Perry, the voice behind New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City food trucks.
Lately we’ve been able to get downtown a bit more often. Ambizza Cafe, who park at Old Slip and Water Street, have a slogan on the side of the truck that says “The Best Kofta Kabab In NYC”. They may think it’s a boast, but it sounds like a challenge to us.
The kofta kabab platter costs $7, and comes with a lot of food for the price. You also get a can of soda with the meal.
The main course consisted of two kofta kababs that were just under 8″ long each. Yes, we measured. That’s well over a foot of kofta kabab. (There are about a million jokes we could make here, but we’ll leave that up to your fevered little imaginations.)
In addition to the kofta kabab, there was a full complement of yellow rice, hummus, babaganoush, pita bread, and they even tossed in a large falafel ball and tahini sauce for us to try at no extra cost.
The salads come with the platter, but we think they threw in the falafel and tahini because they saw us taking pictures around the truck, and thought maybe we were important. Lesson #1: If you want people to think you’re important, take some pictures.
You could tell the kofta was cooked on a kabab because there was a small hole in the center from being on a skewer. The kofta wasn’t heavily spiced – in fact it could have used a little more in the spice department – but it was good, especially combined with some of the salads and condiments that picked up the flavor.
The best way to eat this was to tear off a piece of warm pita bread, break off a piece of the kofta, and put a little hummus, babaganoush or tahini in the pita with the meat. Adding a dash of hot sauce made it even better. Rotating among the salads and tahini gave me a good variety of flavors to go with the kofta kabab.
The hummus was lemony and tasty, although it wasn’t creamy smooth. That’s fine, it was still pretty good.
The babaganoush was even better, with pieces of eggplant and a surfeit of sweet roasted red peppers. My favorite part of lunch was eating bite-sized pieces of kofta, babaganoush and hot sauce in pita.
The yellow rice was fine, with some carrots and peas in the mix.
The last thing I tried was the falafel ball, which was larger than at similar lunch places. It was crispy on the outside and soft, green and herby on the inside. It even gave off a little steam as I bit into it.
The falafel was a tiny bit dry, but dipping the falalfel into the tahini sauce solved that problem. The tahini was smooth, and had a great sesame flavor.
Wow, this was a lot of food for $7! This lunch was an excellent value, especially with a free soda and tax included in the price.
Was this “The Best Kofta Kabab in NYC”? Probably not, but it was still an enjoyable lunch, made even better by the salads included in the platter.
Ambizza Cafe doesn’t have a website, facebook or twitter account, but they park weekdays on Old Slip and Water Street, so they are easy to find. Once you find them, a solid meal at a good price awaits.