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Halal Carts in NYC

  • j

Well I finally gave into one of the only deals left in town!
There is a pretty good Halal cart on the corner of 11th Street and First Ave. For 5 bucks you get some tasty chix with veggies, veggie rice and salad. if the cart dude is in good mood he will throw a falafel and some fries on top. seriously good and filling.
Hot sauce and some white sauce....

Any carts I should try?

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  1. The best Halal carts are on 6th Avenue in the 40s and low 50s. People are passionate about certain ones. I find them all good. Lamb (really gyro lamb) over rice with white sauce and hot sauce is usualy the best bet. Sometimes you have to pick your rice (yellow, white, spicy, etc.)

    1. Has anyone ever reverse engineered which seasonings are used to create the chicken/lamb? Salt, turmeric, black pepper, onions, green peppers, carrots, maybe a little cayenne? What else, there's a taste I cant identify used at all the Halal Carts??

      11 Replies
        1. re: Ora

          Mayo, cinnamon (on the meat), cucumber

          1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

            I think the sauce is yogurt-based, not mayo.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              Most are yogurt. But some of the popular ones also have mayo in them. I believe the famous 53rd and 6th has a hint of mayo.

              1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                I wondered about cinnamon...but there's something else...what?

                1. re: Ora

                  I think ( in addition to salt, onion, cinnamon, carrot, tumeric mentioned above) cumin, garlic, veg. oil, chix stock

                  There is a distinction tho - the yogurt mentioned above is for the white sauce.

                  What I'm talking about is the marinade for the grill. Other than that I am perplexed as well - there is something else. Always wanted to ask them but never had the courage.

                  1. re: dwaves

                    Agree with the spice--though I think the cinnamon is just a pinch. I walked by one yesterday, I am thinking I smelled fennel seed, or something earthy like that. There's maybe a little lemon, don't think vinegar is the acid. But there something else...what??

                  2. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                    Most are yogurt? Man, I'm going to the wrong places I guess! The famous place is definitely mayo-based, but you need some to balance that amazing HOTHOTHOT sauce. I wish they would just say what's in the white sauce - I love tzatziki sauce but I usually hate mayo.

              2. At a loss for what to have for lunch yesterday, I went to the Halal cart on B'way in Soho, it wasn't that great, it could have been better, but what bothered me most was that the lettuce, onions and tomato added at the end were really hot. I only had it wrapped for about 4 min. max before I began to eat it. Any idea why it might have ended up being so hot? I'd consider going back again, but need to figure out a way so this doesn't happen again.

                1. I finally got to try the one on 53rd and 6th that's only open at night. Of course it was great, but I think what makes it really good is that everything is so fresh because there is always a line. Also, it was not greasy at all, which has nothing to do with the line. I'd go back in a heartbeat (granted this could limit the number of actual heartbeats I have left), except it's rare that I'm in the area when the cart is there (7:30 p.m. - 5:00 a.m.).

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: LloydG

                    The same food can be found during the day on the SE corner of 52nd and 6th. No lines either.

                    1. re: KTinNYC

                      KT

                      Jfood ate at the yellow bag on the SE corner of 6th and 53rd yesterday. Is your 52 a typo or did jfood eat at the wrong cart. BTW - it was very good.

                      1. re: jfood

                        I honestly thought it was on 52nd but if you got the yellow bag and round tin then you got the real deal.

                        1. re: KTinNYC

                          I've also heard that the copycat cart was on 53rd. The best chicken I've found is on 43rd and 6th -- much tastier and more flavorful than the 53rd location. If I want chicken and lamb, I'll go to 53rd. But if I just want chicken, 43rd is superior by far.

                          1. re: KTinNYC

                            It's not a copycat, it's the same company - same bag, same uniform, same food, same everything. I'm truly dumbfounded that more people don;t realize this - is waiting for 25 minutes that much fun? ;)

                            1. re: joeyz

                              Yes, you're right. Wrong choice of words on my part. A company like Pinkberry is a copycat.

                    2. i have enjoyed the halal cart on 11th street......they are a 24 hour operation....or so it seems......
                      there are 3 guys that man the cart so they do not have to move it daily.....

                      i like the sauce they put on it but the hot sauce is to hot for me...

                      i stick with the chix but am often curious about the eggplant?

                      anyone else tried this cart?