We were by Park Avenue in the 50’s recently, and needed to grab some lunch. A good street food option in that area is Mysttik Masaala, an Indian food cart on the SE corner of Park Ave and 54th St.
What makes Mysttik Masaala a good choice? First, there were mostly people of South Asian descent on line, usually a good sign. As we dug a little deeper, we found out that Mysttik Masaala was a Finalist in the Rookie of the Year category of the Vendy Awards back in 2013, and was nominated in the new “Best Vegan” category this year.
The 2016 Vendy Awards: Meet The Winners, Finalists
The menu at Mysttik Masaala has a lot of choices, with one of the largest selections of vegetarian dishes around. We’re not vegetarian, and ordered a curry chicken platter for $9, as well as a large naan bread, available for $2 extra with any main course.
There were three sections in the platter, along the lines of a TV dinner. One section had basmati rice, one had curry chicken, and one had a veggie side dish that appeared to be dal, which is made from lentils.
As the server was putting our platter together, he asked if we wanted to try some black-eyed peas on top of the rice. Sure, we said.
One of the striking things about Indian food is how fragrant it is, due to the abundance of spices such as turmeric, cardamom and cloves. Our lunch was topped with red onion, fresh cilantro, and there was a huge bay leaf right on top. Too bad you can’t smell this review!
The first thing we did was use a spoon to put the chicken and sauce over the rice, which was a nice combination. The curry from the chicken was evident, and the black-eyed peas on the rice had a fair bit of heat.
We would categorize this lunch as medium in terms of spiciness. Both the basmati rice and the naan helped bring down the heat, but it wasn’t that hot to begin with. The naan was particularly delicious, and we used pieces of it to wrap up the curry chicken and pop it into our mouth.
Lunch from Mysttik Masaala was good. We liked the variety of flavors in the 3 sections of the platter, which were all flavorful in their own way. There aren’t a lot of street vendors in NYC serving Indian food, with Biryani Cart also being pretty well-known among street food aficionados.
Mysttik Masaala has a Twitter account and a Facebook account, but they don’t post regularly. No need to when you have a following coming to your cart every day. They grow business the old fashioned way, by word-of-mouth.