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Is Halal Guys Much Better than your Favorite Halal Guy

I may have had it or not, I simply dont remember. Biking on 6th the other day I couldnt believe the line to this thing. I dont do lines very well, nor I think there's anything in NYC worth waiting on a long line for. Still didnt have a cronut

I tried just about every halal cart in Hell's Kitchen (where I do most of my eating) and my favorite by far is the one on 11th and 51st. Curious how it compares

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  1. I'm no street-meat expert but Halal Guys is pretty wonderful. You have to give it a try if you're a halal-cart fan. Visit the cart at 53rd & 7th to avoid long lines - it's newer and not nearly as well-known as the carts at 53rd & 6th.

    1. Its better than the run of the mill carts but is it better than all the others? In my view, no. Not worth the wait.

      1. I went around 1:30pm on a weekday with out of towners to the guys at 53rd/6th and they were not happy about the meat coming from a warming steaming hotel pan and served ontop of prepacked lettuce and rice filled containers with mini cups of sauces....

        A thread a while back- someone's trip report- said they had the same experience during the day, but that when they went in the late evening it was wonderful and grilled (flat-topped?) and each made to order.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Ttrockwood

          So I've had the exact same experience the past few times at the cart. Meat that pretty much was steamed and lacked the entire crispy griddled bits.

          I had pretty much given up on them as I hate waiting in line. Especially when the food is subpar.

          I did however go to their brick and mortar location on 14th street on Saturday. Luckily since it was a summer weeknd the city was empty and I was only in a line of three. I got th combo as did a friend. Both of them had plenty of different textures of meat like the carts used to be in the old days. Not sure what it's like when it is crowded but it was perfect that night.

          1. re: MVNYC

            Honestly i never ever go (since i'm veg) but it sucked that my out of town guests were so let down....!
            Their brick and mortar sounds promising- same menu/prices/sauces/etc?

            1. re: Ttrockwood

              Same sauces and they had a grilled vegetable option

          2. re: Ttrockwood

            If you went during the day on the SW corner of 53rd and 6th, you got the impostor cart.

            I believe the real cart arrives at 7 PM.

            The SE corner of 53rd and 6th is the correct cart during the day.

            1. re: lexismore

              It was the real guys-Yellow shirts and all.

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                Not a native NYC-er, but I believe the "imposter" cart workers also wear yellow shirts/sweaters. You have to check the bags.

                http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2012/1...

                1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                  My coworker thinks the imposter is actually better

                  1. re: Ziggy41

                    If they cook to order during the lunch rush then they are...!

                  2. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                    It was the original cart that we went to, on the SE corner, aka same as the the shop on 14th that just opened.

              2. re: Ttrockwood

                Hah, I'm just seeing this. I think that trip report must have been mine. I was obsessed with the fact that they seemed to serve out of steam trays vs actually putting meat on the grill and that there was no logic to when they would do it a certain way. We had Halal Guys twice in one day, once again the next day, and again a few days later. We received the steam tray meat during lunch rush, grilled meat that same evening around 11pm, steamed meat the next night around the same time, and steamed meat again our last night.

                It really takes away from the experience. It was really evident the night I had it twice. During lunch, I had the steamed meat and the meal as a whole was pretty boring and nothing like the Halal Guys combo plate I remember. At night, I received the grilled meat and it was a completely different dish.

                Has anyone been to the B&M? They better be serving off the flattop there.

                1. re: ah6tyfour

                  It was your post! You were SO right. Another thread.....somewhere.... mentioned they went to the new brick and mortar on a sat and it was flat topped/cooked and assembled to order, same prices. I'll take my next out of town visitors there...

                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    Haha, I'm glad it's not just me being nit-picky. The steam pan meat completely changes the dish. The flavor and textures you get from the little bits of char is what makes it an amazing plate of food. nd every single piece of meat has a different amount of char. Without it, it's just bland meat over rice.

                    I'll have to drop by the B&M location myself to try it out. I'm in the NY area for the next month, so might as well take advantage of it. It would also be weird if they were cooking meat on the flat top to order. Is it too much to ask that they dump a huge pile of meat on the flat top and just continuously mix it up and move it around until it's time to dump more meat on top of the existing pile? That's how they get all those different textures!

                    I was pretty proud of that NY trip report of mine. I think I must have gained 5 pounds after those 6 days.

              3. My favorite would be Freddies king of falafel. The Halal guys are just okay, but their portions are prob 3x bigger than most places.

                1. Halal Guys' serving is easily two meals, but my fave is Kwik Meal. Better flavor and hot sauce.

                  1. The Halal Guys are pretty amazing compared to other chicken and rice carts. If you don't want to wait in line, check out their newly opened East 14th Street location, which is an actual storefront.

                    Also, beware of impostor carts parked around the 6th ave/53rd location area. The real Halal guys are usually on the SE order of the block and have DISTINCT yellow plastic bags that say "The Halal Guys" and "We are different". They pack every food item in those bags.