Archive for 'Rickshaw Dumpling Cart'

Rickshaw Dumpling Truck Loses Anita Lo

There were more than a few Anita Lo fans at last year’s Vendy Awards who wondered how the amazing and talented chef (of the newly reopened Anissa) could be behind the just ok food from the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck.  Answer? She’s not… anymore that is.  The Chef told FloFab yesterday that she will not be renewing her contract with the 5 year old company. Eater, for one, is not surprised.  “Her star is rising once again and the dumplings are not exactly the city’s best.” Ouch.  For the record, we’ve always seen the good (and the bad) in Rickshaw.  The ML faithful?  Not so much.

Rickshaw Dumpling Gets Huanged in the NYT

There’s an interesting article in the New York Times today about chefs that use twitter, but the part that might be of interest to Midtown Lunch’ers was Baohaus Chef Eddie Huang’s takedown of Rickshaw Dumpling: “The dumplings are horrible and the kitschy Chinese branding is offensive.” Ouch! Where have I heard that assessment before…

Related:
Rickshaw Dumpling Responds to the Haters
A Proper +/- of the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck

Rickshaw Truck Can’t Make Enough of Their New Duck Dumplings

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If it wasn’t clear before, the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck (which parks in Midtown, and Downtown, a few days a week) has become quite the love ‘em or hate ‘em kind of vendor.  We’ve read the hate, and seen the love.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I love me some Chinatown dumplings, and don’t think that Rickshaw comes even close to being what I’d consider a “great dumpling” (and they’re shockingly overpriced to boot.) There’s not enough filling, and the wrapper doesn’t stick together.  They’re also steamed, so you don’t get that delicious crisp of the far superior pan fried dumpling. If you think the dumplings are terrible, I can’t really say that you’re wrong.  Did I mention that they are freakin’ expensive? And most Midtown Lunch commenters hate them. I get it.

But here’s their one saving grace (and it’s probably why they are starting to build up a Midtown following among those who don’t frequent Chinatown.)  They don’t taste terrible.  For all their faults, the dumplings use quality ingredients, and have a decent flavor.  (Unlike, say, the NYC Cravings vegan dumplings.) Plus you can’t argue with their dipping sauces. Would I pay for Rickshaw Dumplings? No.  But a lot of people do.  So in the spirit of the +/-, I went to check out their newest special: the peking duck dumplings.

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At Lunch Now: Rickshaw is Mobbed, Van Leeuwen is on Park

Despite all the vitriol from ML commenters, it looks like the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck has found their audience. They’re on 45th btw 6+7th today, and completely mobbed.

Speaking of hipster trucks, I’m hearing the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck is in Midtown today parked on 52nd and Park. Enjoy!

WSJ Cart Article Mentions Cart on Cart Intimidation

The Wall Street Journal becomes the latest publication to report on the new mobile food trend sweeping the nation. It covers much of the same ground- like twitter and how much cheaper it is for trained Chefs to open a truck than a brick and mortar restaurant. But it also spends a little bit of time talking about the obstacles, including a topic that Midtown Lunch has covered extensively: cart on cart intimidation.

“Another major hazard of the business, newcomers say, is hostility—and even threats—from the competition. Mr. Lao [from the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck] says his entry into the industry was marked by threats and sabotage by other vendors, who parked their carts right in front of his sales window.”

In related news, the NYPost reports this morning that a criminal complaint has been filed over threats directed by a Mr. Softee truck at a Good Humor man in Queens. That sounds familiar.

Related:
At Lunch Now: Rickshaw Dumpling Truck Take Two
Halal Vendors Chase Happy Well Being Cart Back Downtown
Rafiqi’s Tries To Intimidate New Mexican Cart From 49th Street
The Treats Truck Will Try Her Luck at 45th St. Today

Rickshaw Dumpling Truck Has an Ivy League Pedigree

Not only is Kenny Lao, the co-owner of the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck, a Brown Grad (class of ’98, who knew!?!), he’ll be giving a lecture entitled “Dumplings to Dollars” as part of a series of events organized by the Brown University Club. It might only be open to NYU, Yale & Brown alumni (I’m not really sure), though judging by how incredibly intelligent Midtown Lunch’ers seem, I’m making the assumption that a lot of you went to those three schools. (Either that, or you’re smart enough to finagle your way in.)

