NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – We received an email from a reader who asked us if we knew what happened to Tony Dragonas’ cart. Tony has been on the SW corner of 62nd St & Madison Ave. for many years, even before he was a finalist in the very first Vendy Awards back in 2005 (which was won by Hallo Berlin).
A few days ago, we had a chance to check out the scene, and to see if Tony was anywhere in the area. Standing on Tony’s usual corner where there were construction trailers, we saw a steady stream of smoke a little bit east across 62nd St. That had to be Tony, who we know has a charcoal grill on his cart.
Crossing Madison Ave, there was no doubt. Not only was there smoke, but there was also a long line of people queued up for lunch. The cart was down the block a little because a hot dog cart was on the corner, but that was Tony, with a line of 10-15 people.
Last time we had a great steak sandwich with mozzarella, portobello mushrooms and arugula. That day, we also saw a roll of thick, fresh Italian sausage that looked good, so this time, we went for that classic NYC street fair food, a sausage & peppers hero, which cost $6.
You see sausage & peppers stands at all the NYC street fairs, but there are a few things Tony does that improves on the standard street fair sausage & peppers hero.
First, he slices the sausage in half horizontally so it grills more evenly on the outside and inside. He also toasts the 10″ hero roll.
In our opinion though, where Tony really stands out is the mix of peppers and onions. There are 4 different colored bell peppers (green, orange, red & yellow) that are as sweet as can be. Mixed in are grilled onions, and leeks too. We really like leeks, and have never seen them on a sausage & pepper hero before.
The sausage is delicious too. With all the peppers and onions on top, you can still taste the fennel in the sausage. Mmm good!
This is also a substantial sandwich for $6. We were pretty full afterwards, but not bloated. This sandwich held us to dinner, no problem.
Tony is an old-school street vendor, with no website, Twitter, or Facebook account. But he is (for now) on 62nd St, just east of Madison Ave. As we said earlier, he’s easy to spot from the steady stream of smoke from the charcoal grill and the long line of loyal followers.
Even though it was great, we were the only one who got sausage & peppers. Almost everyone on line got either steak or chicken on a sandwich or over rice. Those chicken breast look amazing on the grill. Next time, it’s chicken over rice for us.