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Best of New York Food 2004

Best Street Food

  • Photo by Pak Fung Wong
  • Daisy May's Chili Cart

    Near 40 Wall Street; Broadway at 39th Street; Sixth Avenue at 50th Street

    Street food is nothing new in New York, but the people dishing it out sure are. Top chefs and restaurateurs have gone berserk over the stuff: Danny Meyer retired his hot-dog stand, only to announce plans for a burger shack. Gray Kunz and Jean-Georges Vongerichten call their hot new collaboration, Spice Market, an ode to Southeast Asian street food. And now a young Daniel Boulud–trained chef named Adam Perry Lang is peddling authentic Texas chili from a pushcart. The movable feast, currently available on Wall Street and in two midtown locations, is made with juicy cubes of hand-cut chuck the size of Vegas dice and stewed in an ambrosial mix of chilies including New Mexican hatch, which are to the heat-seeking cognoscenti what black truffles are to Alain Ducasse. A twelve-ounce cup comes with a terrific homemade hot sauce and a fresh flour tortilla; the optional side of beans is Lang’s concession to tourists from Cincinnati. It’s a bargain at twice the $6 price, and the most exciting thing to happen to New York street food since falafel.

From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine