Biryani Cart Gets New Competition From the Strangest Place
Lunch’er Josh, aka NYC Foodie, tipped me off to a new cart called Aamir Halal Food- which is serving chicken tikka and lamb over rice on the opposite corner diagonally across the street from the Biryani Cart (on 46th and 6th). According to Josh, the new cart is run by Aamir Hussein- who just so happens to be the father-in-law of Meru, the owner/chef of the Biryani Cart. When I stopped by to ask Meru about it yesterday, he called the new cart “competition” and admitted that it was in fact his father-in-law running the cart, and serving very similar food. He stopped short of saying it was causing “a problem in his family” (my words, not his) but I could see he wasn’t too psyched about the whole situation. If I had to translate the look he gave me into words, I think it would be: “it is what it is”.
Totally in the mood for some street meat (I’ve been on a street cart tear lately) I headed over to this new unauthorized copy of the Biryani cart to see what was going on.
Clearly Aamir has no problems flaunting his connection to Meru… there is a newspaper photo hanging on his cart of him helping the Biryani cart at the Vendy Awards this past year, where they won the People’s Choice Award.
I asked for “his specialty”, which turned out to be a chicken and lamb combination over basmati rice. It had a very similar flavor to the food over at the Biryani Cart, even though he had told Meru he would be serving different food. I didn’t notice any kati rolls on the menu, but on the plate of food I got there were more similarities to the Biryani Cart than differences (that hard boiled egg certainly looks familiar.)
It’s tough to complain about the food though… just like the Biryani Cart, it was incredibly tasty (and spicy) and I’ve always had the opinion the more street carts the better. Although he probably would have been smarter to park on the East side, which is in need of a Biryani Cart’ish option.
Despite Aamir’s assurances that he is not serving the same food as Meru, there is one thing he said to me that leaves no doubt he is trying to follow in the Biryani Cart’s footsteps: “This year, I want to win the Vendy Awards.” Whoa there pal. Let’s take this one step at a time…
Aamir’s Halal Food, NE Corner of 46th and 6th Ave.