Still searching for reasons to get excited about fall? What about the return of al fresco food markets, like Mad. Sq. Eats, who are kind enough not to subject their vendors to punishing summer heat? Running from September 10th through October 7th this season, the park-side gourmet mecca hosts 25 of the most exciting street carts and restaurant spin-offs in the city. And here are six you won’t want to miss! From the Jianbing specialist, Mr. Bing, to the requisite poke purveyor, Gotham Poke…
Mr. Bing: Nominated in this year’s Vendy Awards for “Best Rookie,” Mr. Bing is also making its debut at Mad. Sq. Eats; using massive round griddles to sear off Jianbing — Northern Chinese street crepes, folded around eggs, veggies, BBQ pork, wine-marinated chicken or even peking duck — which are positioned to outdo poke as New York’s favorite Asian-inspired, grab-and-go food.
Gotham Poke: Not that dedicated spots, like Gotham Poke intend to give up their crown so easily. The cubed, marinated fish vendor is still one of the most popular options at the market; serving up customizable bowls like a mix of black rice, barley and rye, topped with classic Big Eye Tuna, Huli Huli Chicken, Spicy Salmon or Shrimp, and furnished with premium add-ins like tobiko fish roe, yuzu guacamole, shitake mushrooms or quail eggs.
Chingu: A former Hanjan and Danji chef is behind this modern Korean comfort food stand, featuring Spicy Pork Belly, Burgers, Fried Chicken Sandwiches, Beef and Japchae Dumplings, and Bulgogi Ribeye Bibimbap.
Inday: Also a fast-casual Flatiron lunch counter, Inday has expanded its health-focused, Chipotle-esque Indian concept to Mad. Sq. Eats, offering build-your-own wraps and bowls like the “Bombay Basher” (turkey tikka meatball masala) or “Yoga Legend” (lentil curry with hemp sauce and veggies) over fermented organic quinoa, shredded cauliflower or rice.
Amali Mou: Amali’s beachy little sibling wowed at UrbanSpace Vanderbilt with their rosé ice pops, and are likely to draw crowds at their new Mad. Sq. Eats outpost as well; boasting a menu of Greek Island-inspired fare, like Gyro sandwiches with farm-sourced chicken, pork or lamb (or vegetarian with haloumi and kafteri cheese), and assorted dips and salads; such as Fattoush with heirloom tomatoes, crispy feta and sumac vinaigrette.
Khao Man Gai NY: This adjunct of a beloved Thai restaurant in Long Island City specializes in — what else — Khao Man Gai; a traditional street dish of sliced, steamed chicken served with broth-infused rice, consommé, and a sauce of garlic, ginger, chilies and soy.
For more information, visit urbanspacenyc.com