First Look: Biryani Cart’s New “Sandwich Land”
After its Vendy Award nomination, and people’s choice victory, the Biryani Cart on 46th btw. 6+7th flirted with a second cart (parked next to the original cart) to accommodate the demand. It was a little confusing for customers, who didn’t realize which cart was serving kati rolls and which cart was serving their chicken tikka masala and chicken biryani. Once the lines died down, the second cart disappeared… but last week it reappeared right next to the original Biryani Cart as “Sandwich Land”, a cart dedicated to sandwiches.
The new sandwich land cart (which is parked directly to the right of the original cart) features two burgers, two cheesesteak sandwiches, a variety of pita sandwiches, and their non-Indian spiced chicken and lamb over rice plates. And of course… an entry for the Midtown Lunch sandwich challenge.
When I first launched the Sandwich challenge I encouraged Meru, the owner of the Biryani Cart to enter… perhaps a spicy Indian version of a philly cheesesteak, or some sort of Bangladeshi craziness. But he insisted on his entry being a special BBQ sauce marinated hamburger, that he seemed very proud of. “The Burger 46″ launched along with the rest of the sandwich cart, and of course I had to try it.
Another lunch’er was there too last week, and had this to say in the comments:
“Biryani Cart: Sandwich Land (huh?) now has an ML sandwich special called Burger 46. It’s a burger with caramelized onions and glazed with Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce for $5. I ordered one, but they gave me what seemed like a regular cheeseburger instead. Two thin patties each with cheese on top. It was ok, but nothing special. Too much lettuce too thick bun, and the cheese wasn’t melted enough.”
I kind of have to agree. I didn’t taste the BBQ sauce at all, the patties are thin are fully cooked through, and the bun was a little too thick. I love the fact that it’s two patties, only costs $5, and you can get a handful of seasoned shoestring fries for only $1 more. But the burger itself is nowhere near as good as Midtown’s ultimate burger from a cart: Carnegie John’s (on 56th & 7th). I should probably keep in mind that this was the first day of making the burger, and it may get better (maybe he even forgot to the put the sauce on?)… but like the commenter said, it’s nothing special.
The Buffalo Chicken Pita on the other hand…
Whoa! Now this should have been the ML Sandwich Challenge entry… really spicy, but not what you would you think of as traditional buffalo chicken (it’s not fried, and not as vinegary). It’s more like buffalo chicken as envisioned by a chef from Bangladesh. Delicious! And he adds his signature white sauce and green hot sauce on top. How can that be bad?
We also tried the “Manhattan Cheese Steak” which is billed as thinly sliced NY strip steak, with “spicy caramelized onions and peppers with pepper jack cheese”. It’s not nearly as spicy as the El Rey Del Sabor cart’s “Alambre Special”, but the quality of the steak (and cheese) is probably the best in Midtown from a cart. It’s not a ton of steak, but there’s plenty of cheese and the flavor is pretty delicious. Plus I’m sure you can ask for it spicier if you wanted.
Also available on the sandwich land cart: standard chicken and lamb pita, a honey mustard chicken pita (made with fresh ground mustard that Meru makes himself), and a sweet chili chicken pita, which uses the same Thai style sweet and spicy sauce as the channai Kati Roll (my personal favorite.) If you’re not interested in a sandwich, you can also get standard chicken and/or lamb plates, a teriyaki chicken plate, a sweet chili chicken plate, and a falafel plate (something the Biryani Cart used to serve back before their Kati rolls became so popular.)
So, the Burger 46 was disappointing- but the other two things we tried were good, and as far as I’m concerned the more carts there are run by the chef of the Biryani Cart the better! I’ll definitely be looking forward to trying the other things on the menu, and seeing what else comes off this cart down the line.
Biryani Cart “Sandwich Land”, SW Corner of 46th and 6th (just East of the original Biryani Cart)