When Zach asked me to write the Downtown Lunch segment this week, I was ecstatic. Then nervous. Then petrified. I tend to be something of an imaginative fellow and despite having read this particular blog for a good long while and knowing that the readers are good people, the only thing I could really grasp on Monday afternoon was a sense of impending doom. See, the big, bad blogosphere is sort of like Rikers Island. You’ve got to come in swinging for people to take notice and know you mean business (not that I have a lengthy criminal record or anything, but I’ve seen a few episodes of Oz). So the only question left is “who are you gonna shank?” Do I choose the Mexican hole-in-the-wall with the steady clientele of Spanish speakers? Nah, too out of the way, nobody would notice. What about the greasy Chinese joint tucked down a dank alley? No, that might not pack quite enough oompf for my first go around. No, if I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do it properly, Midtown Lunch style, and that means only one thing: Street meat.
I’ve had my eye on this particular cart, Michael’s Food Cart, for some time now. Positioned on the southwest corner of Wall and South streets, I’d heard it was one of the select few carts in the city that actually did cubes of lamb. And I’m not talking about cubes of that big spiced cylinder of processed lamb that you get in your gyro (though, full disclosure, I am a fan of that). I’m talking real chunks of lamb, seasoned well and grilled over a hibachi. And I don’t know about you, but when I think about grilled meat, I start drooling more than all of Pavlov’s dogs combined. I had to see this for myself.