Biryani Cart Is Here To Stay, Now Selling Jumbo Kati Rolls

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Last week, I had a bit of a panic attack. I noticed Biryani Cart had not been out four times over the month that I had walked by 46th and 6th Avenue. I got really worried when an imposter cart had taken their place. This is one of many carts that have been circling the area with creative names like “Biryani Car” and “Biryani Card”. We might have another Famous Halal Guy situation on our hands.

But as commenters had reported, there indeed was nothing to fear.

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New Teriyaki Boy is Pricier, but Still Good

I wasn’t in Midtown for the heyday of Teriyaki Boy, but I’ve heard good things, especially about their $3.99 lunch special. That offer may be gone, as are most of their locations, but I have been to the new Teriyaki Boy on 45th and 2nd, my friends, and it is good.

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41st St Cafe Duke Shutters

As noted by ML comment-er D, the 41st and Broadway Cafe Duke has shuttered and has been gutted inside. While Cafe Duke was never truly a great ML lunch, I thought that it was better than most options in the area, especially if I needed a quick and convenient soondubu fix. Less notably, the Baja Fresh across the street has also called it quits. Thankfully, you can now get Korean food a few blocks away at Liberty Cafe.

Absolute Greek Enters the Ring As Yet Another Blue Greek Truck in Midtown

I stumbled across yet another “Greek blue” truck in midtown – this one on 47th between Park and Lex – and snapped a few photos for y’all (I was committed to eating kielbasa to celebrate dyngus day). Pictures of the menu after the jump…

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Help Bring Gourmet Italian Coffee to the Streets of Rockefeller Center

A former employee from Wafels & Dinges is starting his own gourmet coffee cart near Rockefeller Center. Jared Domingos has worked for the waffle company for five years and is now starting his own business. He mentioned the idea to me many years ago at one of the events for the Street Vendor Project (where he is an active member). And I am very excited to see it finally get off the ground.

The cart will be called Esprezzatura Coffee and Tea and will feature Lavazza premium espresso and 100% Arabica Rainforest Alliance certified coffee on the go. In addition to providing quality espressos and lattes, Jared is also starting a pay-it-forward program where a customer can buy an extra cup of coffee that will be served to someone in the future. For those that need to brush up on their random acts of kindness.

He’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the final expenses needed to get the cart on the streets in September. Check out the video and make a donation to bring quality coffee to the streets, just in time for National Coffee Day.

New Bluestone Lane Offers Australian Coffee and Avocado Smashes

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If you’ve been far enough back in the Trini Paki cart line recently, you’ve noticed that Bluestone Lane is now open in the old STK Out kiosk. The Australian coffee outfit has already reached the coffee masses with their three other locations in the city, most notably one in Midtown East and in the Financial District.

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The focus here, of course, is their flat whites and other Australian-influenced coffee drinks. But they also have pastries, wraps, and salads. And an entire menu dedicated to their avocado smash and all the available add-on’s.

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Andrea raved about the smash when they opened a few years ago downtown and I also found myself forgoing meat in favor of the hearty, bright vegetarian toast when I was in the Financial District.

So I thought I’d give it a try here too. The price has been raised by 50 cents (of course) to $7 and if you want any add-ons, like prosciutto or feta, expect your bill to increase exponentially. I kept it simple and just ordered the traditional smash.

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It’s going to be tough not to compare it to the one I used to enjoy downtown. And frankly, I don’t think it’s quite as good. That one was bold and acidic with a nice amount of sea salt. This one was bland and was missing a brightness. It also didn’t seem to be covered as much with avocado as I had remembered.

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That being said, the avocado is fresh and the red pepper flakes are plentiful. It had a slight kick. The toast is also nice and thick, but I’m not paying $7 for toast. Am I?

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Still, for vegetarians, this is a tasty option (although not as tasty as the one they used to serve downtown) and it would make a decent snack. If you pick up some pastries or chips or something, you might even be able to make it a light lunch. Or you could just get in line at Trini Paki Boys outisde and call it a day.

Bluestone Lane, 1114 Avenue of the Americas (at 43rd St.) 212-764-0044

Pleasant Korean Surprises at Liberty Cafe

Administrative Professional’s Day is around the corner, and while my current admin is a breeze to shop for (riesling and/or roses), I once worked with a gal who loved chocolates. Not the fancy pants fare from Mast Brothers or Jacques Torres, but the salt-of-the-earth boxes of mixed chocolates from Sees. She would take a bite into a random chocolate and, to borrow the adage from Forest Gump, take delight in the surprise inside. And who doesn’t like surprises, such as Liberty Cafe near Bryant Park.

Liberty Cafe’s outward appearance screams mediocrity and its Yelp reviews indicate much worse. But thanks to a tip from Dan M, we found out that Liberty Cafe harbors a pleasant surprise – a Korean lunch counter in the back that serves bibimbap, udon, ramen, bulgogi bowls, dumplings, smoothies, and more – all for ML friendly prices.
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Choice Streets is Pulling Back Up to the Intrepid

Village Voice is once again bringing together an impressive roster of food trucks for their annual Coice Streets Event. Even more exciting, it means that it will soon be warm enough to hang out on the Intrepid. At leat, we all hope so.

This year, there will be over twenty food trucks along with booze, games, and music. Most of the participants are the usual suspects, ranging from ML favorite Treats Truck to Valducci’s Pizza to the Hungarian Langos Truck. Most exciting is this will be another opportunity to taste Vendy Award winning vendors that don’t usually make the rounds in Midtown. Most notably, Solber Pupusas and Rookie of the Year Snowday.

The event will be on Tuesday, May 5 starting at 8pm (VIP tickets get you in at 7pm). Tickets range from $55 (general admission) to $75 (VIP) and can be purchased at their website here. Since the event falls on Cinco de Mayo, expect live music from a mariachi band.

Untamed Moves Beyond Sandwiches

Untamed, purveryors of large braised meat sandwiches, are branching out beyond sandwiches to meat plates. As you can see from their helpful illustration, each plate features meat, veggies, and grits, and they start at a hefty $11 each (and that’s for a veggie plate!). Now, normally I’d say a sandwich beats a plate any day, but when the plate includes grits? That could tip the scales. Have any Lunchers given them a try? Let us know what you think.

Untamed Sandwiches, 43 West 39th Street btwn 5th and 6th Avenues, (646) 669-9397