Mid-morning each weekday, six trucks (less on weekends) pull up only north of the primary doors of Columbia University and line up on the cobbles under the verdant trees. They wait until around 8 p.m. in a parade of flavor. Four of the trucks display a for the most part northern Chinese bill of charge — carefully selecting dishes coffee shops may perceive from Spicy Village and Xi’an Famous Foods — with a couple of southern Chinese and Taiwanese models tossed in. The other two trucks are Korean and Thai. Working our way from south to north along Broadway beginning at 116th Street, here are the trucks and some highlights of their menus.
Truck One: Healthy Food — About the extent of one of those donut and-espresso breakfast wagons, this foundation prides itself on shabby over-rice mixes ($4 little, $7 huge), which permit you to choose three dishes from an every day grouping of 15. The offerings may help you to remember one of those Fujianese steam table joints in Chinatown, not pulling punches with regards to assortment meats. In this way bamboo and pig ear is a typical offering, similar to the Sichuan great of destroyed potatoes, green chiles, and red pepper chips. Also, the segments aren’t meager, either: the decision called just “pork” is a tremendous, red-braised rib whose sauce pleasantly drenches the rice. Squirt on the sriracha!
Truck Two: Korean Cart [No Name]—Its understudy lovers allude to this waffled red truck as Kimchi Fried Rice, since that is the most noticeable and alluring of its 10 offerings, which likewise incorporate the tofu stew called soondubu jigae, singed udon, ramen of the bundled sort, and over-rice presentations that are fundamentally teriyakis. The kimchi seared rice, a homestyle dish that makes the understudies nostalgic, is wonderful despite the fact that the exemplary spam form is occupied. Rather, pick wiener, which ends up being sausage. Not a terrible spam substitute!
Truck Three: Uncle Luoyang — This creature yellow truck is the most showy of the tune line of sustenance merchants. The side of the truck is a puzzling interwoven of nourishment photographs and manually written menus in Chinese and English. These menus incorporate modest flame broiled brochettes like those of Flushing’s Beijing grill trucks, soups and mix fries highlighting expansive wheat noodles (however not made to arrange, as at trucks four and five), southern-inclining singed rice, and straightforward fricasseed dumplings and chicken drumsticks. Henan fried egg-and-tomato noodle soup is a modest understudy top pick. For a fast nibble, the pork burger (rou jia mo) — promoted by Xi’an Famous Foods — is a decent wager, at $3.
Truck Four: The Tuo Fast Food [Green Cart, No English Name] — I asked a few Chinese understudies sitting tight in line for an interpretation, and there was some contradiction about what the truck may be brought in English yet the most straightforward adaptation was “The Tuo Fast Food,” with “Tuo” being a moniker of the proprietor. This is the most northern Chinese truck of the pack, offering Beijing road snacks, for example, jianbing (called “hotcake” on the menu) — a thick crepe loaded with egg, fiery sauce, a cruller, and a grocery store chicken straight to the point. The brisket noodle soup hui mian is much similar to that served at Spicy Village, and well worth requesting.
Truck Five: Auntie Wong’s [Red Cart, No English Name] — To confound things, the two Northern Chinese trucks with no English names on them are once in a while turned around all together, yet please take note of the shade of the truck; for the non-Chinese speaker, this is your surest type of ID. Close relative Wong’s (that is the thing that the person working the window called it when I asked him) offers the typical over rice specials, however rather go for her most prominent dish, chicken rice ($6), which is hot as can be and incorporates bunches of bone-in bits of chile-braised chicken sprinkled with potatoes, now and then presented with a free warm soy milk. For hot climate, the icy sesame noodles — presented with a julienne of cukes and a soy-bubbled egg — is only the ticket. Loads of shoddy snacks, as well, including a pork-filled bing called “meat pie.”
Truck Six: Miracle Thai — The orange truck, which regularly has a line, separates itself from alternate trucks by departing a major space amongst it and the following truck. The toll is solely Siamese, running primarily to group satisfying noodle dishes, around $7 for a vast serving, including principles like cushion Thai, cushion see ew, and, best of every single, smashed noodle, a headache cure that displays a touch of warmth and a squirt of fish sauce on the plump rice noodles. Your decision of principle fixing incorporates tofu, vegetables, chicken, or shrimp. The equalization of the menu is singed rices, dumplings, and a flame broiled chicken cut in goodies that, while not precisely the acclaimed Esan formula, is a decent arrangement. Free Thai ice tea now and again accompanies your request.