On a recent trip visiting the Korean Consulate in Manhattan, I tested a few kebab trucks in the area of Park Ave. and the 50’s. First stop was Uncle Gussy’s (51st St.), which had a loquacious owner who seemed quite familiar with most of his customers. “Hey, Paula, green salad with chicken and spicy sauce? Whoa, Gene, where you been lately? Hi Donna, you stayin outta trouble?” I got the chicken and lamb pita with “the works”. The lamb was great, but chicken was just lumpy protein. I ate on the steps of St. Bartholomew’s Church.
Next I went for a kebab plate at Rafiqi’s (53rd St). Evidently, there are many Rafi’s who like to cook kebabs. As I walked down Park Ave., I saw 3 more trucks with the same name. The “original” Rafiqi was a few quarters cheaper than Uncle Gussy, but offered more trimmings to add to the plate such as beans and veg. Nothing special here, but good for a quick, cheap bite.
Each street, from 50th to 58th and possibly continuing up into Harlem had their own food cart, some better looking than others.
Last, as I made my way to the MoMa, I spotted a beautiful facade of a Catholic Church.
After a great afternoon admiring art, some pizza was needed for the quick drive home through New York rush hour traffic to Philadelphia. I went to Cer Té (50 W. 55th St.) I started with their February special slice, bacon, root vegetables set on a creamy white base, which was more milky than I like, but tasty. Also, there was an Italian Wedding Soup slice with sausage, spinach and Grana Padano, which was the winner.
New York’s heavy traffic doesn’t bother me as much when I’m walking.
Before my nighttime drive through the jungles of the New Jersey turnpike, I stopped in a cafe named for one of the most famous names in coffee from the 1980’s.