I have worked at the NYU Medical Center (including Bellevue Hospital and with a 2 year break at the downtown campus) since 1998. And food trucks didn't really play a role. Food CARTS of the standard Halal chicken on rice format were around. AND there was a fruit cart that people LOVED.
Now there is something new. It happened since Hurricane Sandy. Not sure if they are connected, but after Hurricane Sandy the area was somewhat cut off from reliable sources of food and the NYU Medical Center provided food throughout the day for few weeks. No great food, mind you, but at least they provided the residents and employees of the Medical Center with food and water when there wasn't much available. Mostly basic breakfast danishes and lunch/dinner sandwiches. Though some departments (like the one I work for) independently provided additional food and even discussed reimbursements for students and post-docs for food expenses. Not sure the ultimate status of their plans, but I do know some pizza got through to some hungry people thanks to the administration of the department I work for.
Then, shortly after all that ended, food trucks started showing up outside the Medical Center. Now I have seen food trucks in several places near my home in Park Slope, including outside the Key Food near my home as well as at Grand Army Plaza. But I haven't seen them before outside my work at NYU.
Seems they found reason to come here, Sandy related or not, and may be here to stay. I tend to starve myself during my long hours of work (stupid but it has more to do with lack of time than lack of appetite) so I have yet to try them. But I have tried enough food trucks hear where I live to know they are a force to be reckoned with and worth trying even if they tend to be pricier than you'd expect from what, back in Los Angeles, we referred to as "roach coaches." The image has been improved but I suspect the reality is the same. Still, anything that brings a wider of variety of food right to where you live or work is potentially a good thing.
Here is a schedule of the food trucks outside the NYU Medical Center between 30th and 33rd street along 1st Ave. The old style Halal food carts are still there as well. I don't think I have seen the fruit cart recently though they may have moved to 33rd and 2nd Ave (at least in good weather).
The cart schedule in front of the Medical Center is below: I would love to hear from people how they are so that when I actually have some cash on my person I can try them. Cash is short for me these days.
Friday Jan. 25: Hibachi Heaven
Monday Jan. 28: Korilla Korean BBQ
Tuesday Jan. 29: Hibachi Heaven
Wednesday Jan. 30: Go Burger by BLT Burger
Thursday Jan. 31: Munchie Mobile
Friday Feb. 1: Hibachi Heaven
Munchie Moblie: https://twitter.com/MunchieMobileNY
This truck offers a variety of creative variations on the sandwich theme, focusing on three general varieties: burgers, grilled cheese, and chicken. Examples include the Grille alla Vodka, a grilled cheese with mozerella, asiago, parmesean, romano and vodka sauce, and The Magician, a burger with bacon, an onion ring, barbecue sauce and smoked gouda.
Hibachi Heaven: https://twitter.com/hibachiheaven
Available in a wrap or bowl, Hibachi Heaven serves beef, chicken, shrimp, and tofu with fried or brown rice and vegetables, topped off by your choice of three special sauces: Heavenly Ginger Sauce, Yum Yum Sauce, or Wasabi-infused Mayo. Check its Twitter account for the word of the day for a free upgrade.
Korilla Korean BBQ: https://twitter.com/KorillaBBQ
Korilla is consistently rated among the city's top food trucks—find out why on Thursday by trying one of their tacos, burritos, or rice bowls filled with Korean-syle meats like beef bulgogi, braised short ribs and spicy chicken. Don't miss the house-made kimchi and even though "BBQ” is in the name, vegetarian options are also available.
Go Burger by BLT Burger: https://twitter.com/GOBurger
Burgers, milkshakes, and floats are just some of the options you can find in the Go Burger truck. It has an extensive menu with something for everyone, including vegetarian options. If you've been to BLT Burger some of the menu options will be familiar to you, like the burgers, hotdogs, salads, fries, and shakes, all made using fresh and high-quality ingredients.