Mad. Sq. Eats isn’t the only major market run by UrbanSpace — they’ve opened another vendor paradise in the fast food franchise engulfed Garment District, and it too is back for the spring-summer season. So we’ve done our faithful readers a solid by tasting through this year’s expansive offerings, and spotlighting a handful of stands whose dishes really stood out from the rest!
Drum & Butter: For goodness sake, bypass the branches of Popeye’s and KFC dotting Midtown, and hightail it to this top notch Fried Chicken and Waffle-focused spot instead, from the owners of Brooklyn Wok Shop. The impossibly moist joints of poultry sport perfectly crisp and clingy crusts, that can be dunked into sauces like honey sriracha ketchup or garlic parmesan, and paired with powdered sugar-dusted red velvet waffles, or classic buttermilk cheddar biscuits.
Taco Bono: There’s certainly no shortage of quirky tacos at the market (Jicama’s pork shoulder in veggie shells, Domo Taco’s tempura and teriyaki tortillas), but this vendor takes its cue from pandebono; street food from Latin America and Spain. That means tasty tacos borrow flavor profiles throughout each region, stuffed with Crispy Marinated Skate and lemon aioli, Roasted Lamb Barbacoa with guajillo, and queso fundido studded with spicy chorizo.
Amali: While we can’t wait to try the Rosé Popsicles promised at Amali’s outpost in the upcoming UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, it’s well worth heading to the Garment District for their insane, french fry-stuffed, dill tzatziki-doused, char-grilled Pork Gyro, which puts the greasy, pita sandwiches at the surrounding halal carts to shame.
Yankee Doodle Dandy’s: Who can’t get behind all-American, guilty pleasure favorites like hot dogs and hamburgers? Created with the money he won from “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” Josh Greenwood’s food truck-turned-market stall serves food that’s certainly not good for you, but is still inarguably good, including Chicken Tenders paired with grilled Texas toast, homemade potato salad, and a side of zesty “Spirit of ‘76” sauce.
Zai Lai Chinese Grille: Farm-to-table Chinese food is big in New York right now, and this stand is committed to using local, organic ingredients in its healthy, wok-cooked dishes; think Marinated Winter Bamboo with Eggplant in a soy glaze, Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes slicked with peanut sauce, and bouncy Lion’s Head Meatballs, which instead of being fried, are gently simmered in a pool of rice wine.