The New York Daily News reports that the Parks Department is searching for cooks who can create a brand new food cart in the Bowling Green area of downtown Manhattan. Parks Commissioner Adrien Benepe wants a Native American food cart in this section of lower Manhattan that houses a branch of the National Museum of the American Indian. “People still love the hot dogs and pretzels, but they want other options,” Benepe told the Daily News.
Whichever vendor is eventually selected will be allowed to serve food from North or South America, which opens up the culinary landscape to a large array of delectables. Avocados, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, yucca, bison, venison, cerviche, arepa, tamales, pupusas, as well as the traditional frybread, are all on the table, and hopefully, soon, will be on the street.
Along with the coffee and bagel, gyro, hot dog and soft pretzel carts, New York is no stranger to finer fare filling being cooked and served from this rolling kitchens. This is a town, after all, that hosts the annual “Vendy Awards,” called the “Oscars of food for the real New York,” by chef Mario Batali, which honors the best street vendors in the city and acts a fundraiser to support the thousands of people who sell food and merchandise on the streets for a living. You can get nicely marinated dark-meat chopped up on a griddle and served with the famous green sauce, made with cilantro, lemon, garlic, a little jalapeño and yogurt, and “secret spices” at Sammy’s Halal on 73rd Street and Broadway in Jackson Heights, Queens. There’s a seriously excellent shish kabab and shawarma from Fares “Freddy” Zeidais’s cart The King of Falafel and Shawarma on 30th Street and Broadway in Astoria, also in Queens. This list of street food, from the chorizo tacos and tortas of Tacos Guicho on Roosevelt Avenue at Gleane Street in Jackson Heights to some seriously good pumpkin soup and jerk chicken from the Jamaican Dutchy on West 51st and 7th Avenue, New York is, in short, what makes New York the world capital of street food, and it’s high time the original inhabitants of this region got their own cart in the game.