New York City street vendors to accept credit cards

Starting in June, if you’ve got a hankering for some street meat in New York City, you’ll be able to use a credit card to purchase your kebab. As part of a trial program in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, select street vendors will begin accepting credit card payments for food.

If the initial response to the experiment is positive, it could be rolled out to all New York City street vendors in three or four months. Meaning that stale pretzels and soggy hot dogs may soon be no more than a credit card swipe away.

Beyond those snacks, there are some fantastic food carts in New York City that offer full meals ranging from Jamaican to Lebanese to Korean (and everything in between). So, while you may never have the need to charge $2.00 for a hot dog, being able to pay for a quick and delicious meal-to-go with a credit card may be just the thing to make you consider those food carts that you often just walk past.

Street vendors are wildly popular outside of the States. Here at Gadling we’re always promoting the joys of street food. These carts are only now beginning to catch on with wider audiences domestically as high-end food trucks and more elaborate carts have hit the streets. Here in New York, however, we’ve always been hip to street meat. And now we can charge it.

[Via Gawker via NYP]

Where On Earth (Week 11): Amsterdam

There were lots of good guesses in this week’s Where on Earth, but only one person got it right: Richblackmon was correct in thinking that this fruit stall resides in Amsterdam. In fact, this image was captured near the Leidseplein, a popular square in the vibrant city.

In December 2000, I was traveling from Africa to the US for a month-long home leave. I hadn’t been since I’d left, in July 1998.

We decided to arrange a 3-day layover in Amsterdam in the middle of the return trip. Western enough to feel like home, but foreign enough to feel like I was “transitioning,” Amsterdam served as a brilliant stop-over. We visited the Van Gogh Museum. We toured Anne Frank’s House. We drank beer from those funny little glasses the Dutch serve beer in. But the thing that sticks out most in my mind was the fruit. Maybe it was because I had been living in rural Africa for 2.5 years, but the fruit sold in Amsterdam seemed to me the best in the world.

We ate strawberries the size of Roma tomatoes. The raspberries were the size of ping pong balls. The colors of the fruit were so vibrant, so dazzling, and so rich that I inspected each one carefully before devouring its sweet juiciness. We ate some traditional Dutch meals, but most of the time, we ate from street vendors and fruit stalls. It was amazing. And this picture perfectly captures that.

If you ever visit Amsterdam, be certain to buy some of the fruit and sample it. You’ll remember it forever.

On Chinese Street Food

Go World Travel features a fine culinary travel piece by Larry Jer who after spending months in China decides to risk everything to sample – Chinese street food. We’ve all been tempted on one journey or another to give into the aromas drifting off the grill or pan from some street chef looking to tantalize your taste buds, fuel your stomach as well as make an honest living. Sometimes trying those delicious smelling street treats isn’t as easy as one might think. For Larry having Chinese street food was much like a trip to the circus. I can understand that, but it wasn’t until Larry found he needed to get the weight he’d lost by avoiding most foods in China that he gave in to the street vendors. In addition to developing balls or courage to try the food for weight concerns, he also found gobbling down silkworm added dimension to his stay in China. How about that? Dimension in silkworms? Mmm…

Read the rest for yourself. Foodies can surely appreciate Larry Jer’s very nicely written travel tale.