Where are the city’s best food trucks?

By / Photography By Michael Berman | January 24, 2017
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Amdo Kitchen owner Thumden Amchok with momos.
Amdo Kitchen owner Thumden Amchok with momos.

Where are the city’s best food trucks? You might think Midtown, with its weekday lunch crowds, or those curated seasonal markets like Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg. These spots are undoubtedly good. But what of the diversity of Queens, where immigrants who know how to make their food have assembled low-budget businesses to appeal—at the right price—to their compatriots who live here and miss foods from home? In Queens, there are several trucks whose mission is not to serve food adventurers, but rather to serve those who grew up with and are hungry for the cuisine being offered. Consider how limited their workspace is and how excellent the foods they make are, and it’s truly quite a feat.

Astoria is home to the city’s largest Greek community, and it’s where you can find authentic Greek food without ever setting foot indoors. The King Souvlaki truck makes sandwiches just as they’re done in Greece—with hand-cut homemade french fries (deep-fried in olive oil, on the truck) stuffed into a soft and sturdy pita, along with the meat of your choice, salad and a dollop of housemade tzatziki.

King Souvlaki
corner of 31st St. and 31st Ave., Astoria
917.416.1189

At the King of Falafel and Shawarma truck, the meat-over-rice combo plates are the main a air. Of note? The Omar platter, with its beef-and- lamb shawarma shaved off a rotisserie, is something to behold. It comes with grilled chicken, peppers, onions and spices seared on the griddle with tahini sauce until the aroma of turmeric and cumin-scented flavor lingers in the air.

King of Falafel and Shawarma
corner of 31st St. and Ditmars Blvd., Astoria
917.912.7870

In western Jackson Heights you’ll find a handful of momo (similar to Chinese dumplings) trucks. Amdo serves up some of the best. The owner, who is from eastern Tibet, cooks from childhood recipes, spruced up with scallion and cilantro. His momos are made to order, meaning fresh dough is rolled out, ­ filled, crimped closed and steamed.

Amdo Kitchen
corner of 74th St. and 37th Rd., Jackson Heights
212.920.0881

Jackson Heights and Elmhurst have no shortage of Mexican trucks offering tacos, cemitas, tortas, quesadillas, gorditas and tostadas. I discovered my favorite spot by chance while searching for a different truck. Tortillas are made from scratch on the spot; the ingredients are fresh and the workers are friendly to boot. A ball of masa gets scooped out, flattened in a tortilla press (the owner brought it over from Mexico) and cooked to order on the griddle. Try the al pastor quesadilla (chili-marinated pork with pineapple on a masa tortilla) and opt for the rajas (fried green peppers and onions) and green avocado sauce for a true taste of Mexico.

El Coyote Dormilon
corner of 92nd St. and Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights
347.337.1029

 

King Souvlaki under the El at 31st St and 31st Ave
peppers and onions cooking on the griddle at El Coyote Dormilon in Elmhurst
Photo 1: King Souvlaki under the El at 31st St and 31st Ave
Photo 2: peppers and onions cooking on the griddle at El Coyote Dormilon in Elmhurst
adding fries to a beef and lamb gyro at King Souvlaki
an Omar Platter from the King of Falafel
Photo 1: adding fries to a beef and lamb gyro at King Souvlaki
Photo 2: an Omar Platter from the King of Falafel
El Coyote Dormilon’s cecina taco
a chicken souvlaki sandwich from King Souvlaki
Photo 1: El Coyote Dormilon’s cecina taco
Photo 2: a chicken souvlaki sandwich from King Souvlaki
a server at King Falafel with an Omar Platter
a beef momo at Amdo kitchen ready to be steamed
Photo 1: a server at King Falafel with an Omar Platter
Photo 2: a beef momo at Amdo kitchen ready to be steamed
Article from Edible Queens at http://ediblequeens.ediblecommunities.com/eat/where-are-city-s-best-food-trucks
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