Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quest for the Best: Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar

Location: Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market (39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Website: Official Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar site

Price: Depends on what you get, but $5 will get you something tasty

Atmosphere: Crowded with long lines and outdoors; a true New Yorker’s worst nightmare, but sacrifices must be made in the name of getting food from a truck

My Review: What’s better than a tasty treat from either the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

or the Treats Truck? A tasty treat that combines the best of both worlds. Yumm…heaven on wheels.

This past weekend the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market introduced the first-ever Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar. And judging by the sizable crowd, it’s bound to become a regular event. Street food in NYC is no longer limited to just hot dog carts and dried out pretzels; now you can find tricked-out vans and trucks all over the place offering everything from breakfast, to dumplings, to dessert, to all-organic what-have-you. Ten of the city’s most popular mobile eateries were present at the flea market, including two of my favorites; the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and the Treats Truck. And not only were they there, they creating hybrid desserts from their two menus!

I decided to partake in the chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich, which was two chewy cookies from the Treats Truck sandwiching some vanilla soft serve from the BGIC Truck along with their familiar topping, Nutella. It was gooey heaven in a bowl; totally refreshing on the hottest day this year so far (upper 80’s on May 2, say whaa?) and totally worth the extra gym day I’ll do this week. The Treats Truck is often in my office’s neighborhood, so I was well-versed in their tasty goodness (the caramel crème sandwich cookie is still my favorite), but I have yet to sample the BGIC Truck’s signature offering, the Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dipped in dulce de leche, sprinkled with sea salt, then dipped in chocolate). After sampling their hybrid, I will definitely make more of an effort to seek out the BGIC Truck when it’s out and about.

Despite the heat, people waited in line for what sometimes seemed like hours for the truck of their choice at the Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar. And if it weren’t for the lines and the sun, there were a few other I would have liked to sample from (how have I not heard of Go Burger before; their burgers look delish!), but sweating through my t-shirt and getting a sunburn on my shoulders for ice cream was all I was willing to sacrifice for on-the-go food. The line situation was also a bit chaotic, so I hope the organizers invest in some rope to corral the specific lines before trying this again. And maybe ask the flea market vendor selling his “authentic” African tribal masks to set up shop somewhere where they’re far less likely to be trampled by voracious street food junkies.

Bottom Line: The Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar is a great idea, and was so popular that some of the trucks were selling out of items before the day was over. With a little more planning (maybe not have it be part of a flea market that’s already crowded with vendors next time?) it could become a very lucrative regular event, and help a lot of the city’s food trucks gain new followers. Now, which way did the Go Burger truck go?

No comments:

Post a Comment