  A worker takes the truck to be parked in a Midtown garage, which costs hundreds of dollars a month.  Everyone else goes to work setting the cart up. The glass windows are put into place, and the inside of the cart is prepared.  First the pans and containers are arranged in their proper place.  Then the sauces.  After that, the propane tank is set up and the surfaces are given another wipe-down just before cooking starts. One guy sets up the beverages, putting ice in the cooler and water, sodas, etc.  After that, the workers pull on their white chef smocks and white hats.

 

8:07am: Once the cart is prepped and everything is in place, they fire up the grill, oil it down, and the cooking begins. Chicken goes on the grill first, while another worker starts throwing falafel balls into the deep fryer.  The cooking takes about three hours as they work through the chicken, lamb and beef.  During this time they will also cut and prep the vegetables.

11:00am: Cart officially opens for business.

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Kwik Meal

DAY 3 of FALAFEL WEEK 

Finally, after two days of mediocrity- I finally hit the goldmine.  A fresh, hot falafel- that isn’t dry in the middle, or messy.  Happy times.

Definitely the tastiest falafel so far this week.  The pita is that pillowy soft kind of pita, so they have to roll it up with the falafel inside, rather then cut a hole in it and stuff the falafel inside.  They also brush it with butter and stick it on the skillet- so it’s hot and delicious.  The falafel is made fresh right in the cart, so it’s still hot when you eat it and the balls are small so it’s not dry.  They are served on top of a little bit of lettuce and tomato, and some yogurt sauce, which is a really refreshing change from some of the tahini heavy falafel in Midtown.  The only downside is the size… definetely the smallest, but at only $3.75 you can afford to get two (if you’re super hungry), or a bag of chips!

All in all, the butter grilled pita, and the lack of veggies make this the least healthy of the falafel I’ve had this week… but sometimes, least healthy translates to tastiest.

THE +

  • Fresh falafel that are not dry in the middle
  • Pillowy pita bread, that is brushed with butter and grilled
  • If you like yogurt sauce instead of tahini, this is the place for you

THE -

  • The size
  • If you’re into veggies, this place isn’t for you.  There’s only a little lettuce and tomato on the falafel
  • If you’re not into carts… it’s a cart

Kwik Meal, Cart on the SW Corner of 45th and 6th