Saturday, October 4, 2008

A welcome new addition to the midtown scene

Restaurant trucks, once a decidedly downtown phenomenon, have apparently garnered enough confidence and respectability to venture uptown into Suit Central, the valley of financial institutions otherwise known as central Park Avenue. Last Monday, the intrepid Paul Frumkin and I gave one of the newcomers a try, though it was a bit of a reunion for me. Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, one of my favorite Chelsea-area haunts, had parked its new truck on 57th Sr., where the (far inferior) second outpost of Rafiqi’s had formerly set up shot.

It was a delight to have Rickshaw’s Thai Chicken dumplings again, and even better to do it for lunch. Six dumplings cost $6, and I know from my patronage of the storefront Rickshaw that a serving wouldn’t be enough. So I also popped for the cold noodle salad, which is definitely in the running for Best Cart (or Truck) Side Dish of the Year.

The food was flavorful, seemingly fresh, and as hot or cold as it needed to be. What’s more, there was virtually no wait. The only downside: $9 for lunch is a relatively big hit for cart fans, and that doesn’t even include a beverage (teas and fruit-based drinks, including one made from watermelon, are a specialty of the non-mobile Rickshaw). It may be only a twice-a-week option.

Rickshaw’s truck has appeared every day this week at 57th St., just east of Park.

Next on my list of restaurant trucks to try: Dessert Truck, one of the city’s most publicized and celebrated mobile offerings.