Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Street Meat

I'm no connoisseur of street meat and probably eat less of it than the normal midtown worker. I know there are carts that have delicious stuff, but I'm too lazy to do research on which ones are good and too particular about my midday meal to risk it without advice. However, today, the corporate cafeteria was sorely lacking in toothsome options, and a couple weeks ago a clean, large Teriyaki cart opened nearly outside my office door, on the north side of 50th between 6th and 7th (outside the Time Life building).

Since I know a bunch of us are stuck in midtown, with Pret a Mangers and identical delis as far as the eye can see, I wanted to give an enthusiastic recommendation of the Terikyaki cart if you're in the mood. It's only been there a few weeks and I've been curious, if wary. I'm pleased to report it's a great option if you can't stand another tiny $8 sandwich from Pret.

Beef, chicken or pork are available for $6. Eel is $7. The meat is freshly grilled while you wait, and afterward they slather it in a tasty, tangy, if slightly gelatinous, Teriyaki sauce in which you can really taste the soy. It's served over a generous pile of white rice. To top it off, you also get a fresh salad (iceberg, but whatever, it gives the thing some crunch) with carrots and tomatoes, which comes with a thin, tangy white salad dressing somewhat reminiscent of a house salad at a sushi restaurant. AND you also get your choice of a six-piece California roll or a spicy crab roll. I know it sounds, um, fishy getting sushi from a street meat cart, but the spicy roll I got today tasted fresh and not even over-refrigerated, and they made sure to put on a new pair of gloves when handling all my food.

What was an especially nice touch was that they didn't just throw all this in a box and shove it across the counter. They were really nice and polite and arranged everything kind of, dare I say it, artfully in the box -- at least as artful as you can get for street meat -- with everything sliced and stacked and sauced just so.

It's definitely a step above many of the other options on 50th Street and a great deal to boot.


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