The final day of my NYC trip! Thank you so much for letting me indulge and share this trip with you. I slept like a baby the night of the cook-off. Not that I don’t normally sleep like a baby, but I had a hard time falling asleep the night before because I kept thinking about what was going to happen the next day.
Luckily, the weather cooperated and it was a gorgeous day! The marketing woman Sheri took our bags to her office, as that was where the limo was going to take us back to the airport. That way we didn’t need to worry about pulling our luggage around on the Food Truck Tour.
It was probably a good 90 minute ride back into the city. We were supposed to meet our tour guide in front of a coffee shop. At 11:45 this super tall New York guy said “hey, where’s all my food truck people!” Imagine that being said in a heavy New York accent.
His name was Dante Mercadante – not making that name up. He’s an actor, comedian and . . . food truck tour guide! He handed us each a bottle of water and then the tour began. It was our group of five (me, Megan, Shauna, Lauren and Lauren’s husband Louise) and two other groups. An older couple and their 20 something daughter and another family. Dante told us that to get a new food truck license in New York – the wait list is now 8-10 years long! So if you want one, you have to buy one from someone who isn’t using theirs anymore, and he basically said that they go to the highest bidder – some starting at $30k! With the cost of the food truck, license, etc., the start up for one food truck is about $100,000.
Our first stop? An Indian Truck. I love Indian flavors, but you know I of course was worried about the onion factor. Dante asked if anyone had allergies and I said “I hate onions!” so he made sure that every dish I got didn’t have onions on it. #score!
The Chicken Kati Roll was first up. I don’t even know exactly what was in the one I ate – super flavorful chicken (Dante said they use chicken thighs for more flavor), veggies and a super spicy yet flavorful sauce. The bread wasn’t called roti, but it was a thin somewhat greasy roll and it was out of this world spectacular. Since we were part of the Food Truck Tour, Dante could slide into the trucks on the side and we didn’t have to wait in line. I should have taken a picture to the left because the line was about 30 people deep!
Next up? Tacos! While I told myself I was going to be adventurous, when I saw goat meat tacos I ALMOST ordered them, but chicken out in the end and got pork carnitas. But Shauna got the goat meat taco and let me try the meat – holy balls was that delicious – so flavorful. I would have thought it was pork if I didn’t know.
By now I am totally stuffed. But there were still THREE trucks to go! Luckily, the next truck was a bit of a walk and I was able to digest some of the food. The third truck was my least favorite – it was a combination Equadorian/Mexican truck as that is the ethnicity of the parents of the brothers who owned the truck. They were supposedly known for their slow cooked pork, but to me it had no flavor at all and was a bit tough. The sweet potato, avocado and rice side dish though was excellent.
It was after walking around and tasting all this wonderful food, that I realized that winning or not, this was an amazing trip. This is me by the Brookly Bridge – all smiles!
Moving on, we were headed to a Greek food truck. Except it wasn’t the truck Dante was expecting. I guess while there are certain considerations about food truck placement on the street, sometimes its first come first serve and you have to find somewhere else to go. When Dante asked if they could prepare 10 chicken souvlaki’s for us, they said it would be quite a few minutes, but we were in no hurry and I was actually happy to get a break between eating. This truck said it was a true authentic Greek food truck because it imported the oregano from Greece! These were worth the wait. Again, grilled chicken thighs, perfectly grilled with a char on the outside, yet tender on the inside. Served with a side of tzatziki sauce, this was my second favorite meal of the day.
Here’s the winner Lauren and her husband Louis. Here’s the deal about Lauren – she’s TINY. If she’s 100 pounds dripping wet I wouldn’t be surprised. She’s one of the finalists who couldn’t eat anything during the whole day of our cook-off. So I thought it was cute that she’d take a few bites of whatever food truck food we were eating, and then hand the rest to her husband to eat the rest. I think at one point he said “you do realize that I have my own food, don’t you?” But she didn’t want to be wasteful, and of all the things we ate, Louis had no problem eating most of her kabob after eating his.
