As you may be aware, I am currently unemployed, having been deemed un-Streetworthy last fall. And now my life is terrible. I am forced to have some drinks, watch the market, and write inane stuff for this website. And sleep a lot. Actually, that is all pretty good. I suspect, however, that there will come a time very soon where I need to start generating some cash flow. Given my strong resume, robust experience and all-consuming work ethic, this shouldn’t really be a problem; maybe look for something that’s a little better “fit” than hanging out with mostly type-A nerds and sociopaths in the making.
So I have recently spent a little time reflecting on my passions – most of which involve eating or drinking something. Actually, all of them involve eating or drinking something (if you assume that, while rolling dice, you are also drinking). So, I decided to peel the onion a little bit (note: this is metaphorical, I hate onions. Unless they are Funyuns as previously discussed). They say you’re supposed to do what you love, right? So maybe I should open a bar, restaurant or a bar/restaurant? Having worked at a start-up restaurant, I can tell you that it sucks for the owners. Backbreaking work, major stress basically a 107% of financial ruin.
But what about a street cart? Take most of the overhead away, add the pain in the ass of getting the cart back and forth from wherever you store it, and you probably have a more financially viable solution. I am somewhat a connoisseur of street food here in New York, having eaten at the 53rd and 6th Halal cart about 15,000 times (hat tip to my boy C-Note for putting me on to the place). And thanks to midtownlunch, I have tried several of the other joints – honestly some of the best grub in the city, with respected chefs now backing many of the newer carts. The city is filled with Halal carts, hot dog stands, roasted nut vendors (they smell uber-delicious and then you want to vomit after you eat like three of them) – how might I stand out in this crowded crowd?
I cook only two items, each having one variation and both having one thing in common. They’re fucking spicy. That may be counterintuitive given my well documented hatred of onions, tomatoes and peppers. But here’s the catch – I mainly hate the texture of these disgusting vegetables. If you pound them into powders, or dry and crush them, them I’m down. So the food I prepare is drenched in cayenne pepper (ground) and crushed red pepper, as well as some New Mexico chili powder and healthy doses of onion and garlic (powder form, of course).
My greatest creation and single most significant contribution to the culinary world is the chicken burrito. I also offer a taco variant for when you’re looking for less than 7,000 calories. You will sweat through the top of your head – guaranteed. I won’t give away the recipe, but here’s how it looks hot off the stove – remember that all deliciousness looks gross at birth. Please note the super sweet T-Fal pan that I’ve had for 15 years – take that All-Clad!
People have actually cried with delight after the first succulent bite, their tears a combination of saline and habanero extract. I also offer a somewhat different take on the regular burrito, something I like to call Burritchos (patent pending). It’s basically an open faced burrito, with an added heaping portion of Tostito’s Scoops (accept no other scoop-shaped tortilla chip). First, you eat about 80% of the burrito contents (which always includes Frontera brand Chipotle salsa). That leaves you with about 20% of the chicken, beans, cheese, salsa mix left – take another immodest handful of Scoops (at this point there should be an ample selection of broken Scoops, use them here, don’t be shy) drop in the very middle of the tortilla, then fold up and eat as a regular burrito. Maybe add a little more salsa depending on what you’ve got going on there. Trust me on this – it will rule your world.
You don’t see many burrito carts around – a few taco trucks here and there, but nothing close to market saturation. The success of Chipotle in Manhattan points to the near-endless demand for tortilla-encased goodness. I’m afraid the chicken chopping motion would probably have me wearing those carpal tunnel straps within two hours of opening. And I’d have to get distribution deals signed up with both Scoops and Frontera. Hmmm….
My other food creation is super spicy spaghetti sauce. I’m almost certain that sounds disgusting to you – but you are incorrect. It’s delicious. Insanely delicous. In fact, I’m getting pretty damn hungry just writing this. Yeah, I make my sauce from scratch. Well, sort of. I use tomato sauce as a base (see above reference to revulsion at whole vegetables) and then bolognese the shit out of it. Ground turkey is the only way to go for the bolognesing – and not the white meat ground turkey either. That shit don’t cook right. Gotta have that fatty ground turkey. The ultimate incarnation of this is one of my legendary lasagnas – sorry no pictures available. But trust me when I say we’ve eaten lasagna nine meals in a row before. (I’m also working on a lasagnachos hybrid, but so far has not come together)
Unfortunately, there probably aren’t too many spaghetti carts for a reason. Probably too much potential wastage if you don’t have a good estimate of that day’s customer flow. And people probably (foolishly) want something a little less hearty during lunchtime. Maybe I could fire up a dual purpose cart – burritos during the day, spaghetti at night?This idea might have legs (at least than being a foot model), I’ll have to do a little more market research.