Perry, the founder of New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City street food.
One of the first NYC street vendors to up their game was Kwik Meal, who won the People’s Choice Award at the 2007 Vendy Awards. Shortly thereafter, they expanded to a 2nd cart with Kwik Gourmet, a NYC street food stalwart on the SW corner of 47th St & Park Ave, where it has been located ever since.
A lot of the regular customers at Kwik Gourmet seem to get chicken over rice, where their version is better than most of the other street vendors. This time we decided to order two kati rolls, one each of chicken ($3.50 or 2 for $6) and lamb ($5.) They only charged us $8 in total, so we ended up getting the chicken kati roll for $3 anyway. Here’s the full menu.
Kati rolls are made with grilled chapati bread, a slightly chewy Indian flatbread. It’s strong and flexible enough to hold everything inside without breaking, but is not too thick, as naan bread would be with ingredients rolled up inside.
One thing that sets Kwik Gourmet apart from other NYC street vendors is their lamb. Nearly all NYC street vendors use processed gyro meat and call it lamb. Kwik Gourmet uses actual chunks of lamb in their dishes. This makes lunch a little more expensive, but in our opinion, is worth the extra few dollars.
The pieces of lamb were grilled so they were charred on the outside, but still tender inside. Those of you who enjoy lamb know that it’s a slightly stronger flavor than beef, and the taste was complemented by the addition of lettuce, tomato, red cabbage, white sauce, and hot sauce, if requested.
The second kati roll was made with grilled chicken thighs, which were still somewhat juicy. The other ingredients were the same as on the lamb kati roll: lettuce, tomato, etc.
Another difference at Kwik Gourmet is their white sauce. Most street vendors serve a mayo-based white sauce, which is on the thin side.
The white sauce here tasted like it was made with yogurt instead of mayo, which added a slight tang and was thicker than mayo-based white sauces. You usually only see yogurt-based white sauces at the Greek street vendors, but Kwik Gourmet is an exception to this rule.
Kwik Gourmet does not have a social media presence, but they don’t need to after nearly 10 years at the same location. They have a loyal following who knows where to find them, weekdays on the SW corner of 47th St and Park Ave.
The quality of the food is higher at Kwik Gourmet than most other NYC street vendors, so don’t hesitate to get seafood if that’s what you like. We’ve had their grilled shrimp and grilled salmon, and both were very good.