Dining With Denise Neil

After four buildings fall apart on them, couple picks an alternative restaurant space

Ramy and Melissa Salem vacated the first building they rented for their A Taste of Times Square restaurant when an improperly vented hood started a fire.

At the next building, Melissa’s foot went straight through the floor while she was cooking.

They relocated, and their new building’s air conditioning failed in the heat of the summer.

So ithey made a quick move to 217 E. Douglas, where they found a home and started to build a customer base with the residents nearby.

Then the roof started leaking right into the kitchen, and they had to close. That was in October, and it was too bad, Melissa said, because they really liked that location and its proximity to so many new downtown apartments.

The Salems are done with renting, they said. They want to control their working conditions, so they have purchased a brand new food trailer. It’s bright orange, and since Monday, it has resided in the southeast corner of the Downtown YMCA parking lot, at the corner of Third and Broadway. That’s where it’ll remain through the winter.

The couple, who since May have operated A Taste of Times Square at Cafe 402 inside the lobby of the Downtown YMCA, said they wanted to continue serving the dishes their customers liked without all the maintenance drama. They can offer only so many types of dishes at the YMCA spot, where they don’t have a kitchen.

Their truck will offer a constant menu of nine dishes, including their Taxi Driver, made with grilled marinated chicken on a bed of seasoned rice with lettuce, tomato and sauce, plus a gyro and their burger, called Truck Driver.

The new trailer will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily, and people can either walk up and order food or call ahead – even from the treadmill – and it’ll be ready when they arrive.

When the weather warms up, the couple may take the trailer to food truck rallies and other events. But for now, it’s staying put. They’re also able to cater and feed private parties from the truck.

To place an order, call 316-201-6600.

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