Mike ‘N Willie’s Fish Tacos

The memorable green and orange truck started by two guys from Brooklyn named Mike and Willie has always been a safe bet for lunch. Sliders and tacos are more popular than ever, and the truck keeps expanding its options with more vegetarian fillings and even rice bowls for those looking for a less messy meal. But it wasn’t until I tried their fish tacos that I realized what a winning recipe Mike ‘N’ Willie’s has, with huge chunks of flaky battered fish with a fresh slaw and tasty cilantro sauce.

Mike ‘N’ Willie’s has a number of appetizing combination deals and daily specials, letting you mix and match between their tacos, sliders and sides. The 3 items for $10 deal is what caught my attention, especially because these tacos are stuffed with delicious fillings. Last time I tried Mike ‘N’ Willie’s they had just run out of fish tacos, so I ordered two of those and a short rib taco.


I bit right into the short rib taco first, doubled wrapped in two tortillas to make it easier to handle and topped with a smoky barbecue sauce, pickled red onion and cotija cheese. The taco was stuffed with sweet and savory meat, even better than the last time I tried it.

Each fish taco had a huge beer battered hunk of flaky fish in it, and I squeezed some lime on each one to give them even more of a kick. These were some of the best fish tacos I’ve tried, fried to perfection but perfectly complemented by the fresh slaw, sauce and lime juice. Finding tacos like this from a food truck in Manhattan seems as rare as finding a dolphin in the Gowanus, but anything can happen in New York. For a truly great lunch at a reasonable price, try Mike ‘N’ Willie’s food truck all around Manhattan and Dumbo, Brooklyn. Or cut to the chase and order online.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com


My First Schnitzel (& Things)

Schnitzel & Things is one of New York’s most iconic food trucks, and has since expanded into a brick-and-mortar location in Midtown, Manhattan. Somehow I have eaten from dozens of food trucks and overlooked Schnitzel & Things. This truck made a big splash when it debuted in 2009, winning Rookie of the Year at the Vendy Awards in its first year of business, and becoming the first food truck in New York to serve authentic schnitzel. For those who don’t know what schnitzel is, it’s a fried cutlet of meat that is gently breaded, and Schnitzel & Things serves it in a sandwich or as a platter with a choice of delicious sides.

Veal Schnitzel is what the truck is best known for, but unfortunately they were out of it by the time I placed my order. I settled with the pork schnitzel platter and chose the Austrian potato salad and chickpea salad as my sides, and got to sample three sauces; pesto mayo, ginger scallion and garlic relish, and chipotle sour cream.

For $10 I was more than impressed with size of this meal. The pork cutlet was massive, and they loaded up my to-go box with plenty of potato salad and chickpea salad, even including two lemon wedges to pack on more flavor. The schnitzel was light and fried to perfection, and each sauce complemented the meat in a different way. The two mayo-based sauces were great at alleviating the dryness of the meat, but the ginger scallion and garlic relish stood out as the clear winner of the sauces. This light, tangy sauce brought out all the flavor in the schnitzel without overdoing it.

The Austrian potato salad was good as far as potato salads go, compared to the rest of my meal it didn’t stand out too much but was still a tasty side dish. The chickpea salad on the other hand was bursting with flavor, mixed in balsamic pesto vinaigrette. The two side dishes countered the fried texture of the meat, and never made me think twice about needing a beverage with this meal.

Schnitzel and Things blew me away with the tasty simplicity of its food. Instead of overdoing flavors and combining plenty of ingredients together, Schnitzel & Things made simple food taste great. The sauces weren’t overwhelming and the meat was barely flavored, but the subtle tastes were more than enough to make this a great meal. After eating from Schnitzel & things I even felt healthy, which is more than I can say for a lot of the heavier options out there. I would definitely go back for more, and I can’t wait to try the legendary veal schnitzel.

Castello Cheese Truck Serves New Yorkers Free Cheese

We recently spotted the new Castello Cheese truck all throughout Manhattan, and finally figured we would have to try some of the appetizing cheese they were handing out for free on platters. As far as marketing goes, I don’t see how anyone can turn down free cheese, and I expect Castello will build up a strong fan-base with the many varieties of cheese they offer.