The truck is parked next to the Treats Truck on 45th and 6th today.

Rickshaw Dumpling Responds to the Haters

Following yesterdays post about Rickshaw Dumpling Bar possibly opening a Midtown location (and the subsequent complaints that followed), part owner Kenny Lao responded in the comments:

“Hey Guys:

It’s Kenny, Anita’s partner from Rickshaw. Zach, thank you for all of the shout outs regarding the truck. This is my first response to comments on a blog, but I thought I would put in my two cents. I hope I don’t get too ripped up!

Yes, the rent was very high as Anita said on 8th Street and while rents in midtown are pricey, the combination of (1.) our goal of doing a smaller store, (2.) the softening of the real estate market and (3.) a high density of people that support our truck in midtown makes us really want to put in a brick and mortar store up there.

Regarding the truck: we would love to be in midtown all week long, and indeed being on 52nd and Lex on Tuesdays and 45th and 6th on Fridays is very busy (thanks for showing the dumpling love!) but with only one truck (so far!) we like cruising around the city and going to spots that people suggest we should try (email us new spots!) and potentially also using the truck to figure out where we can put new shops.”

And what about the whole Chinatown comparison?

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Rickshaw Dumpling Bar Coming to Midtown?

Anito Lo has told Grub St. that “though she closed the 8th Street location of Rickshaw Dumpling Bar due to high rent, she is hoping to reopen it in Midtown.” That’s strange. I can’t imagine Midtown rents are cheaper than the Village, and the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck only spends a few days a week here (you would think that if business were great they’d spend all week, right?) On the other hand, there isn’t really any fast food Asian soup/dumpling competition, and a full service location would enable them to sell their full menu (the truck has pretty limited options.) Can Midtown really support a 5-7 day a week brick and mortar Rickshaw Dumpling Bar? Should be interesting to see how this plays out…

Related:
A Proper +/- of the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck

Midtown Trucks Roll Out the Hot Stuff

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With the temperature starting to dip down, it’s not surprising to see places rolling out the hot soups and warm specials for the winter.  Food trucks especially seem to be taking the lead… for example, Rickshaw Dumpling Truck just introduced Miso Soup to the menu.  You can get it alone for $3, or added to an order of dumplings as a the perfect side dish. 

In sweeter news, hot chocolate has returned to the Dessert Truck as a winter special, and the Treats Truck says they plan on adding their own hot chocolate very soon. Rickshaw & the Treats Truck are in Midtown today on 45th btw. 6+7th, and the Dessert Truck is in their normal spot on Park Ave. and 52nd.

But wait there’s more… chicken noodle soup (and homemade fudge) is after the jump.

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A Proper +/- of the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck

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After a few days down on Wall Street, the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck is back in Midtown today- parked on 52nd and Lexington Ave.  Ever since it was announced that the Rickshaw Dumpling Bar (which has two brick and mortar locations in the lower of half of Manhattan) would be opening a truck, there has been a lot of criticism in the comments.  And a lot of it is is warranted. The place is freakin’ expensive. And it’s fancy pants Asian food, not the sort of cheap, authentic Hing Won/Ying Du’ish chinese food we normally praise here on Midtown Lunch.  Who the hell would spend $6 on 6 dumplings, when you can go to Chinatown and get 5 better dumplings for the price of 1 dumpling at the Rickshaw truck. Even with the subway ride there and back it would still be cheaper! 

All of this 100% true.  And yet, it doesn’t mean that nobody will like the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck.  And that’s why we do the +/-

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