Tag Archives: tacos

Coney Shack (Asian)

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Food Truck: Coney Shack

Sighting: 47th and Park

Country: Southeast Asia

Usually the selection of food trucks on a given block at a time is pretty unique. It’s rare to see two trucks of the same kind together.

But coming to 47th and Park today I saw two “Asian Taco” trucks, Coney Shack and Domo Taco. I hadn’t been to either of them, but both of them seemed to have the same promise: food with the convenience of a Latin American taco and the flavors of Asia.

Admittedly my expectations were a little low. I’ve had “fish tacos” in the past and have usually been underwhelmed. I never quite saw the appeal. Plus, when I think of words like “burrito” and “taco”, I think of things like yellow rice and beans, not lemongrass chicken and Asian beef shortribs. But I figured I’d give it a shot.

I stood back for a little bit and noticed that Coney Shack was getting a lot more foot traffic than Domo Taco, despite the clearly superior name of the latter. It was clear why just looking at the menu. The Coney Shack menu was very clear–they had four food groups, the Taco, the Hot Dog, the Burrito, and the Quesadilla each with a very distinct set of ingredients. The Domo Taco truck had a similar menu but just didn’t seem as clear cut.

Also, Coney Shack had a sign highlighting that they won the Rookie of the Year award at the 2015 Vendy Awards, which I found to also be impressive. I decided to go with them.

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I saw that they had a $10 rice bowl special with Hainanese chicken rice, which is easily among my most favorite foods in the whole world. But since their claim to fame appears to be tacos, I figured I’d order those instead and get the chicken rice bowl some other time.

Individual tacos are $4 each and it’s 3 for $11, so it was a no-brainer to get the three. I asked the nice woman at the window what the most popular flavors were and she said the Beer Battered Crunchy Fish taco, the Vietnamese Beef Shortrib, and the Five Spice Calamari. I decided to go for those three.

The order took about 5-7 minutes to be made, but when it came the presentation was beautiful. Unlike other trucks where they’ll throw your food into a paper bag and it’s anyone’s guess what you’ll see when you open it, these tacos were carefully placed in the aluminum container and then placed carefully so the contents wouldn’t shift in transit. I appreciated them putting as much care into the presentation as they did the food. When I got back to the office the food looked as amazing as it did at the truck.

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The Beer Battered Crunchy Fish taco was amazing. I don’t know what it is about Asian deep frying but for some reason whether I’m eating a piece of fried fish or a piece of fried chicken it tastes much lighter than your Arthur Treacher’s or KFC, almost to the point of it feeling healthy. In this case, the batter was crispy but light and flaky with a very subtle deep fried taste. The fish was also light with a wonderful mild taste, and on top of it was cabbage, cilantro, scallions, and thinly sliced onions with a mayo dressing (or more accurately, a lemongrass aioli), all on top of a soft tortilla. This is one where I made sure I ate every last piece that fell into my dish.

The Vietnamese Beef Shortrib was also beautiful to look at, with carmelized onions, daikon radish, and cilantro, garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and sweet chili spicy mayo dressing. And of course, the beef which was tender and marinated in a sweet soy sauce. Some may find off-putting the fact that there’s chewy tendons mixed in with the beef, but Asians will tell you that’s actually the best part. The combination of flavors is exquisite.

Finally, the five spice calamari. The squid is fried in the same light batter as the fish, and again the mix of the flavors of the crispy calamari with 5 spice, picked red onion, aioli, and a tomato basil creole sauce makes its flavor remarkably unique as well and thoroughly satisfying.

What impressed me is that each of the three tacos had a distinct personality of its own. The fish taco was light and crisp with a refreshing quality, the shortrib was sweet and savory with a richness, and the calamary had an exotic, complex flavor that did interesting things with the five spices.

I don’t dole out five star reviews very much, but this truck had it all. I will be going back.

5 of 5

Price I paid: $11

Line: 5 mins

Tricks for fast ordering: Do the 3 for 11 taco mix-match. Choose any taco at random, they’re all good.

What to order if you’re a newbie: 3 for 11 with fish, shortribs, calamari.

The menu:

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On Twitter:


Haab NYC (Mexican)

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Food Truck: Haab NYC

Sighting: 47th and Park

Country: Mexican

I have sort of the same relationship with Mexican food as I do with Indian food–I don’t necessarily find myself craving it very often but there have been moments in my life when I’ve had really, really good Mexican food and

The Haab NYC truck is an interesting one in that it’s fairly nondescript. It’s actually hard to tell at first sight what nationality it represents–there’s a faded, barely-readable sign on top that say “Tacos” and the front of the truck says “haab”. The truck looks like it was outfitted with neon lights that say things like “Patty’s” and “Taco’s” but those lights are never turned on. By the window there’s a sign that says “Aguas Frescas” and underneath it “Jamaica Soda”.

jamaican soda capIn fact, at first I thought it was a Jamaican food truck, but then I realized that it had Tacos and Burritos, so I finally realized it was Mexican (in fact the Jamaican soda is made in Mexico).

A lot of people think that what you find at Chipolte, Qdoba, and Baha Fresh is real Mexican food, but that’s like saying that what you find at P.F. Chang’s or Panda Express is real Chinese food (hint: it’s not). When I was in southern California I had the pleasure of going to some authentic Mexican eateries and have enjoyed (they’re usually tiny holes in the ground, the tinier the better).

As with many food trucks, this one is essentially the mobile version of a restaurant. Haab NYC itself is a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn (East Williamsburg to be exact). If you read the Yelp reviews, you’ll get the typical kvetching about service and alcohol, but the reviews of the food itself are mostly very good.

The menu is pretty intimidating when you first look at it. I like food trucks with a simple list of choices or if that’s not possible, a simple process to order. Haab NYC lists out every single food option on their menu, about 50 total menu items to choose from. But it’s a little less intimidating when you look at them in their basic food groups: Tacos, Quesadillas, Tortas, Burritos, Enchiladas, Fajitas.

I asked the woman at the window what the most popular entrees are and she told me the burritos, specifically the Crazy Burrito and the California Burrito. Because I never like to hold up a food truck line I panicked and just told her I wanted the Crazy. Turns out the difference is that Crazy = Chorizo and California = Steak. While I probably would have preferred the steak, the chorizo was just fine with me. I also ordered one of those Jamaican sodas.

The wait wasn’t too bad, under 5 minutes. Pretty impressive given that there were two people ahead of me in line and my burrito wasn’t “pre-wrapped”.

Here’s what the platter looked like back at my desk:

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And the innards.

inside the burrito

As you can see, this was a real honest-to-goodness burrito, stuffed to every last millimeter with goodness. While it still paled in comparison to the burritos I had in Southern California, it was worlds better than what I’d find at places like Chipolte as far as the seasoning, the taste, and the portions (which was dangerously nap-inducing in the office). I also appreciated the side of guacamole and fresh salsa.

By the end of my meal I was as stuffed as that burrito and very, very satisfied.

4.5 of 5 stars.

Price I paid: $9.50

Line: 5 minutes

Tricks for fast ordering: Study the extensive menu in advance and while a lot of the menu is in English, make sure your Spanish is up-to-date for those things that have no translation. Chorizo=sausage. Carnitas=braised pork, Al Pastor=thinly sliced pork shoulder, Chilquiles=stuff over cut tortillas, Guacamole=yummy

What to order if you’re a newbie: California Burrito or Crazy Burrito

The menu:
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On Twitter:


On the Web:

Haab NYC (Website appears to currently be down)