The friendly staff at Castello offered three types of cheese from their new “Alps Collection”, recently brought to the United States. These three cheeses have just joined Castello’s selection of Danish Blue cheese and premium Havarti cheese. The Alps Collection cheeses are Weissbier, Bergkase and Hirten, and New Yorker’s are the first in the country to try these new cheeses.

What sets these types of cheese apart is their origin, made from the milk of cows in an environmentally regulated area of the Alps. Each farm has less than 20 cows, and is elevated at least 2,626 feet above sea level. Each cheese has a unique aging process, and people who taste them are encouraged to vote for their favorite by phone, and Castello will make a donation to the Food Bank of New York for each vote.

The first cheese I tried was the Weissbier, which is a creamy, mild cheese with a faint hint of the beer that gives it its name. This cheese is wiped with Bavarian Weissbier from the oldest operating brewery in Germany three times per week during its period of ripening. Overall the Weissbier cheese was very smooth and mild, with a subtle taste of the beer it was wiped with.

Castello’s Bergkase cheese is much firmer, and reminded me of a more pungent type of Cheddar. The cheese is based on Oberstdorfer Bergkase, a cheese that has a Protected Geographical Origin status. The version I tried was matured for a minimum of two months at a special temperature and humidity to yield the perfect attributes. The cheese also had a great pungent aftertaste that lingered after eating the cheese, and dry consistency and slightly smoky flavor.

The last cheese I tried was easily my favorite, the Castello Alps Selection Hirten. The Hirten has a crumbly texture and closely resembles parmesan cheese. However the taste was out of this world, simultaneously tangy and sweet, very rich and sharp as well. I think the Hirten would pair well with anything, but the cracker I ate with it sufficed.

I can’t wait for an opportunity to try more of Castello’s cheeses, and for those lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Castello truck, they will be giving away free samples of their cheese throughout the month of October. You can keep up with them by following them on Twitter to scout their next location.

Pulled Pork Waffle from Wafels & Dinges

The Wafels & Dinges Truck has been a favorite New York food truck of mine since I first noticed their iconic yellow trucks and carts. I’m not a huge fan of desserts, but something about the way the truck seems to care about its city got my attention. Wafels always sets up a garbage can outside its truck to keep the streets clean, they allow you to take whatever utensils and napkins you might need to not be so wasteful, and the guys on the truck generally have great attitudes and seem to thoroughly enjoy their jobs. Given my appreciation for the truck, I was shocked to find out they offered a pulled pork waffle and I didn’t know about it.

For $10 I got a pulled pork waffle and an iced coffee, a little more than I would’ve liked to spend on lunch but for some food trucks I can make an exception. The waffle itself wasn’t huge, and I was a little worried that I would be hungry afterwards. The idea of mixing sweet and savory also had me a little skeptical about this waffle, but once I took my first bite all my fears disappeared.

The waffle was a perfect mix of savory and sweet, kind of the way you always wished a McDonald’s McGriddle would taste. The waffle has a light syrupy flavor to it which complemented the barbecue sauce and natural sweetness of the pulled pork. Towards the back of the waffle was a mound of fresh cole slaw that was a perfect antidote to the richness of the waffle and pulled pork. I needed a fork and knife to eat this meal, and by the end I was perfectly content.

Wafels & Dinges never ceases to disappoint for a great meal. The even provided a small spekuloos wafer as a dessert, and anyone who has tried Wafels’ spekuloos spread knows how great this unique Belgian sauce is. The pulled pork waffle was just as rich as any dessert, but savory too which made it the perfect lunch. Some people might still be hungry after a lunch like this, but I found it to be a perfect medium between filling me up and keeping me awake enough to get some work done after lunch.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com


Food Truck Lunch from the Fishing Shrimp

The Fishing Shrimp Truck always seems to be just out reach for lunch, and I had almost given up on ever eating from this truck when I spied it in Midtown on a Wednesday. Fishing Shrimp is usually in Brooklyn, and they stand apart from most other food trucks with their iconic blue truck, and amusing fish and shrimp logo.

As far as I know this is the only truck dedicated to fish and chips in New York City. There are three lobster trucks with a variety of shrimp and lobster rolls, but Fishing Shrimp is unique with battered fish and shrimp, conch fritters, and even fish tacos. I decided to try a small shrimp and chips for $8.

