This afternoon, late in the day, I decided I should probably get around to eating lunch, but the same old indecision set in. With so many food carts in University City, it’s hard to decide. I debated walking over to Spruce to get crepes or up to 38th to Don Memo’s or to the so-called “gourmet” ice cream place in the Food Court on 34th and Walnut to get a baba ganouj wrap. But it’s hot out and I didn’t want to walk far, and I wanted something heartier than baba ganouj.
I keep hearing that Magic Carpet is excellent, but when I look at their menu I am uninspired. Like most food carts with limited space to advertise what they have, Magic Carpet lists the main ingredients and nothing more. So you don’t get to hear about the spices or the way the food is cooked and it all sounds kind of bland. Even when I stepped up to the window of the cart at 34th and Walnut, I still hadn’t really decided what I wanted. I asked about the daily specials, but found that they were out of everything except a soy tamale, which I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough to try.
But then the woman looked around and mentioned that they had one spinach tofu wrap left, so I said I would take that. I imagined a plain wrap filled with cooked spinach and plain white tofu, and while it sounded pretty bland, it also sounded healthy and filling. But when I took it in my hand, I was surprised that it was warm and felt heavy. Back upstairs in my office, I opened it and discovered warm seasoned rice and baked seasoned tofu in a spinach wrap. The flavors of the wrap and the filling really complimented each other in a way that I know I could not replicate myself at home. It was definitely not plain.
This is the second time I’ve eaten at Magic Carpet now (I’ve previously tried their tabouli salad, which tastes even better the second day if you order too much like I did) and I am now feeling more enthusiastic about trying some of their other bland sounding offerings. Any recommendations?