Eighth-Annual Vendy Awards
by Julie Besonen, 09/18/2012
Photo: Alexander Thompson
Xin Jiang Prosperity Kebabs
Forsyth and Division Streets, Chinatown, Manhattan
Lamb, chicken and beef kebabs for $1? The most expensive thing on the menu at Xin Jiang Prosperity Kebabs is grilled quail for $4. A meaty chicken wing is $2. Chef/owner Pang Gil Hwa, from China's Xinjiang region, fires everything on a stick over glowing charcoal, and the meat is fresh, juicy and smoky. Pescatarians can get a skewer of squid—basted and cooked in one big piece, then snipped into edible bites with scissors—for $2. Standing at this sidewalk cart feels like a scene out of Blade Runner—no English spoken, the roar of the Manhattan Bridge overhead, two tattered chairs for the weary and battered bikes chained up nearby. Someone is manning the coals every day from 10:30am to 8:30pm. It's a testament to how hard immigrants in the City work, and how they manage to do it with a smile. For more information, see the Xin Jiang Prosperity Kebabs video at foodcurated.com.