Adel’s is Another Downtown Street Meat Gem

Adel's 008
A few weeks ago, I announced a continuing mission of mine while writing for this site: to find the best street meat downtown.  This week, the journey continues.  But first, I want to thank everyone who posted street meat recommendations last time around.  With the launch of this new site, the focus is going to be all on you Downtowners and great new places for you to eat.  As much as I feel I have to share with you, I know I’m gonna miss more spots than I nail.  So please, if at any time in my tenure here you’ve got an awesome place you think people should know about, just shout it out. Let me know what you’re thinking and I’ll do my best to get it done.

With that being said, on the sage advice of one chris6sigma, I took the fight back to the streets this week and went to check out Adel’s located on the corner of Maiden Lane and Front Street.

This cart seemed almost hidden to me.  I know it’s hard to hide something sitting on a street corner, but I’ve been here a few times now and each time, by the time I get there, the crowds have disappeared and it’s just me and the tumbleweeds. I haven’t a clue why, though.  The food is good, the guys in the cart are friendly, and it’s got one added feature that heaps of other carts don’t have: a gorgeous dining room.  Yeah, you read that right. Once you order your food, just turn around and go right in that building.  The lobby is a beautiful public space that I wholeheartedly recommend you take full advantage of.
Adel's 006

But onto the food.  You’ll get your choice of three kinds of rice at Adel’s: white, yellow, or red/brown.  The white is pretty self-explanatory, though it comes with some added veg.  The yellow again is fairly standard, though a bit more aromatic with the spices.  Finally, the red/brown has got a bit of smokiness, like he mixed in some Adobo sauce or something, though without the heat.  I like to stick with the yellow, but if you’re curious, he’ll throw in all three for you.
Adel's 003
The meat was great, a definite departure from the standard you’ll get at Liberty Plaza (I’m starting to think of that area as the McDonald’s of street meat venues).  It just offered a greater variety of textures and flavors, and I’m all about variety.  And you certainly can’t complain when you get a couple of bonus falafel!  One of the make-or-break items for me is always the hot sauce and this one definitely lives up to its name.  I didn’t need a fire extinguisher or anything, but I did certainly need an extra napkin to pat down my brow.

Adel’s is a great place to grab some grub, without a doubt one of the best places to great street meat in the Financial District.  But is it THE best? I’m not making any conclusions just yet.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • A delicious departure from the standard street meat
  • More variety in rice means more variety in flavors
  • Finally! Some real hot sauce!

THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • It’s a little out of the way for me
  • I already have my street meat favorites, thank you very much
  • My frail taste buds can’t handle the heat of that hot sauce!

Adel’s, the corner of Maiden Lane and Front Street



  • w00t! I still crave this stuff like crack. Sadly, our office relocated a while back.

  • Good hot sauce and those falafels come with the plate too? Sounds like it’s worth a try. I should check out downtown sometime (even that McDonald’szy Plaza area), even though I almost never hang-out there.

  • StreetMeas – yeah, they throw in 2-3 falafels (a few more if you’re a regular).

    Chris – I just noticed you got really lucky on your visit. There’s usually a line about 15+ deep by lunch time. I have many fond memories of huddling in line for 20+ minutes in sub-freezing temperatures for a plate of this stuff.

  • i can make a trek to maiden and front one of these days…

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    The cart on SE corner of Wall and Pearl Streets is another gem. Lamb biryani over rice is what I go for.

  • I ate there today and boy Chris wasn’t kiddin…the meat is so flavorful. I’m a hot sauce junky and there is NOTHING like Adel’s homemade hot sauce…if you can handle it :)

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