At first glance it seemed like a pretty small basket of food for $8, but taking into account how costly fresh seafood can be, the proportions were actually very fair. I had five large pieced of fried shrimp, served over a basket full of crispy fries. One of my favorite things about this truck is the four types of condiments they lay out in the front for you to choose from. I’ve always thought that a good sauce can make or break a meal, and it was a tough choice for me between the hot sauce, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce and malt vinegar. First I poured malt vinegar all over the platter, and then dipped the fish and chips in hot sauce and tartar sauce.

The breading was light enough on the shrimp that it didn’t overwhelm the flavor at all. The shrimp was delicious, and surprisingly sweet, which complemented the fries very well. The fries themselves were occasionally soggy, but the vinegar gave them a delicious flavor (I’m a big salt and vinegar potato chip fan). In the end the meal was a very satisfying lunch, and the sauces were a perfect addition to this fried meal. Fishing Shrimp was also much less oily than I expected from a meal that was deep fried. I’ll definitely be eating from Fishing Shrimp again, and I’ve already got my eye on their conch fritters.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com


2012 Vendy Awards, Recap & Winners

This Saturday the Street Vendor Project held the eighth annual Vendy Awards at Governor’s Island, featuring two dozen vendors from New York City nominated in several different categories by their biggest fans. Fortunately it was a beautiful day out, and about 1,500 people gathered at the event to feast and vote for their favorites.

Every year that I go to the Vendy’s I make a silent pact with myself to try something from every vendor. This pledge is much easier said than done, and I think I sampled about eight vendors before I sprawled on the grass in the middle of a debilitating food coma. But I’m pleased to say I tried food from several of the big winners, including Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food, a food truck from Brooklyn that took the top honors this year, winning the coveted Vendy Cup.

I started at Baby Got Back Ribs, a vendor nominated for the new Best in Market category and serving out of the Smorgasburg flea market in Brooklyn. These guys made two kinds of excellent ribs, a sweet and tangy flavor and a 21-seasoned dry rub variety. They served the ribs alongside a refreshing cole slaw and a hunk of corn bread. The meat was so tender that it just fell off the bone, and these ribs were an excellent way to kick off the day. They even served their own iced coffee with the meal, and kept us entertained with some light trivia.

I stopped by another Best in Market contender called Mayhem & Stout that operates out of DeKalb Market in Brooklyn. Mayhem & Stout specializes in pork sandwiches, and I tried their braised short rib and brisket, which was probably one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. The short rib was ridiculously tender, and was paired with Blueberry Sriracha and Pickled Vidalia Onions, combining to provide an out of this world flavor.

I passed by some of my favorite food trucks, but I was on a quest to eat from the ones I had never seen before. Okadaman’s Japanese pancakes are some of my favorites, and Uncle Gussy’s and Phil’s Steaks are regulars in Midtown, Manhattan that usually end up in my weekly lunch schedule. At last I found the sought after Lumpia Shack, serving Filipino inspired spring rolls. I tried their Peking duck roll and a mushroom and truffle roll. There’s a reason Lumpia won the best in Market category, these rolls were packed with flavor. The duck roll was rich, savory and fried to a perfect crisp and complemented by a tangy sauce on top. When it comes to truffles I don’t think there’s a way to wrong, and this roll was by far the best vegetarian dish I ate all day.

Rounding out the Best in Market vendors, I was drawn to Pestle & Mortar by their elaborate lobster shell display around their ceviche. For anyone who has never had ceviche, it’s a popular seafood dish from South America made from raw seafood marinated in citrus juice and spiced with a variety of seasonings. Pestle & Mortar’s ceviche was made from shrimp and lobster, marinated in citrus and served with fresh chunks of mango in a small cup with a crisp dipping chip. The ceviche was so good I actually came back for several more helpings; one man in front of me even took a pint home at the end. The ceviche was fresh and perfect for the weather. All of the Best in Market nominees I ate from were outstanding, and the Vendy Awards made a great decision in opening this category.

