Perry, the voice behind New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City food trucks and carts.
We received a nice surprise on Sunday when Food Freaks Grilled Cheese tweeted they were going to be in Central Park on Monday & Tuesday for lunch. Food Freaks were one of our favorite new vendors at the Taste of the Parks event last June, but we haven’t gotten out to their regular spot by Ft. Greene Park in Brooklyn.
So at lunchtime, we headed over to 5th Ave & 60th St, right by the entrance to Central Park. The Food Freaks, Stephen Cusato and John Coppola, were grilling up a storm inside their cart.
Listening to their recommendation, we ordered the Short Rib Grilled Cheese for $8.75. Short rib isn’t cheap, and this sandwich was the most expensive one on the menu, but the other sandwiches ranged from $5.75-$7.50. You can see the menu here.
Inside the sandwich were shredded, tender short rib, pickled red onions, watercress and gruyere cheese. The short rib was delicious, and gruyere was a strong enough cheese to stand up to the taste of the beef. The watercress and pickled red onions added two other diverse flavors, with a touch of bitterness from the greens and some vinegar-iness from the pickled red onions.
The sandwich was served on sourdough bread that grilled up nicely. This may sound strange, but the Food Freaks told me they add some mayo to the butter before grilling. They say it allows for an increase in temperature before the butter burns, so the sandwich can cook a little longer. Based on the results, they obviously know what they’re talking about.
As I was waiting for the sandwich, John gave me an order of deep-fried Brussells sprouts. I don’t usually like brussels sprouts, but I tried their version at the Taste of the Parks event last year, and was blown away. It was actually the first time I ever enjoyed brussells sprouts, and I was eager for more.
I asked how they were made, and John told me they deep-fry the sprouts, then simply add agave syrup, salt and pepper. Sounds easy enough, but it’s all in the execution.
The Food Freaks are only at this spot (60th St & 5th Ave) next Monday & Tuesday. The rest of the time, Food Freaks Grilled Cheese will be by their usual spot outside Ft. Greene Park in Brooklyn.