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Feb 13, 2007 06:34 AM

Eating where cab drivers do?

[This thread was split from a discussion on the Manhattan Board, which you can find at --The Chowhound Team


Based on the line of cab out front all the time. It certainly must be authentic.

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  1. The line of cabs is there because the Taxi office (where you apply for medalions, etc.) is next door.

    1. Don't forget that the worst diners in America serve authentic American food!

      Also don't forget that what's cheap and served fast also has popularity.

      19 Replies
      1. re: Pan

        Exactly! Why does everyone assume that wherever taxi drivers eat must serve great food? Do we as foodies (or whatever) pay attention to which greasy spoon diners long-haul truckers eat at?

        Or consider it this way: you know that if your average American went overseas, they'd just eat at McDonalds. That doesn't mean that the people of that country should take the cue that McDonalds serves authentic, delicious American food.

        1. re: jakew8

          I hear ya. That mentality is beyond me.

          1. re: jakew8

            Of course, we could argue that there is a difference in what a typical American looks for in a cheap food source compared to an immigrant taxi driver. After all, "foodies" describes a small subset of American population, while arguably many foreign countries have a larger proportion of what could be rightfully described as "foodies."

            1. re: spchang

              That's true, and your point is well-taken. The truth, as usual, probably lies somewhere in the middle of the two arguments.

              1. re: spchang

                Maybe you should make that argument. But for the record, I'm not ready to accept that argument at face value.

                1. re: Pan

                  I very carefully phrased my response, so I wouldn't be making that potentially controversial argument. I certainly hate absolute statements (for e.g. X people have the best palates/food), but I think a relative statement like this can be argued for.

              2. re: jakew8

                <which greasy spoon diners long-haul truckers eat at?>

                yeah, I most certainly do! I have had some amazing food thru trucker tips.

                1. re: orangewasabi

                  I've never believed in the old saw that truckers know where the best food road food can be found. In my experience, long haul truckers are under heavy deadline to get their loads delivered. Not much time to go out of the way for tasty food.

                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    I don't know any trucker who would go off route to eat either. But a motivated longhaul driver will know where to get good food in the most unlikely places. Now, I don't know that many long haulers that actually care about food -- but the few that do, you should hear them talk about their special places.

                    1. re: orangewasabi

                      Fair enough, I guess I just have to try and meet more truckers. Not an easy feat living in NYC.

                      1. re: orangewasabi

                        Talked to several truckers during a cross-country trip and what they said debunked this "truck drivers know where the best food is" myth -- said they favor places with easy in & easy out parking and plenty of it! Oh well ......

                        1. re: Sherri

                          I think that the truck driver argument also hearkens back to a simpler, more idealized America, of roadside diners and homey luncheonettes off the highways. These days, sad to say, the average interstate rest area contains the requisite DunkinSbarroCinnabonMcDonalds combination. P.

                        2. re: orangewasabi

                          brings to mind a horrid looking truckstop outside Tulsa where the folks driving wanted to stop for breakfast. HUGE parking lot, interior had little built-in TV's attatched to plastic airport seating. Huge high celilings, dingey lighting....

                          and the BEST pecan pancakes I've ever had! The clouds parted and the chorus of angels sang....I remember them still, 30 years later..sigh..

                        3. re: KTinNYC

                          Truckers? Maybe not. Construction workers...most definately.

                          1. re: ML8000

                            I don't think there is a higher percentage of construction workers that are chowhounds than in the general population. I've heard, about cops, truckers, grad students, musicians, fill in the blank and I just don't find any of the generalizations to be true. Only x percent of the people will go out of their way to get something delicious to eat and the rest will get what is convenient.

                            1. re: KTinNYC

                              Maybe it's a west coast thing (although I suspect not) but I've found the Asian and Latino construction workers in SF and the Bay Area know where to get good cheap chow that's CH-worthy.

                              1. re: ML8000

                                in Toronto, ask the construction guys where to get the best portuguese sandwiches or veal on a bun and they will draw you a map of places in a 100 mile radius. especially if they do steel or concrete or something where they go to diverse job sites.

                                1. re: orangewasabi

                                  I don't even know what a Portuguese sandwich is...but I want one now.

                  2. Construction workers will know where good chow can be found. The cabbie on the other hand, clueless as to its whereabouts, will drive you ten blocks out of the way to get there and collect a nice fare. Cha-ching. That will be $22.35 please.

                    1. I think that only applies when one is travelling abroad. In a foreign country, where one doesn't speak the language and is faced with any number of hyped-up tourist spots, it might be wise to eat where the cabbies do. It'll be cheap and a better option than the readily available tourist traps. On home turf it's probably just inexpensive food that may not be of the highest quality.

                      1. This was before I knew of For a few years I had to take a cab home every night for work. One time the cab driver was from Bangladesh. I asked where he eats when he wants food from home he said mostly in Queens. "What about in the city? ", I'd asked. He said something like, "Kari Ina Hari". I asked him to repeat a few times and tried to write it down the best I can. It wasn't til much later that I realized it was "Curry In A Hurry"...

                        Now I don't think that just because there's always a line of cabs outside the restaurant it means the place is good..On the other hand, if there were two restaurants side by side, and one is more popular than the other, then...maybe there's something there.

                        If I were a cab driver, or a truck driver, I would probably NOT tolerate greasy fast food because you can only eat that stuff once a week, a month. These people are out everyday. Sooner or later they will find the food that's closest to home cooking. So, if i want to know which restaurant has simple but solid good food, I would gladly accept informations from those who have to eat out all the time.

                        3 Replies
                          1. re: HLing

                            I'm still laughing from this ...

                            'He said something like, "Kari Ina Hari". I asked him to repeat a few times and tried to write it down the best I can. It wasn't til much later that I realized it was "Curry In A Hurry"...' HLing, THIS IS HILARIOUS !!!!

                            Great google search results too ... (this is some kind of Hari, I guess):



                            I never knew Hari were similar to 'Lunchables'. Some good eats right there!

                            1. re: Cheese Boy

                              Joli and Cheese Boy, thanks for cheering me up..!