Among the other vendors I had a chance to eat from was Xin Jiang Prosperity Kebabs, a food cart from Chinatown nominated for the Vendy Cup. The lamb kebab was another winner, succulent and perfectly seasoned; a perfect match with Brooklyn Brewery’s India Pale Ale. People’s Choice winners Cinnamon Snail served huge portions of vegan sliders and a mushroom dish, as well as their signature donuts and a vegan Twinkie. Fun Buns served a delicious Asian pork bun that made me wonder why I hadn’t eaten at this cart yet. Finally I had my last full meal from Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food, three tacos and a selection of four different salsas. The salsas are really what made Piaztlan stand out, the red tomatillo salsa had a perfect kick to it, and the green tomatillo avocado salsa was rich and savory. As someone else at the Vendy’s commented, each salsa made Piaztlan’s tacos taste different, so customers could make the perfect taco to suit their tastes.

Too full to try most of the desserts, I sampled Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich’s new Bushmills flavored ice cream they created. The candied bacon variety was really addicting; I didn’t think it tasted like bacon or whiskey, which was fine with me. The edible wrappers they provide always give an added incentive to eat their ice cream. Monsieur Singh Lassi was the only other dessert I managed to try; they created Indian style Lassi ice pops. Their mango ice pop was creamy and delicious; even though it was so cold it stuck to my tongue when I got it.

Although I couldn’t possibly eat from every vendor I wanted to, a big shout out goes to the winners of the awards, and a thank you as well for providing such amazing food and standing up for every vendor’s rights as well. I will definitely be back next year, with a whole new set of eating goals.

Winner, Vendy Cup: Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food

Winner, People Choice: Cinnamon Snail

Winner, Most Heroic Vendor: Sammy Kassem

Winner, Best Rookie Vendor: Phil’s Steaks

Winner, Best Dessert: Melt Bakery

Winner, Best in Market: Lumpia Shack

Domo Taco: Japanese Tacos Hit NYC

Midtown Manhattan hosts a huge number of food trucks every weekday, most of which I’ve already tried or know enough about that I won’t be reviewing them anytime soon. Then I saw Domo Taco, a smaller light green food truck with a peculiar taco-with-bandanna mascot and virtually no lines. Domo Taco prepares tacos with Japanese fillings and flavors, the first truck I’ve found with this particular combination of flavors. They also offer sides like yakisoba and Japanese tater tots, but I was intrigued by their taco options.

After weeks of searching for an epic fish taco I though Domo might have finally come through for me, until I heard that they were already sold out of those. I took a mental note to stop eating from food trucks right before they close, and settled with a Carnitas taco, Teriyaki Steak taco, and Lemongrass Chicken taco.

The first thing I have to mention about these tacos is that they were each wrapped in only one tortilla, making them extremely difficult to eat at my desk. In the end I abandoned the idea of eating the tacos by hand and grabbed a fork to devour what was left. The teriyaki steak taco was easily my favorite of the bunch, topped with a pineapple and cucumber salsa, it seemed to have the perfect combination of sweet and tangy flavors, with a generous amount of steak.

Sadly the other two tacos were not nearly as good as the first one I tried. The carnitas taco and lemongrass chicken tacos both had the same toppings of cheese and pico de gallo, but something about these toppings just didn’t seem to fit the meat sitting underneath them. The carnitas was very sweet, and the lemongrass chicken had no hint of lemongrass. The toppings did nothing to add the flavor of the meat, resulting in two very underwhelming tacos.

I think Domo has a great concept, and their teriyaki steak taco proved that they can execute it. Reworking the salsa or adding some spice could go along a way for this truck. I’ll definitely be back to try something else off Domo taco’s menu, like the elusive fish taco.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com


Mexico Blvd Offers Gourmet Mexican Food From a Truck

Mexico Blvd is one of New York’s newer food trucks, but with their lines and the quality of the food they offer you would never know it. I found the truck alongside several others at the new Hudson square food truck lot. On a hot day, the lot is filled with people enjoying their lunches under tables with umbrellas and enjoying the live music put on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during lunchtime.

I waited until the long lines began to subside and ordered a lunch special from Mexico Blvd, two tacos, a serving of guacamole and chips and an ice cold horchata for $10. Mexico Blvd has four choices of tacos, but I ultimately went with the bistec (chunks of beef in a ‘drunken sauce’) and pastor (savory pork marinated in a three chili sauce). Both tacos were topped with cilantro and onions, and were held together by two soft corn tortillas.

