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January 19, 2011

Finally, at long last, I got to eat salchipapas!  According to the interwebs, it is primarily a Peruvian street food.  I’ve seen it offered at 2 different restaurants in Brooklyn but have also noticed a cart selling it outside of the Atlantic Avenue Terminal and Mall.  With some free time on my hands, I decided to strap on my boots and take a walk to the cart.

The nameless cart...or maybe it has one, I didn't really look.

The cart is located right outside the mall on Flatbush Ave where 4th Avenue ends.  It appears that 2 dishes are for sale: empanadas and salchipapas.  I knew my appetite could not afford both, so I kept my eyes on the prize.  For the english breakdown, salchicha is hot dog and papas are french fries.  Combine the two and you have salchipapas!  The cart guy asked if I wanted it with everything.  He clarified that everything meant 4 different toppings: ketchup, mustard, mayo, and some green peppery hot sauce.  I’ve also seen a variation with egg (hard-boiled I think) as a topping but this just had the sauces.  He told me it would take a few minutes, and when I finally got it, he handed over this huge mound of food.  He seemed proud of my look of shock and amazement and said “Lots of fries and lots of hot dogs!” 


I paid my $5 and took my food mountain over to the marble-looking benches and chowed.  The menu described the salchipapas as ‘fried hot dog with fries.’  I would guess that they were all-meat dogs and they had a good street-cart salty taste.  I also enjoyed how the papas were fried, a little crispy and also soggy from the ketchup.  I can’t really guess what the green hot sauce was, but it wasn’t too spicy, more of a peppery taste.  There was nothing fancy about this dish, just pure tasty fried street food.  The only mysterious element was the shape of the dog slices.

Like a tilde on top of an 'n'....and yes, I just saw the cigarette butt in the corner too.

I have no idea how these slices of dog got their shape, and didn’t think to ask for some reason.  Maybe he slices them in a way that they curl when fried.  However it’s done, I’ve never seen it before.  While I was pondering this new shape of hot dog, a pigeon flew over and walked in front of me on the ground.  Then another, and another, and another, until a whole gang surrounded me on the ground and on the bench beside me.  And I mean it when I say gang.  Because these dirty-ass pigeons began harrassing and nearly attacking me.  A few starting flying in my face so I would drop the dish.  I stood up and started getting all my stuff together but they were still trying to get the goods.  Check out how gross these guys are.  I hope they didn’t drop any diseases into my food.

Eff you pigeon.

First I think people were staring at me because of the obscene amount of food I was eating by myself.  Then I think they were staring at the scene of a guy being molested by pigeons.  And did anyone come to my aid?  No, of course not.  I wouldn’t either.  So I knew that I was beat and wouldn’t get to eat in peace, so I brought my food back over the get wrapped up.  The cart guy said “Ah, too much food huh?”  I assured him I really liked it but the pigeons were a complete buzzkill.  I took my food home and ate in peace.  I added some Franks hot sauce to the mix, and suddenly, everything was right in the world again.

Salchipapas & Empanadas cart: Flatbush Avenue at 4th Avenue, outside the Atlantic Avenue terminal

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