Monday, October 4, 2010

FiDi On The Go

FiDi, the land where business is made, is no stranger to expensive fine dining. Dining big dogs of Delmonico's Steakhouse and Cipriani's have the area's finest sit down establishments. But what about the investor on-the-go? While the typical Wall Street crowd eats, breaths and sleeps money they need food too. Here are some of the best area carts for a power lunch in smell-o-vision!...Well, not really but we can dream, can't we?


Sam's Falafel
Cedar Street btwn. Trinity Place & Broadway

The plethora of halal carts in the area make it hard to choose which one is the best especially since many are mediocre. Sam's Falafel makes the choice pretty easy with heaps of side dishes and up to 12 falafel balls. The sandwich differs from the typical falafel sandwich by adding roasted eggplant, hummus, caramelized onions and twice as much falafel. 


However, the platter is the real money maker at Sam's stand. The $5 platter is easily two meals with salad, baba ganoush, hummus, tahini, peppers, one stuffed grape leaf, sauteed onions, pita bread, eggplant slices and all the falafel balls you could ask for in one serving. Come before or after the lunch crowd to bypass the long lines. If you must go at the height of the lunch hour, Sam provides complimentary fried pita chips while you wait.

Pro: Moist yet crispy falafel in huge portions
Con: Eggplant can be more tender


Veronica's Kitchen
125 Front Street (Pine & Front)

If you cannot afford to nod off at your desk after lunch reconsider eating at Veronica's. The coma inducing soul food cart will have you filled to the brim. 

At Veronica's, the staff serves up a blend of West Indian and Southern soul food favorites ranging from $5 to $8 depending on your choice of meat. 
Choose between chicken in every way imaginable from fried, barbecued, curried, jerk or stewed. 

Other entrees include fried fish, oxtail, beef ribs, roti and curried goat. The sides are the usual suspects of mac and cheese, plantains, collard greens, candied yams, potato salad or rice and peas. I was most surprised at the inclusion of bbq ribs at a cart but somehow Veronica herself fits anything and everything into that little cart and makes it good.



Pro: Authentic and flavorful
Con: Run out of many sides before closing


Love Truck Coffee
Wall Street in front of Duetsche Bank


We all need that morning fix and some more than others. Well the early bird gets the worm on Wall Street with a cup of joe from the Love Truck. The hippie vibe and classic rock music that comes from the truck seems to oppose the area but maybe that is what draws businessmen near. 

For even a plain cup of coffee they put in hot steamed milk versus cold milk or creamer a la Dunkin Donuts. The coffee is very strong so if you want to avoid morning jitters opt for their equally satisfying chai tea latte. For something a little different, try out there mint chocolate cappuccino or gingerbread latte in the colder months.

Pro: Great staff, coffee house quality on the go
Con: Served ready to drink (not scalding hot) so be ready to drink ASAP



Banh Mi Cart
Corner of Pearl & Hanover Streets

Short of trekking over to Chinatown, finding an authentic Vietnamese sandwich in FiDi is a tall order to fill. Luckily, the Banh Mi Cart offers specialty and traditional sandwiches in the Stone Street area. Literally meaning "flour cake", banh mi is a baguette made from wheat and rice flour.

The banh mi traditional sandwich is made with pickled carrots and daikon, chili peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, mayonaisse, pork slices and pate. Taking from its French influence, the pate has a light sweetness that mixes nicely with the spice. For the traditional, order the #1 spicy or not spicy. These also offer roasted eel, teriyaki chicken, shrimp, vegetarian, pan fried beef and tuna fish banh mi. For light eaters, try there paper thin spring and summer rolls which will leave you satisfied.

Pro: Evenly placed ingredients for "sweet and spicy" every bite
Con: A lot less expensive in Chinatown

Do you have more carts to add? Want to chime in on the food at a cart above? Comment below.

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As a full-time graduate student, real estate agent, and competitive boxer, I saw the need for a blog detailing experiences in different neighborhoods across New York City. A New York resident, born and raised I recently sought out to explore NYC and document what stood out to me in each and every featured neighborhood, including that ever so important residence in which you lay your head. Follow me and you just might find out some very helpful information. Stay Tuned.




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