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New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks Paperback – April 2, 2013


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New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks + The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Best Restaurants on Wheels + The Food Truck Handbook: Start, Grow, and Succeed in the Mobile Food Business
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; 1 edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076244682X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762446827
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

New York Daily News
“Popular bloggers “Blondie” and “Brownie” hit the road, literally, in this celebration of all things street food. Their thorough book details the rich history of the genre and features profiles of some of the city’s favorite carts and trucks as well as the (sometimes eccentric) personalities behind them.”

SeriousEats.com
“A fun book and a good read for anyone interested in food trucks.”

Organically Cooked.com
“New York a la Cart is a must-read for those who love to hear the stories behind the food. It also contains so many enticing photos, and the recipes given are quick, easy and cheap to make.”

Bless Their Hearts Mom blog
“the recipes are great … If you know someone who left NYC and misses the food trucks, this would be a great 'souvenoir' book for them. If you have someone interested in the whole food truck scene, they would love this book as well.”

About the Author

Siobhan Wallace and Alexandra Penfold write the blog BlondieandBrownie, which has received almost 1 million visitors since its launch in 2009. Their stories and photos from the blog are regularly picked up by Serious Eats, Eater, and Grub Street. Siobhan and Alexandra also serve as editors for MidtownLunch, a website focused on finding the best lunches in NYC for under $10. They have appeared on the Cooking Channel's Eat Street as food-truck experts, and (of course) live in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Not only great recipes but great stories as well.
Lisa
The book's design is relatively good and some very engaging photography has been employed, yet one just feels that something else could have been done.
I. Darren
This book is a fascinating look at the people behind many popular New York food trucks as well as their specialties and recipes.
Rachel Kramer Bussel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Allison Marie on April 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Let's face it- the food from NYC carts is the ultimate fast food, the type of comfort that every McDonalds or Taco Bell would kill for. I know street meat is probably really bad for me, as is eating 6 tacos in one seating, but I really can't help myself when it tastes just so damn good. Now I don't need to take 3 trains to have my favorite tacos, or wait until I just happen to be in the area of good street eats- I can easily replicate the TRUE best food in NYC right in my own home. Maybe I should give this book 2 stars because I'm obviously going to gain 50 pounds because of it's existence. But I can live with that, and I can't live without tacos.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Kramer Bussel VINE VOICE on May 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I lived in New York for over a decade and consider myself a food truck fan but hadn't even heard of many of the trucks profiled in New York A La Cart. This book is a fascinating look at the people behind many popular New York food trucks as well as their specialties and recipes. I made the Korean BBQ nachos from Kimchi Taco Truck and they were quite delicious (and easily tweaked). I love how varied the recipes here are, and the diverse New York stories. I no longer live in New York so I'm grateful for the chance to cook up some of these treats myself and have a list of trucks I want to try when I am back in town. From grilled cheese and ice cream to dosa and dumplings and much more, this is a fun cookbook/culinary tour of New York from some of its best food bloggers (Blondie and Brownie). Worth checking out whether you're near New York or not.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By I. Darren on April 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Go to any major town or city and invariably there will be some caravan or cart dispensing food to a passing public. Of course, the quality can vary and some are rather transient in nature. Yet many can be effectively permanent structures in a city, with a history and a reputation to match.

New Yorkers are particularly well served by various food carts and whether you are a native New Yorker or just a curious foodie you can, with this book, read about some of the best food cart vendors and even have a go making some of their key dishes. Being a cart vendor is not something to be sneezed at - many people have given up high-flying careers to hit the street and start selling food. Some of these interesting tales are served up from this very thick, richly-illustrated book. Good food, good stories - what else could you ask for?

You can treat this book as a tourist guide too - the carts are listed by their geographic presence and even many of the outer boroughs are featured. As well as the detailed "per cart" listings, an overview by location and contact information is given at the end of the book, along with a sourcing guide, further reading suggestions and a detailed index.

To this reviewer, this was a book that was so much more than just a listing of food carts. It was a series of 50 different mini stories, a range of cultural and sociological history, a snapshot of New York that perhaps not many native New Yorkers or tourists alike really get to share. One wonders how many locals really know the history of their local food carts, for example. The recipes are a bonus, but perhaps one has missed something if one has not been lucky enough to try the food direct from the cart and could savour up the atmosphere, its ambience and real aroma!.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a good idea for a book, but could have been a lot better. I like the part where they interview all the cooks and so on, and the fact that I get a list of foods that I can look up and find better recipes for. I don't think the recipe part is well made, and I recommend looking up proper technique for each dish elsewhere, that way you will actually get comparable results to food cart food. You can also use the recipes in the book for inspiration for flavors/spices. That has been my strategy at least.

Example of what I mean:
Most of the recipes are 'adapted from' the food carts rather than the actual food cart food. For example for kati rolls, if you follow their recipe to the letter you will get smoke. That's because they say you should fry the chapati in butter. Well, butter has a very low smoke point and you shouldn't fry things, particularly flatbreads, in it. You will either use too low a heat and not get a proper flatbread, or you will burn your butter and call the firemen. Ghee (clarified Indian butter) has a much higher smoke point. You can make ghee from butter pretty easily, so I don't understand why they don't say something like 'ghee, if not available, substitute with butter'. Also, I think you need more butter than they recommend to get it properly soft and buttery as you would at a food cart than the book recommends. To some extent I feel like the recipes may be 'adapted' to be more 'healthy', but that is not why people eat food cart food in the first place. Also, most recipes explain little to nothing about technique, and many of them will end up nothing like the original unless you learn the technique somewhere else.

To summarize, I feel like I can still use the book, though not the way it was intended. I can get some of the history of the food carts in New York, can get the names of things I ate in NYC and then look them up. I got amazing results following recipes I found elsewhere, and mixing in spices from here.
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New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks
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