Jumat, 25 Maret 2011

Halal Guys Cart - 53rd and 6th in NYC

Judy and I were visiting my sister-in-law, Mary, in New York recently and were on our way to the Museum of Modern Art. About half a block from the museum, on 53rd and 6th, I noticed a street food cart that had a line of about 15 people waiting for it. 
Food trucks have been on our minds recently because Andrew has been working with some Korean food entrepreneurs in Koreatown recently as they launched a food truck that focuses on hamburgers. Andrew got Rachael involved in helping them market their product, introducing them to a bunch of her food blogger friends. I have learned from Andrew, who is very savvy in finding good cheap street food, that you look for the vendors with the longest lines. Well, this Halal Guys cart fit the bill. 
As I commented to Judy and Mary on the line, a buy-stander commented that this cart was famous, people came from all over to eat their food. I decided not to brave the line at that moment, but indicated I wanted to come back after our museum visit, hopefully to find a smaller line. We came back, but the line was about the same. I think it is a permanent fixture. I was in line next to a Lebanese man who has lived in New York for four years. He says he eats at the cart at least once a week. It is a very slow moving line, which is surprising because they only have a few items and the food is already made and ready to be dished up. Judy, Mary and Mary's missionary companion, Sister Miller, waited patiently for me while I stood in line. We'd already eaten earlier and no one, including me, was really hungry - but I had to try the food. 
It is good, cheap food. I got the combination platter which consisted of lamb, chicken, some rice, a little bit of lettuce, some broken up pita bread and some white sauce. 
It was around $6.00 which is very cheap in New York. It was what you would expect from a good street cart: cheap, big meat-on-the-bones portions and tasty. I particularly enjoyed the portions placed on the pita bread slathered in the white sauce. There was also some spicy red sauce, but I did not like it as well as the white sauce. I would have liked more pita bread and more lettuce. It is not gourmet food, but street cart food is not meant to be. I just looked on Yelp and found it has 1,580 reviews and a 4 1/2 star rating. Many of the reviews focus on the moist chicken and the white sauce. Not bad for a street cart. I probably would not wait in line again for the food, particularly because New York has such an amazing array of food options, but it is much better tasting and a much better value than the typical NYC street cart which mainly sells hot dogs and pretzels. 

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