Archive for 'Tony Dragonas Cart'

Has Street Meat Student (Carnegie John) Surpassed Teacher (Tony Dragonas)?

Tony Dragonas Cart

Believe or not I had actually never eaten at the super famous Tony “The Dragon” Dragonas cart on Madison & 62nd until last week.  I am very familiar with his disciple, Carnegie John (on 56th and 7th), but have never made it up to see the man himself.  I know it’s just a few blocks out of bounds, but there’s something about the UES that repels me- and if I do find myself up anywhere near that area, I usually eat at the original El Rey del Sabor Cart (on 60th and 3rd).

Anyway, a doctor’s appt. brought me right past the Dragon’s popular cart last week during lunch, and again those words popped into my head (like they have so many times before when faced with something delicious)…  “how could I not?”

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Famous Out of Bounds Street Cart May Be Forced to Shut Down

Save Tony Video, courtesy of the Street Vendor Project

The New York Times has an article this morning about Tony “The Dragon” Dragonas, the famous street meat and burger vendor situated just outside the Midtown Lunch boundaries, on 62nd & Madison.  According to the Times, the 2005 Vendy Award winner ”has 42 outstanding violations totaling $16,865” and “next month he is scheduled to appear before an administrative law judge, who will determine whether he can continue operating.”

Not mentioned in the newspaper article, but highlighted on the website of the Street Vendor Project, the organization who runs the annual Vendy awards, is Tony’s explanation for the fines:

Last year, the guy in the restaurant down the street started to complain about my smoke. I’ve never really had any problems with the Health Department, but the inspectors started coming every couple of weeks. Every time they came, they would give me 3,4, 5 or 6 tickets. Usually they cited me for the smoke. They also gave me tickets for not wearing my hat, being too close to the crosswalk, and other things. But never for selling bad food — nobody has ever gotten sick or complained about my food.

If “The Dragon” gets shut down, it will be a big blow to the city’s street meat conossieurs.  Get more information, and sign the petition to help save Tony at