Last month my family and I trekked up to New York for a wedding. It was a whirlwind of a weekend spent entirely on Manhattan. The weather could not have been more perfect and we were outside as much as possible. Because it was our first trip to the big apple with our son we spent the majority of our time getting to know every playground on the island. Most of them actually had kids and parents in line to use the swings – wow! I guess that’s what happens in a super populated city when the weather is perfect for outside play. We were eating out for the majority of our meals which with a two year old can be a crap shoot. Most of the time our son loves to be at restaurant and try new food and people watch – especially if there are other kids around. But there is always the occasion where he is tired or cranky and just could care less about being strapped into a restaurant high chair. So for our sanity we tried to mix up sit down meals with more picnic like experiences so Shiv would still have the freedom to run if needed. The most unusual outdoor dining experience we had was at the dosa truck in Washington Square Park right next to New York University. I have been hearing and reading about this food stand for years. It has gotten a ton of great press like this shout-out. Finally I was able to try it for myself. First off the chef and owner, Thiru, is extremely personable and has his business down to a science.
You order your food with him, someone else takes your payment, and a third person starts the prep for your dish. All the dosas are made to order. And he also has samosas. I got a rava masala dosa – which is my go to dosa and it was perfectly acceptable. Not as crispy or expertly spiced as my favorite here in Atlanta at Sarvana Bhavan but still satisfying. Thiru even made a baby dosa for our son at no cost – which Shiv loved! The samosas I am sorry to say are disappointing. Please save your appetite for the other items on the menu here. Of particular note, he has the most extensive drink selection of any street food vendor I have ever seen. Everything from authentic ginger beer, to lychee coconut water. We carried our food and beverage to an inviting bench in the Washington Square and watched several old men argue about their chess games at the tables near by. We munched happily until Shiv was done (before us of course) after which time we let him lose to chase the pigeons while we finished our food. Afterwards we visited the playground right in square and listened to a live jazz band playing right next to us. Shiv had a dance party at the playground – he was loving every minute. Even though the food may not have been mind blowing the experience was pretty close to perfect as it gets. I encourage you to try it and report back!