The bistec taco tasted like no taco I’ve ever had before, probably because the chunks of lean beef were marinated in beer. The taco was topped with a refreshing salsa, and was mildly spicy but did not overwhelm the flavor of the beef. The pastor taco was my favorite, also topped with cilantro and onions, a spicy salsa verde and two choice slices of pineapple. I’ve had pastor tacos before, but I think Mexico Blvd’s is the best I’ve tasted. The pork had a rich and complex flavor, and the combination of the pineapple made the whole taco seem to come alive. Even though the tacos were doubled wrapped meat still spilled out of them, but I’ve never had a problem with my tacos being overstuffed.

The guacamole and chips were definitely different than what I’m used to at most restaurants or chains, or Chipotle in particular. The guacamole was very fresh, with chunks of avocado still inside and a citrus flavor to it. The chips were also lightly flavored, and were definitely superior to the standard tortilla chips I was expecting. I washed the whole meal down with a horchata, a traditional Mexican rice beverage flavored with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. The horchata was a little sweeter than I would have hoped for, but complemented the spiciness of the meal well.

Mexico Blvd can be found at The World Financial Center, at Hudson Square, at the Dumbo lot in Brooklyn and in the Financial District. You can find their daily location and order online from Mexico Blvd here.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com


Snap Enters the Food Truck Scene with a Bang

Just a few weeks ago, New York saw the newest addition to its collection of food trucks. Snap has made its debut, serving Chicago-style hotdogs and their unique Panko-crusted avocado fries. Their first appearance was at Photoville in Brooklyn, followed by the Prospect Park Food Truck Rally, and the Hudson Square “Lent Space” Food Truck Lot this week.

The creators of Snap were very motivated to get their food on the road. Earlier this year they held a Kickstarter Campaign to help raise money for the final renovations of their bio-fueled food truck, which runs on recycled cooking oil used in their deep fryers. They were successful in reaching their goal of raising $10,000 by March, and within a few months they fixed up their truck with environmental sustainability in mind.


(photo credit: NYSF)

Although they serve mainly hotdogs, Snap has adjusted to providing more vegetarian options. Their Chicavocado Dog consists of avocado fries stuffed in a Chicago-style bun with mustard, chopped onions, dill pickle spear, sweet pickle relish, sport peppers, and celery salt (the works). If you’re not a vegetarian, word on the street is the Chili Cheese Dog is to die for.

Although the Snap food truck does not have an NYC street permit yet, you can find them at many food truck lots in Manhattan and Brooklyn–their twitter feed will keep you updated on their location. My obsession with avocados won’t let me go much longer without visiting Snap soon to try those delectable avocado fries.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com


Okadaman: Japanese Food Truck More Than Worth the Wait

Okadaman is the new Japanese food truck that just hit New York City, with some of the most unique food I have ever seen coming out a truck. I would describe Okadaman more as a gourmet restaurant on wheels than a food truck; I just wished they had some outdoor seating to provide during the wait.

Okadaman’s signature dish, the okonomiyaki is a Japanese cross between a pancake and an omelet, and made with a interesting mix of traditional ingredients. The name comes from the okonomi, meaning “what you like” and the word yaki, meaning “cooked”.  This dish was originally served n the late 1930’s in Japan, and became increasingly popular during the war when rice became scarce.

The ingredients that go into the batter are a combination of flower, yam, water, eggs, shredded cabbage and green onion. The chefs are very particular about their batter, and even toss it out if it’s not deemed exceptional by the head chef, named Okadaman. Once the batter is placed on the grill you can choose either pork or squid as a topping.

I opted to get the lunch combo of half a squid okonomiyaki and half yakisoba. Yakisoba are fried wheat noodles similar in texture to ramen, and served with bonito flakes and thick slices of pork. At $7.50 for this combo platter, I was more than pleased with the amount of food I was served, and genuinely shocked at how good it all tasted.

The okonomiyaki has a smooth creamy taste, paired with the salty, fishy flavors from the bonito, and a delicious sweetness from the brown and white sauces gave the entire dish a deep combination of flavors. The yakisoba was just as good, with a slightly smoky taste, the familiar crunch of ramen noodles and savory hunks of pork.

Since eating from Okadaman I haven’t been able to stop raving about how good the food is; only it took about thirty minutes for my food to be prepared after I ordered. Nonetheless, I know I’ll return soon, probably for their takoyaki (octopus balls) which I’ve sampled in sushi restaurants but would love to try from an authentic truck like this.

You can now Pre-Order lunch from Okadaman here

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com