Perry, the voice behind New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City food trucks.
If you’ve ever walked down 50th St between 6th & 7th ave during lunch, you may have noticed a street cart with a giant sombrero on top, also sporting a Speedy Gonzalez sticker.
Speedy Gonzalez was always one of my favorite Warner Bros cartoon characters, so I stepped up for a closer look. (Now I realize how stereotyped that character was, but when I was a kid, I liked Speedy because he was fast and a smart-aleck, two things I aspired to be.)
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The cart served Mexican food, but I still had to check out their menu to place an order. While there were 10 items on the menu, it was basically beef or chicken tacos and burritos in various combinations. You can also get a big order of rice and beans if you’re a vegetarian.
We ordered a beef burrito, but got a bit more than expected for $6.
For $6, we figured it would just be a burrito, but after making and wrapping it up, they spooned a nice amount of rice and refried beans into the container as well – and then asked “do you want cheese on it?” I don’t think I’ve ever said no to that question in my life.
Figuring the burrito would stay hot longer, I started with the rice and beans. The rice was seasoned well, and was a solid Mexican rice. The refried beans on the other hand were nothing special. They were very hot to eat (temperature-wise) and weren’t bad, but didn’t do anything to excite me either.
Picking up the burrito, I could see why the rice and beans were served separately. The burrito was already stuffed with a large amount of ground beef and some lettuce. (I asked for no tomatoes, but did request jalapenos.)
The ground beef had a little bit of Mexican seasoning as well, but what I really enjoyed was the mix of sour cream and hot sauce. Together they made a spicy, creamy sauce that picked up the ground beef nicely. Add a few jalapenos, and this was a spicy, filling lunch.
Towards the end of the burrito, I also tasted cheese in the sour cream/hot sauce mixture. A pleasant bonus to end the meal.
I noticed the cart had a 2005 Vendy Award certificate. Sure enough, they were a finalist in the very first Vendy Awards, which was won by Hallo Berlin.
Street food and Mexican food have both come a long way since 2005. The Border a la Carta is decidedly old-school Mexican food, although we know burritos aren’t even Mexican. They were originally invented in Northern California.
The Border a la Carta is not of the same caliber as Vendy Award finalists of the past few years, but lunch was good, and it was an excellent value. $6 for all that food is definitely a good deal. Just don’t expect the beef to be steak for that price.
They do not seem to have a website or a Twitter account, but the Border a la Carta is on the south side of 50th St between 6th & 7th Ave (closer to 6th) every weekday for lunch. Just look for the giant sombrero and Speedy Gonzalez.