One rainy day last week, I didn’t get down to the Financial District for lunch until around 3 p.m., and both of the vendors I wanted to try were closing up because of the weather.
Not sure where to go for lunch, I spotted the Ambizza Cafe truck on the corner of Old Slip and Water St. I tried them once before when they used to park in Midtown on Vanderbilt Ave., and now they park in FiDi on this corner every day for breakfast and lunch.
My first visit was a decent lunch, certainly good enough to try the truck a second time. I decided to get a chicken shish kebab platter for $8.
After I ordered, the chef told me this lunch usually comes with 2 kebabs, but since it was late Friday afternoon, he was going to give me 3. They aren’t open over the weekend, and he would rather have a happy customer than throw out food. He was also telling me not to expect 3 kebabs next time. No problem, and thanks.
Each kebab had 5 pieces of marinated, cubed chicken, so 2 kebabs plus rice (hidden under the chicken), hummus, babaganoosh and a pita bread is plenty for lunch. I shared this with my wife, and it was enough for both of us for lunch.
You can also get a sandwich for $5. Did I mention every sandwich and platter includes water or soda? The sandwich and soda for $5 is a great deal, and a platter and soda is a good deal too at $8.
The all white-meat kebabs were nicely grilled, and pretty thick. One of the kebabs was a little dry, but generally the meat was good grilled, marinated chicken.
Lunch came with a small container of yogurt & cucumber sauce that was a tasty dipping sauce for the chicken.
The hummus was thick, garlicky and lemony, with some spices in the mix. It wasn’t as creamy as the best hummus can be, but it was still pretty good.
The babaganoosh had pieces of eggplant and red pepper, and was significantly spicy, certainly more than I expected.
Under the chicken kebabs was yellow rice with small pieces of carrots and peas. It won’t win any awards, but it was fine. Same thing with the pita bread – good, but not great.
The Ambizza Cafe truck doesn’t reach the heights of the better food trucks in the city, but they are significantly better than all the halal carts, and about the same price.
They are on Old Slip & Water St every weekday for lunch and dinner. If you go there, you can expect a solid meal at a good price.