So here’s the deal about being an insulin dependent diabetic while doing a food truck tour. I didn’t know what or when I was going to eat. I didn’t know how far I was going to be walking. In the end I kind of just shot up insulin right before I ate, but didn’t want to give myself too much not knowing how much I’d need to walk to the next truck.
We ended our journey at a waffle truck – holy balls. THIS WAS INSULIN WORTHY! A waffle with chocolate caramel and whipped cream. While I wanted to eat the whole thing, I ate half and called it a day. I checked my blood sugar – 369! Now that I knew I was done eating, I could give myself enough insulin without getting too low because I knew I would be walking.
I was so excited because I had planned to meet up with one of my long time blog readers Maggie – we’ve followed each other since 2008! But what I didn’t realize that while my luggage was a mere 3 blocks from her office in Uptown, um, I was all the way down by the financial district. She had a conference call schedule that she couldn’t get out of, and I couldn’t make it up there in time. Rats! Next time Maggie – or when you come to Chicago!
So I showed a cop where I wanted to end up and asked him to point me in the right direction. He said “you want to walk there?!” Turns out it would have taken me an hour and twenty minutes to walk that far! So I did a brave thing, and took the Subway! I could see what train I was on by when the lights hit the stops – I was on the No. 5 train.
Having taken public transportation in Chicago for years, it didn’t take long to figure it out. I knew I needed to go uptown, and when I saw that Union Square would get me about 15 minutes to my final destination, I decided that’s where I would get off.
Wednesday’s they have a giant farmers market and how I wished I could have picked some of that produce up to bring home – it looked amazing.
I walked for probably a good two hours all around. Best people watching ever! I was just so happy to have had the whole experience.
So even though I thought I couldn’t eat another bite for a week, um, I had to try . . . NY STYLE PIZZA! Now granted, I am sure it’s like Chicago, there are awesome pizza places, and then some pizza places that taste like ass and you don’t know how they are still in business.
Really? New Yorkers, do you think that’s good pizza? (note that I already ate one of the pieces of pepperoni before taking this pic!) The crust was flavorless, hardly any cheese and the pepperoni could have been greasy cardboard for all I knew. But, I tried it – I’ll stick to Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza all day long.
Before I knew it Lauren, her husband and I were headed back to the airport. It was cute because they called their two young children in the car on the way to the airport – they weren’t scheduled to land in Texas until midnight, then they had a 45 minute drive home. They kept saying “we won’t see you tonight, but when you wake up in the morning, we’ll be there!” It was nice that Louis’s parents drove up from Louisiana to watch the kids while they were away. And I think Lauren said her Dad was going to watch them when they go to the Food & Wine Festival in October. #jealous
Me? I had a glass of wine to calm my nerves and thankfully it was a smooth trip home. I sat next to a cute girl named Karthy (spelling) and we talked while we were waiting to take off – she was just finishing up a fashion internship – super friendly. But when the plane started to take off, we both said “do you mind if I watch t.v.?” We didn’t want to be rude to each other, but turns out she’s not a fan of flying either so we both just zoned out.
This has to be my longest post of my life! I will share the Chicken Kathi Roll recipe in tomorrows post – this was my take on the Biryani House Chicken Kati Roll. So flavorful good!
I made the roti bread and the green chutney over the weekend. Since my roti wasn’t dipped in oil to make it pliable enough to roll, think of these as like an Indian taco. So you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the recipe – it will be worth it!
Alright – have to sign off. When I went to the dr. earlier in the week for my knee, he told me I have arthritis in my left knee and my right hand. I haven’t been able to close my right hand into a tight fist for quite some time. The left knee though? He thinks I have a torn meniscus! I am leaving to get an MRI before work – hopefully it’s not too serious, but I am glad I am checking it out. I texted a picture of my hand to my twin sister:
It’s swollen at the top of my middle finger knuckles and I can’t for the life of me get it to close into a fist. Tony said that he’s pretty sure he’ll have to put my down, or trade me in for a newer, less messed up model!
THANK YOU for letting me share my NYC trip with you! I appreciate it more than you know – make it a great day!