Perry, the founder of New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City street food.
For today’s lunch, we’re going to take you uptown to Harlem, where Tami Treadwell has attracted a lot of attention in the 3 months since she’s been in business. Not only is there a steady flow of customers at her cart, Harlem Seafood Soul, but she is also a finalist in the Rookie of the Year category of the 2016 Vendy Awards. We’re not going to the Vendy Awards this year, but have attended three of them in past years. It’s always a fun (and very filling!) afternoon.
Harlem Seafood Soul is on the NE corner of 125th St and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd (7th Ave), right in front of the State Office Building. The cart is open from Wed-Sun for lunch & dinner, closing when they sell out, which is generally around 8pm.
We love seafood, and they have an amazing menu for seafood lovers including fish tacos, fish & chips, po’ boys and more. We ordered shrimp & grits, which cost $12. Around us, most people ordered either fish & chips ($7) or fish tacos ($5).
If you’re a dessert eater, Tami also makes funnel cakes, which are drizzled with white or dark chocolate or caramel sauce for $5. You can get ice cream on top for an extra $1.
Before getting into the food, we should mention the cart is quite eco-friendly. It operates on natural gas, and has a solar panel on top of the cart, which you can see in the photo below.
We grew up in the NYC area, but fell in love with grits on summer trips to visit family in Atlanta during our teen years. We still prefer grits to home fries or hash browns for breakfast.
The shrimp and grits dish came with 7 medium shrimp that were de-veined and butterflied. Tami sauteed them in butter while we waited, and used plenty of minced garlic, plus a sprinkling of lemon pepper. The smell was fantastic while waiting, and we couldn’t wait to dig in.
As expected, garlic butter was the predominant flavor of the shrimp, although you could definitely taste the lemon pepper, which added a slight bit of pepperiness. The shrimp were perfectly cooked, and had a nice, springy bounce to each bite.
Grits here can be ordered with just butter or with cheddar cheese. Of course we chose the cheese grits, which were creamy and definitely cheesy. Well done!
Shrimp and grits is a pretty heavy lunch for August, but it tasted so good, we didn’t care. This was probably our favorite street food lunch so far this year, and we can’t wait to go back to try some of Tami’s other seafood dishes. Below is a photo of her fish & chips (with hot sauce added), which someone in front of us ordered.
Harlem Seafood Soul is our choice to win Rookie of the Year at the Vendy Awards on Sat, Sept. 17th. Tickets are still available for one of the best food events in NYC, but they usually sell out by the event date, so don’t procrastinate if you want to attend.
Harlem Seafood Soul is easy to get to. It’s literally one stop from 59th St/Columbus Circle to 125th St on the express A or D train, and takes maybe 10 minutes. Then walk 1½ blocks east on 125th St. to Harlem Seafood Soul. We smelled the cart a few steps before we saw the cart, and it was a wonderful smell!