Food Trucks: They’re What’s for Lunch

DC workers line up for lunch in Farragut Square.
DC workers line up for lunch in Farragut Square.

At one time, food trucks were synonymous with construction workers and plastic-wrapped ham and cheese sandwiches. Well no longer. There is a food truck revolution in full swing offering upscale menus expertly prepared by dedicated chefs.

This boom is fantastic for tourists who need a quick, inexpensive dining option, but don’t want to stop at a restaurant or, God forbid, a restaurant chain.

The attraction here is specialization. Each truck has a limited menu of items that they do fresh and very well. Think fast street food with a high quality twist.

I went to DC’s Farragut Square to discover what it was all about.

Thank You, Shiner, TX.

shinerbockAfter years of hope and desperation, my favorite beer has finally made it to NYC. Shiner Amber Bock, from the Spoetzl Brewery in the town of Shiner Texas, has been around since 1909 and is the oldest brewery in the Lone Star State. I think of Shiner as an ‘everyday’ beer, much like you would have a go-to wine. Extraordinarily crisp and refreshing, I have never found another beer like it. It’s now available all across the NY area.  Try one today!

The Worst Kept Foodie Secret in NYC

Burger Joint Burger
You can have anything you want as long as it’s a hamburger and fries.

Ask any NYC foodie (and I hate that word) where to find the best burger in the City and they might just lower their voice, draw you in close and say “I know this place hidden away in the Parker Meridian Hotel.”  The place they are talking about is Burger Joint and it is indeed, hidden away in the lobby of the four star hotel. It’s one of those places that has no sign-but a place that everyone knows about.  On any given afternoon at lunchtime you will find people lining up one of the best burgers in Midtown-if not all of Manhattan.

The 'secret' entrance to Burger Joint in the lobby of Le Parker Meridian. No sign, but look for the long line.
The ‘secret’ entrance to Burger Joint in the lobby of Le Parker Meridian. No sign, but look for the long line.

Burger Joint’s interior is also what the name would suggest.  A rustic, small space with community seating at a series of benches and tables.  I think more people take out than eat in.  They offer a simple menu of burgers and fries and they do it right. You can also get a milkshake, or if you are having a late lunch, you can get a beer or wine after 1:30pm.

For a ‘hidden’ place, this place is always very busy, so try to avoid between 12 and 1:30.

Der Kommissar: Würstelstand, Brooklyn Style

DerKomSampler
Three delicious sausages courtesy of Der Kommissar: Kasekriner, classic viennese filled with molten cheese, leberkase, an austrian meatloaf made of pork, beef and veal, and the spicy debreziner with chilli and garlic.

The Würstelstand is more than a sausage stand-they are an institution all over Austria and Germany that not only serve an amazing array of meats in tube form, but also serve as social centers.  You can grab a quick debreziner (frankfurter laced with chilli and garlic) on the run or enjoy a käsekrainer (cheese filled sausage) and a beer while hanging out for hours.DSC_0001

Der Kommissar recreates this social atmosphere in the heart of Brooklyn. Their three-sausage sampler platter comes with two sides, in this case potato salad and their own secret formula sauerkraut. Served on butcher paper and a tray, bbq style, a nod to co-owner Gary Baldwin’s Texas roots.

Sausage, Old World Style

photoSausage is an obsession of mine, I freely admit it. This is a link to a story that was just published on South Slope News about my local Polish meat market, Jubilat Provisions,  which makes some of the best old world smoked meat products in Brooklyn.

Click on the image of the delicious hanging sausages to read the full article.