Lebanon in a truck at “Toum”

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Few people can claim to be the first of anything in the city that never sleeps, but “Toum” has the distinction of holding one of those titles. Being the very first food truck to offer Lebanese fare through the streets of NYC has garnered it a good amount of attention, as well as earning it a pretty positive reputation. The name comes from a thick sauce found common in that part of the world made with garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, similar in texture to an aioli.

Their bright and colorful truck greets you with a smiling bulb of garlic, who is ready to sacrifice himself for your tastebuds. Serving meat and vegetarian options, I decided to indulge my inner T-rex and go Shawarma!
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A Photo Tour of “The London Candy Company”

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After a two year run on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, “The London Candy Company” has moved to a new location on Bleecker Street in the West Village. Offering a bevy of UK goodies that you can probably only find in this store, or at least the sheer volume of sweets, owner Jignesh Patel has cemented himself as the go-to place in NYC for British candy.

What better time is there than before Halloween to check out this store and give you guys a brief photo tour of the inside of this amazing shop!
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Colombian Arepas from the “Palenque” Truck

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There truly is a glut of trucks that do the same preparation of other trucks, albeit with a different main ingredient. I have seen Korean food, American BBQ, and all sorts of other fusion cuisine vehicles that offer the same things – rice bowls, tacos, burritos. That’s not to say they are bad tasting, but it is nice to have a change every now and then when it comes to appearance. Enter “Palenque”.

Owned and operated by Viviana Lewis and Angela “Nena” Sierra, two Colombian ladies that call New York their home, the namesake refers to a village in their home country. The specialty of this food truck is arepas, which is a grilled flatbread covered with various toppings, both sweet and savory. You can eat it like a pizza, you can eat it like a sandwich, you can cut it with a knife and fork, or you can tear it apart with your bare hands like a grizzly bear. Manners go out the window when it comes to an arepa, and this truck will make sure that your experience is finger-licking good.
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Gorging at “Mad Sq Eats – Fall 2013”

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Earlier in the year, we hit the Spring edition of Mad Sq Eats 2013 with some serious coverage/ overeating. It took us a few months to get ready for the Fall edition, which opened on September 25 and is currently going on outdoors at Madison Square Park.

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Many of our old favorites had returned, including Roberta’s Pizza, Asia Dog, Arancini Bros., Artisan Cannoli, La Sonrisa Empanadas, Momofuku Milk Bar, Seoul Lee Korean BBQ, and many others. If you want to see what we thought of their food, check out the links scattered earlier in the post. In the meantime, we decided to try some of the new items for this fest, and found a few worth nomming on, and a few worth skipping!
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Pizza does not get more authentic than at “Numero 28”

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My love affair with the mistress called Pizza has been well-documented on this site, so my hunt for the finest in the city will be my never-ending quest. Lactose intolerance, be damned! The sheer amount of pizzerias in each of the five boroughs is daunting, but you have to take it one slice at a time. On this day, my journey stopped me at “Numero 28” in the West Village.

Named after their building number on Carmine Street, “Numero 28” serves freshly made pasta and pizza a few doors down from another Italian restaurant, which is across the street from several more pizzerias. To say it’s a packed area would not do justice to how many slices you could accumulate in a matter of steps. However, the one thing that this place has that the competition does not have is the rare gem of pizzas, the Pizza D.O.C.!
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Kielbase from the “Old Traditional Polish Cuisine” Truck

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There are some ethnic foods that seem to be rarer than others when it comes to dining in Manhattan. Polish cuisine seems to be one of those that I have trouble finding, other than a few select spots that are dotted around the city. Luckily, someone heard the outcry for this type of food, and has mobilized that need on four wheels.

The “Old Traditional Polish Cuisine” Truck, or OTPC for short (because I am not re-typing that name out each time),has one of the most unique and awesome looking trucks out there. You can easily spot this truck amongst all the competitors with its faux-wood paneling and homely design. Other trucks go for modern looks, while OTPC goes for a classic home-cooking feel. It’s comfort food at it’s most comforting, so let’s dive in and eat!
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Half Cinnamon-Roll, Half Cookie – Meet the Cinnarookies!

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Kickstarter is the place where dreams go to wither and die, or blossom and thrive. Like many other fans of that site, I love to scour the pages upon pages of ideas and concepts for things, like video games, comics, technology, or my personal favorite, food. It’s hard to choose what item you want to back when you are on a limited budget, especially when it comes to the tasty edible options out there. Luckily for me, I found Cinnarookies.

Billed as the hybrid between a cinnamon roll and a cookie, the Cinnarookie was created by Minnesota natives Ashley Wiermaa and Lindsey Else. The dream of these two business ladies/ bakers was to take their unique cookie idea and turn it into a national business. Like all start-ups, there are tons of expenses when it comes to starting the corporate side of things, so Ashley & Lindsey turned to their kickstarter to raise $3,500 to get the ball rolling. Thanks to their successful fundraising efforts, they raised more than they needed, and lucky for a backer like me, I got my hands on a dozen of their cookies as a thank you gift! So, let’s take a sneak peek at the Cinnarookie!
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“Souvlaki GR” takes their Greek restaurant on the road

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Inside their restaurant colored with the hues of the Greek flag, “Souvlaki GR” promises a little bit of Mykonos in every bite. With a deep menu of classic Mediterranean fare at very moderate prices, the owners of the place decided to take the show on the road with a food truck.

Offering a much more limited menu than their brick-and-mortar locale, the Souvlaki GR truck offers a few different types of grilled sandwiches, all wrapped in a warm pita. Both omnivores and vegetarians have options here, whether its chicken, pork, bifteki, falafel, or grilled veggies, and the tantalizing smell of the open grill in the truck is like the siren’s song straight out of Homer’s Odyssey.
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Philly cheesesteak from “Carl’s Steaks”

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I tried to order from “Carl’s Steaks” a week before this review got posted, but even at noon when the lunch rush has only begun, the line to order from this truck was wrapped around the block. The following week it returned, I made a sneak attack to it at 11:30 when there was practically no one there yet, and finally got my Philly Cheesesteak.

“Carl’s Steaks” and their long, black truck are a sponsor of the Yankee’s and list that they are the “best sandwich in NYC” according to AOL Cityguide on the side of their truck. That is quite the claim to make, especially when we have already reviewed heavy-hitters like Alidoro and Olive’s who blew me away. I am a lover of all things cheese steak, and was glad to give this one a try, but when the truck is already placing it on a high pedestal before you can even order, my expectations were far greater than my reality.
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That’s a big slice of pizza from “Artichoke”!

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In the world of pizza, does size matter? Of course it does! Size is relative when it comes down to pizza pies, however, as some places do slices and others only do pies. I can’t say I have a preference, but I do love a comically large slice of pizza.

Francis Garcia and Sal Basille (who you may recognize from Cooking Channel’s awesome show, “Pizza Cuz”) opened their first “Artichoke” location in 2008, and have quickly expanded to a trio of pizzerias across downtown Manhattan. Enveloped in the world of pizza since they were children, working in their father’s “Basille’s” restaurant in Staten Island, “Artichoke” is the epitome of high-flavor bar pizza, without “bar-pizza” being an insult to the food.

It’s a no-nonsense pizzeria from the moment you step in to their MacDougal St. location, with a few stools on the side of the wall, and one gigantic brick oven in the center of the place. The surly waiter will take your order while you wait on the side and admire the lamp in the shape of a women’s leg in stockings from “A Christmas Story” (a Very Italian prop to have since it’s from the fra-ghee-lay region). Much like the lone server/ pizza-maker guarding the place, the slices from “Artichoke” do not mess around.
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