Over the last few years, NYC has seen a rejuvenation of street food. The city went from having just your standard carts for hot dogs, breakfast items and the likes to a booming food truck trend. The “It” food trend for the last few years and gaining steam has been the rise of the gourmet street food fairs. UrbanSpace, a British company, started hosting various markets in NYC during the past few years including Mad. Sq. Eats, Broadway Bites, UrbanSpace Garment District, the Union Square Holiday Market and Columbus Circle Holiday Market. For this post, I will be exploring some items that caught my eye at the UrbanSpace Garment District food fair.
Domo Taco (Price: Less than $10, Taste: 3.5 out of 5 stars)
This is an asian-inspired Mexican food stall which means they put their interpretation of some basic meats with asian sauces on a taco. The result is surprisingly good, though not that innovative. We tried the 3 tacos for $9 combo and selected lemongrass chicken, shrimp tempura and fish tempura tacos. For $9, you do get a good amount of food and it was filling. The Mexican part came via the cheese, salsa and shredded cabbage. This stall was our favorite from all the ones that we tried and it was also one of the busier stands that day.
Jicama “California Street Food” (Price: 10+, Taste: 3 out of 5)
This is an interesting food stall with playful food offerings based on a Northern Californian vegetable farm. They are on a culinary tour throughout Mexico and Asia. We had their California Earth Mama Salad which had arugula, kale, sorrel, red walnuts, sunflower seeds and watermelon radish in a ginger and sesame sauce that retailed for $9.75. If you wanted protein, pay $3 for shrimp, $2.50 for stewed chicken or pork and $1.50 for avocado. My order came to approximately $14 for a salad with pork. This is really expensive for a salad considering that Pret a Manger have similar offerings. The taste was good and refreshing but not enough to warrant spending $14 for a salad. This food stall also has an interesting take on a burger with their salty & sweet pork doughnut sliders that retailed for $9/burger. Again this is very expensive considering you are not getting a big burger to begin with. The positive take away was that the food was presented very nicely.
BANGKOK Bar (Price: Less than $10, Taste: 2.5 out of 5)
This is a Thai food stall with your standard pad thai and basil chicken. I ordered pad thai with fried tofu. The pad thai was tasty, though there was a bit too much sauce so everything came out too salty and too sweet. This is coming from someone who eats Asian food almost every day. Also, there was not much vegetables besides noodles, some bean sprouts and tofu.
Fire Belly BBQ (Price: Less than $10, Taste: 2.5 out of 5)
Fire belly is basically a taco with Korean marinated meat on a flour tortilla with kimchi. The stall does attempt to have a a more authentic “Korean” infused Mexican dishes. This effort yielded neither great Korean nor great Mexican. The food is good if you are judging on a street food basis but with so many taco stands represented in this food fair, it was a bit disappointing. The taco could have used some fresh greens to take away the heaviness of the marinated meat.
This was supposed to be beef and spicy pork.
This is their version of a spicy pork bimpbibap. It doesn’t exactly scream “eat me”.
Bar Suzette (Price: $10+, Taste: 3.5 out of 5)
This is a french bistro inspired stall. Their main focus is crepes but for this food fair, they had a lot of burger options. I chose the Burger Royal which came out to be $14 for one medium size burger. It was delicous but very messy due to the runny egg. It would have been much better if the egg was over easy instead of sunny side up. Otherwise, the burger was delicious!
Toum Lebanese Food (Price: Less than $10, Taste: 3 out of 5)
My colleague also ate a few different food stalls but highly recommended this one. He had a Beef Kafta sandwich which had beef, onion, cabbage on pressed pita.
If you are in NYC, head over to UrbanSpace Garment District food fair and come hungry.
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