Perry, the voice behind New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City food trucks and carts.
It’s impossible to talk about great NY street vendors without mentioning the NY Dosa cart, winner of the 2007 Vendy Cup. The NY Dosa cart is run by Thiru Kumar from Sri Lanka, who is vegan, but you don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy his food. I’m a pretty big carnivore, and this was a great lunch.
Thiru is a friendly vendor who works on the south side of Washington Square Park (West 4th St, at Sullivan St) and is well known throughout the NYU community. Thiru told me he has been serving dosas – a crepe made from rice, wheat or lentils and sometimes filled with potatoes and vegetables, for the past 13 years.
There was a line of around 8 people, and it took 10 minutes to get to the front of the line to order. Most of the people I spoke with were regulars. When it was my turn, I asked Thiru what he suggested, and he said the Special Pondicherry Dosa, which was a crepe of rice and lentils filled with potatoes and veggies.
More: NYC’s 5 Best Crepes
Thiru poured the batter on his grill, after a minute added some potatoes, lettuce, sweet red pepper and onions, and folded it beautifully. Just before folding it, he asked how spicy to make it, and I said medium spicy, at which point he spread a red paste on the food.
After it was folded, he cut it into a few large pieces and put it in a lunch container with 2 smaller cups. One was filled with sambaar, a brown semi-spicy sauce with potatoes on the bottom. The other one had a coconut chutney sauce.
More: NYC’s 5 Best Spicy Meals
It was a little tricky picking up the dosa, but once I figured it out, each bite was full of flavor. The curried potatoes, crunchy veggies, lettuce, pepper and onions inside the dosa was wonderful. Medium spicy was plenty spicy (and I like heat). Very spicy would have likely been too much. I tried some of the sambaal, and it was good, but the coconut chutney was even better.
The NY Dosa Cart is decidedly old school in that Thiru doesn’t have a website, and it’s pretty tough to find their menu online, so click here to check it out.
Then go to the NY Dosa Cart and enjoy!