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Park Ave. Food Cart Tour Lets You Eat Your Way to Grand Central

 MidtownLunch.com partnered with the New York City Transit Museum to lead tours of food trucks around Grand Central Station.
Midtown Lunch Leads Tours of Local Food Vendors
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MIDTOWN — Midtown's food carts are getting their just desserts.

Cheap-eats blog MidtownLunch.com has partnered with the New York Transit Museum to lead two tours of the website's favorite street-meat slingers and vegan vendors around Grand Central Station.

Titled "Midtown Eats! With Blondie and Brownie" the first tour was held May 17. The next is taking place June 14, part of a series of tours the Transit Museum has organized to help celebrate Grand Central's centennial.

"We have an architecture tour of the Guastavino Arches and a Midtown building tour, so it's fun to get the eating and taste-bud component involved, too," Transit Museum spokesman Eli Rumpf said.

MidtownLunch.com writers Siobhan Wallace and Alexandra Pensold led the first tour, taking about 15 participants to trucks and carts on Park Avenue just north of Grand Central: falafel balls from Kwik Gourmet, Korean barbecue from Soul Food, lamb and chicken gyros from Greek favorite Uncle Gussy's, tacos from El Rey Del Sabor, and vegan donuts from Cinnamon Snail.

"There were a couple people on the tour who hadn't eaten from a food cart before — you could tell they were a little nervous," Wallace said. "We gave them some assurances, that we've never been sick. They were all really surprised that they liked the vegan donuts so much."

MidtownLunch.com has built a following as the go-to destination for finding reliable reviews of inexpensive eateries around Midtown, and last month it published "New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Carts."

Together, those qualities made Wallace and Pensold ideal candidates to cook-up a tour of the much-seen but often little-explored world of New York food vendors, the Transit Museum said.

"Because we are specifically a transit museum and we focus specifically on the history of the city, we turn it back to the history of Midtown and how we got to Grand Central as we know it now," Transit Museum program director Julia Malta-Weingard said. "We talked about the vendors' history, their start-up costs, the history of the area."

By exploring the growth of food vendors in the area, the Midtown Eats tour shows "the progression of the street food scene and the neighborhood," Wallace said.

"It kind of shows what the options are for a normal office in the area, and the route's got a few plazas for people to sit in and architecture to look at while we're eating."

Tour guide Michael Morgenthal has also led tours of Midtown food vendors and restaurants for the museum.

MidtownLunch.com's June 14 tour meets at noon at the Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store in Grand Central Station. and runs until 2 p.m. Reservations cost $55 for museum members and $45 for non-members. To learn more or to buy tickets, click here.