UrbanSpace Vanderbilt Is Now Open

Those who get lunch near Grand Central have a big reason to rejoice! Yesterday was the first official day of UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, a new food court run by the team behind Broadway Bites and Penn Plates.

Before you assume it will all be the same stuff, let us tell you about some exciting new additions. Sure, you’ll now be able to get Roberta’s pizza in Midtown all year long and there will be another outpost of Red Hook Lobster Pound and Asia Dog, but Daniel Delaney of Briskettown fame will be debuting his fried chicken stand, there will be gyros from Amali, preserved fish dishes from downtown’s Maiden Lane, and Brooklyn favorite Mimi’s Hummus. Not to mention coffee from Toby’s Estate and dessert from Ovenly, Dough, A.B. Biagi, and more.

We’ll have a full report next week, but this is a huge win for Midtown lunchers, even if the prices are a little higher than we hope. Early adoptors, leave your thoughts below.

Food Trucks Have Been Forced Out of 46th Street

The block of 46th Street between 6th and 5th Avenue has been overpopulated with food trucks for the last few years.  Since it’s near plenty of office buildings and there are very few restaurant options nearby, it’s one of a few hugely popular Midtown streets for the trucks to congregate. But as two tipsters have informed us, the trucks have recently vanished.

I spoke to some of the truck owners and it sounds like the police have cracked down on this spot over the last few weeks. One day all the trucks were made to close, on another day a few vendors got huge tickets, and now it looks like the spot is officially closed to trucks. For now at least.

This is not the first time trucks have been forced off this street and the same thing happened in 2013 around the same time when 47th Street and Park was shut down. Trucks have a very difficult time finding a legal spot to park since they are not allowed to sell food from a parking meter. But on the other hand, they have a permit from the Department of Health to legally vend food from the streets. So they find themselves stuck in the middle.

It also gets difficult when the trucks travel in packs. While it might be good for business to make themselves visible, it also draws unwanted attention. Once a street becomes too crowded the police will inevitably shut them down. So until new, more fair laws are passed, it only makes sense for the trucks to spread out a bit.

Until things simmer down on this street, we do still have the carts. It might be the prefect time to revisit Kim’s Aunt Kitchen and Moshe’s Falafel.

Beyond Sushi’s Veggie Sushi is Much Less Scary Than it Sounds

Beyond Sushi has been open on 56th Street since late last year. But considering they specialize in vegetarian sushi, it’s no wonder this is the first we are writing about it on this site.

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The Vendy Awards Kept the Threatening Weather At Bay

All those attending the 11th annual Vendy Awards this past weekend were praying for good weather. The forecasters told us our prayers would be ignored and threatened thunderstorms all day. Miraculously, street food won out and the day ended up being full of food, celebration, and pleasant weather.

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Video Break: Vendy Award Nominee Old Traditional Polish Cuisine

If you didn’t get your tickets for the Vendy Awards tomorrow, you’re out of luck. As we told you, tickets would sell out and they did earlier this week.

No fear, you can still sample the food from all the Rookie of the Year nominees since they all have at least one regular rotation day in Midtown. We’ve been posting videos on all the nominees, so check out the droolworthy souvlaki from Lil Zeus Lunch Box, pork belly buns and popcorn chicken from Kaya NYC, southeast Asian tacos from Coney Shack, and tomato poached egg sandwiches and platters from The Shuka Truck. And if you want to see videos on the other categories, click here.

Today, we’re showcasing the final nominee. Old Traditional Polish Cuisine serves just what it’s name says. Giant grilled kielbasa are incredibly smoky and crisp and make a filling, hearty meal when paired with pierogies stuffed with meat, cheese, or potato. Follow them on Twitter to find out when they’ll be in Midtown next.

Click the link below to check out the video. If you’ll be at the Vendys, get ready for some serious eating and if not, don’t forget to buy your Vendy tickets early next year!

Old Traditional Polish Cuisine

Happening Now: Holy Fuku+ Are You Guys Serious???

This morning, Brian reported that David Chang opened a second location of his super popular ridiculous fried chicken sandwich East Village restaurant, Fuku, in Midtown North-Central. As expected, people are going ape over this. I put my prejudices aside to check out the line and the space.

Pictures, menu, details, all after my soul dies a little and after the jump.

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David Chang Opens a Fuku Location in Midtown Today

Grub Street just reported that David Chang has surprised everybody by opening a second location of his hugely popular fried chicken spot Fuku in Midtown today.

They open for the first time at noon and I imagine the lines have already begun to form at the Chambers Hotel on 56th Street, the same location as Ma Peche. This location seems to focus on fried chicken bites called Fuku bites, along with other confusing menu items like Sichuan Pork Flatbread and Salt & Pepper Shrimp. No prices are listed, but the full menu can be seen here.

There are also package options that are by reservation only and include a sandwich, salad, fries, and other goodies. There is an XL for 2-6 guests at $25 per person or an XXL for 4-8 guests at a total of $400. Office party anyone?

Early adopters and line waiters, leave your reports below.

The Kaya Cart Cures Your Taiwanese Cravings

Back in March, I reported seeing a new Asian food cart in Midtown. Since I tweeted them back then, they tweet me nearly weekly to tell me of their whereabouts but it’s taken me this long to give them a try… (and now a few weeks more to write about it…) and they’ve been nominated for a Vendy, which is this Saturday and you should get tickets if you haven’t already. Fellow contributor Brian made a video on them as well!

As for me, what I ate and what I thought, after the jump…

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Biryani Cart’s Chinese Cart Vooter-Adda Returns Today

You may remember back in 2013 when Meru Sikder, the owner and chef of Biryani Cart, pulled up a super cheap Indian fried rice cart next to his original cart. Well, it’s back starting today.

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Video Break: Vendy Award Nominee The Shuka Truck

The Vendy Awards get closer every week. Do you have your tickets to the big event on September 12? It will definitely sell out (as it always does), but you can still purchase them by clicking here. It’s an amazing afternoon with food from over 25 different vendors.

We’ve been showcasing videos on all the Rookie of the Year nominees. Regardless of who wins, it will be a coup for Midtown since all five nominees find their way to this neighborhood. The other videos already posted include Taiwanese buns from Kaya NYC, overstuffed tacos from Coney Shack, and Greek street food from Lil Zeus Lunch Box.

The next nominee is The Shuka Truck, who serves large sandwiches and platters of shakshuka. This Israeli dish is basically eggs poached in tomato sauce and spices. Shuka Truck also offers varieties like a vegetable-forward green and an earthy creamy white shakshuka. They usually park in Midtown three times a week, but check their Twitter feed for exact locations.

Click the link below to check out the video and stay tuned for one more video next week on the final Rookie of the Year nominee as we count down to the 11th annual Vendy Awards.

The Shuka Truck