Some countries, like Singapore and Mexico, are famous for their wonderful and inexpensive array of street food.
New York, too, has its own street food culture. Back in 1989 when I first visited NYC, the street food scene extended only to dodgy hot dogs cooked on the pavement and, in winter, the smell of roasting chestnuts weaved its way into your nostrils, warming you right up.
Soon after, I noticed the proliferation of silver boxes selling quick snacks like bagels and pastries.
Then, a couple of years ago, I began to see middle eastern food “boxes” spring up. They all seemed to have a similar menu, offering rice, falafel, kebabs and always seemed to be halal.
More recently, and this seems a phenomenon across the US, food trucks have made an appearance. But gone are the dodgy days of suspect hot dogs and dubious taste. These food trucks have become a legitimate source of gourmet food on wheels. Often enough, they have their own fans and spread the word on their next location via twitter, and people flock to them.
This visit I have been staying at Union Square, which seems to attract a lot of trucks, and people seem to genuinely enjoy the grub there. It’s a pity that, each time I’ve passed one that looked interesting, I was either on my way to of from dinner and didn’t think I should scoff down an extra empanada or scoop of ice cream.
Ahhh, but when it comes to me and New York, there’ll always be a next time…