No one wants to stop enjoying the outdoors during summer to duck into a restaurant for a meal. But which food trucks are worth the wait? We went on a week-long tasting spree to find some of the city’s best.
Seek out the shakshuka, the hearty Israeli breakfast dish of savory tomato stew and poached eggs. After serving in the Israeli army, childhood friends and co-owners Gabriel Israel and Josh Sharon were anxious to begin their careers. Israel, who worked at Boulud Sud before turning his culinary skills to street food back in December, preps everything, down to his tender, pull-apart challah, in the truck. “It’s crazy,” he admits. This isn’t your grandmother’s shakshuka: Israel is committed to developing versions in every color of the rainbow, from “white” (smoked eggplant, mushrooms, and blue cheese) to “green” (asparagus and zucchini in a delicate spinach sauce). At $12 a bowl, this isn’t the bargain of the street, but it’s restaurant-caliber dining.
Italians are known for pizza and pasta, but everyone knows they make a mean sandwich, too. Head to Diso’s, founded by cousins Anthony Lagana, who takes orders behind the wheel, and Adam DiSilvestro, who oversees sandwich prep. Together, they’ve created one of the city’s great all-American sandwich spots, with meats and cheeses sourced exclusively from Di Palo’s Fine Foods in Little Italy (“Lou DiPalo’s parents came over on the boat with our grandparents,” says Lagana) and bread from Sullivan Street Bakery. Their best-selling Joey Shakes features a riot of prosciutto, capicola, salami, provolone, hot cherry peppers, arugula, parmigiano reggiano and ricotta, all drizzled with just a touch of sweet balsamic vinegar. Warning: Unless you’re eating for two, a “half” ($8.50) is ample.
Bahn Mi Cart ( 646-996-8990)
The two women working the Banh Mi Cart refuse to give their names — “We don’t want publicity! Our boss doesn’t want to be popular!” One of them smiles as the other reaches for a “special” (i.e. classic) banh mi sandwich ($6) of paté, cold cuts and crisp, lightly pickled cucumbers and carrots on a shatteringly crunchy, lightly toasted baguette. Warning to her boss: With a sandwich this cheap and good, publicity has a way of finding you, even if you don’t have a website or Twitter feed.
Indecisive rookies might want to start with the Burger of the Week — recent entries include the Marital Bliss (cream cheese, jalapeño, bacon) and El Cubano (ham, Gruyere, pickles) — while regulars will build their own from a range of toppings including onion jam, guacamole and Brie. Whatever your choice, count on a generous patty cooked to order with a splash of beer that owner Ali Beydoun pours onto the grill. On the side are Belgian-style fries served in a classic cone, crisp and satisfying, with a range of “sassy” sauces, from aioli to wasabi mayo.