On Monday night, a street food-themed Citymeals-on-Wheels benefit brought together more than 40 food trucks and a group of acclaimed chefs who served upscale versions of street food (Michael Psilakis made pork shoulder "gyros") in the name of charity. The highlight for some was undoubtedly the NYC debut of the Kogi truck, a Los Angeles based Korean BBQ taco concept that has taken the West Coast by storm—Kogi and the Dessert Truck even offered a special $4 combo plate Monday at noon as a warmup to the benefit, and a huge line formed despite the well-publicized fact that only 200 portions of Kimchi quesadillas would be available. Midtown Lunch also broke the news that Kogi will come to NY, probably later this year, and Lee Anne Wong of Top Chef will oversee Kogi-NY operations.
And so it goes that street food might be the single most powerful culinary force in the universe right now. Midtown Lunch's Zach Brooks, profiled in last week's Times, also cameos on a new web channel devoted entirely to short videos about street food, called VendrTV. Brooks is called in as an expert witness, in one video elucidating some of the finer mysteries of copycat halal guys on 53rd Street, all of which brings news of an unlikely expansion: According to Sheepshead Bites, a cart called XPL Halal Food has parked and set up shop 24/7 all the way out on Avenue Z and Sheepshead Bay Road, aka Land of No Street Food Carts.
XPL Halal, who incidentally took "best Rice" honors in Midtown Lunch's 2008 Street-Meat-Palooza, have seemingly been welcomed by the community. Given the current street-cart streak, one has to wonder if the Sheepshead Bay expansion is the opening move of a much larger movable feast.