Archive for 'Caribbean'

A Double From Nio’s Trinidad Roti Makes A Good Snack

Sometimes you’re in search of something to tide you over until dinner, or maybe you just don’t want to eat a giant roti for lunch. In that case, might I suggest a double from Nio’s Trinidad Roti truck? At $2 it’s an economical choice and you’ll get one handed to you in swift fashion with the only question whether you want it spicy or not.

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Checking Out The Namesake Dish At Nio’s Trinidad Roti Truck

Last week, we at Midtown Lunch: Downtown got a tip that Nio’s Trinidad Roti truck was parked directly in front of Veronica’s Kitchen cart on Water between Maiden Lane & Pine. I went in search of the truck on Monday in the rain and when I didn’t see it parked in that spot, I turned around to see what the situation was at Veronica’s, only to find that the cart was MIA and Nio’s had taken their regular spot on Front St. My brain screamed “WHAT?!,” but I calmed down enough to realize that maybe Veronica’s wasn’t out that day because of the non-stop rain. So I stepped up to the window at Nio’s, feeling like I was betraying an old friend, and ordered some lunch.

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Nio’s Trinidad Roti Truck Returns To The FiDi (On Veronica’s Turf)

nio's trinidad roti

A Lunch’er alerted me to a little Caribbean turf war that happened yesterday when Nio’s Trinidad Roti truck park on Water St. near Pine, right in front of the plaza where Veronica’s Kitchen cart has sat for years on Front St. The menus looked somewhat similar with various meats served with peas and rice, along with roti (there weren’t prices posted, so no idea if they’re comparable). A search of the Web shows that Nio’s parked down on Front St. for many years serving three kinds of roti and doubles alongside the meat and rice dishes. The truck appears to be a mobile version of a brick and mortar roti shop on Church Ave. in Brooklyn. Did any of you eat at the truck yesterday or when it used to be down in the Financial District ages ago?

Trinidad & Tobago’s Roti Is Totally Worth Dirtying Your Hands For

As you’re probably aware there are two carts serving West Indian food in the FiDi. I knew about both Veronica’s Kitchen and Trinidad & Tobago carts before I became editor of this site but I hadn’t ever eaten at them. Why? Well, I live in a neighborhood where for a long time the only food options other than crappy Chinese were Caribbean places. My very first meal after moving to NYC and unloading all of my belongings was at a West Indian takeout place. So I guess I figured since I could get this food any time I didn’t need to stuff my face with it at lunch. Then the other day I really wanted roti come lunchtime for some reason I can’t explain, and it was a toss up which cart to get this from. Veronica’s has already been written up a couple of times on this site so instead I headed way down to the T&T cart on Whitehall St. (btw. Bridge & Pearl) to see how Ms. Shirley’s roti stacked up.

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Oxtail at Its Finest in the Financial District

One of the things I think we do right downtown is food from street carts. Legendary street meat? Check (check, check, and check). Barbecue? Check. Caribbean soul food? Check and check.  And that’s all not even counting the trucks that bounce back and forth between here and Midtown! (I do really want a German sausage cart though.) Yesterday, Eater gave a brief lament about how bad the food situation is in the Financial District.  I just don’t think they’ve taken the time to explore our riches, and the same goes for all those poor (generous, as it was a “$5 donation day”) saps standing in line at the Chipotle opening.  Well, hopefully that’s what we’re doing with this website. We’re doing our best to find those lunches we think are worth knowing and bringing them to your computer screen.  What you do with that information once it’s there is entirely up to you. But I hope you’re passing it on, telling people about the food you think is worth it, not for the benefit of this website, but for the benefit of the people serving the food.  Over the course of my time writing for this site, my appreciation for those men and women has grown enormously.  Their dedication to their livelihood really is inspiring.  It puts the mailman to shame (no offense, mailpeople).  My point is these folks are dependent on our support. Without us, they’d be gone and without them, we’d be standing in a 30 minute line for Chipotle.  No matter how much you love Chipotle, I guarantee you that would suck.  So please, spread the word about your favorite street vendors. You don’t even have to tell them about Midtown Lunch, take all the credit yourself for the ones you think are gems. All I ask is that you tell just one person about the food Downtown that’s worth eating before it’s all gone.

Anyway, I’m sad to say that this will be my last post as co-editor of Midtown Lunch: Downtown NYC.  It’s been a blast, but life is calling beyond the boundaries of Downtown and Kevin and I are not quite in a position to give up our day jobs just yet to be full time bloggers.  It has most certainly been a blast though.  As a farewell post, I want to focus in on one of my all-time favorite fatty dishes around here, Oxtail.  There’s something about those flavorful hunks of meat that drive me wild. They’ve got everything I could ask for in a dish: gravy, tender meat you can eat off of a bone, great flavor, and bone marrow.  There’s really not a whole bunch out there that meets all of these qualifications, but when I found Oxtail, I knew it was true love.  Down here in the Financial District, we’re lucky enough to have a few places to choose from when it comes to this dish of the pleasantly plump gods, and today I’d like a take a moment to compare a couple. Read more »

Trinidad & Tobago Cart Expands My Caribbean Food Vocabulary

Trinidad & Tobago Cart 010
Every once in awhile, I get a craving to try some weird food. And by “weird,” I don’t mean “hey wow, man, when I mix my ketchup with mayonnaise, it tastes awesome” kind of weird. I’m talking rocky mountain oyster weird. I’m talking Spicy & Tingly Lamb Face Salad weird. And today, I’m talking Cow Foot Soup weird. Why do I enjoy this kind of thing? I don’t know. But I don’t think I’m the only one with this wonderful/horrific affliction, so that’s why I’m sharing this with you all today. The one thing I’ll promise you is that I won’t eat anything too disgusting. That is, unless it tastes really, really delicious. Enough of that, though. On with the story.

So I’d been going to Veronica’s Kitchen for a good long time now and it wasn’t until relatively recently (probably last spring) that I’d heard about a rival Caribbean food cart on Whitehall between Bridge and Pearl Streets.  Since then I’ve eaten here a number of times, though I’m still a loyal and frequent visitor of Veronica’s Kitchen.  I’m not here to tell you which one is the best one, only to share the goodness.  The dishes I’ve gotten have ranged from their rotis to their soups to their oxtail.  And it’s all been good, my friend.  There’s just something about Caribbean food that really tickles my fancy and I haven’t met one I don’t like. Not yet anyway.  To try an entice you to join the love, this time I decided to show you the jerk chicken and cow foot soup. Read more »