NYT Drives Huge Traffic to Midtown Carts Today


In what shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody, the map part of this morning’s New York Times article about Midtown Lunching meant big business for some of our favorite carts today. The famous Halal Cart (on the SE corner of 53rd and 6th) had a longer line than I’ve ever seen (maybe to try their new kofta kebab?), there were reports of longer than normal lines at the Biryani Cart, and the Jamaican Dutchy ran out of jerk chicken before Noon. (Apparently there are a few people in Midtown who read the New York Times?) Anybody go to XPL, or one of the other spots on the list? Reports are welcome in the comments…


  • Line at XPL wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately, food at XPL wasn’t too good.

  • Wow, before NOON? Damn.

  • had a mini curry chicken meal @ Jamaican dutchy today. Awesome as usual!

  • The city’s sewers are in for it this afternoon…

  • @DDR – Bad day for XPL to be off their game…

  • Around 12:30, Zaiya had about the same business as it usually does. Not sure how I feel about the new line system though, waiting to pay felt a lot slower.

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    I decided not to spend a half hour in line at 53rd & 6th (the impostor cart across the street was doing good business, too) and ended up at Hing Won.

    Neither side of the counter seemed to be much busier than usual at 1:15PM.

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    The article and the fact I had to be in the area inspired me to check out XPL for the first time, so I can’t comment on how it normally is. Went at 12:30, and the link was about 10-15. Chicken/rice with white sauce was tasty, and had several comments from people back at the office how good it looked.

    If that’s them off of their game, then I look forward to going back there when they’re back on.

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    wait to long for kati roll at biryani cart .. the best

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    Congratz on the well-deserved NYT write-up! I just happened to pick up the paper while lounging around this afternoon! =D

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    First time poster here. I had to say something. I’ve been reading this blog for over a year and the recommendations have been great. So today I head to the Biryani cart. I ordered two King Koti rolls and the spicy chicken biryani. Had the rolls first, they were delicious. Dived into the spicy chicken – and bit down hard on a peach pit! Is there supposed to be peaches in the biryani?? I’m telling you, it looked like someone just spit the pit out of his mouth, and it ended up in the rice, or somewhere. It was disgusting. I am lucky I did not break a tooth. So, the rest of the meal is now in the trash and I’m feeling sick to my stomach.

    I wish I was kidding, but I had to say something. They were so busy, the line was long and they were doing a great job – but this is just not acceptable. This was the first and last time. This office is never going there again.

  • @kiznick: Never gotten a peach pit in my biryani, or anything nearly that large that was inedible. There will usually be a few stray bay leaves or cloves that you have to pick out, but that’s it.

  • New to the NYC commute and working on 6th, I’ve been exploring my food options so Midtownlunch is a godsend. I had discovered Margon and squeezed in there yesterday at around noon. It was totally packed with a LONG line. In fact, that’s how I heard about the NYT article. I said something about how crowded it was and the guy next to me in line told me about it.

    The counter staff seemed to actually be enjoying the chaos and were still friendly and generous, throwing in a taste of this or that if I asked what something was. My favorite around here, so far.

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    agree with DDR… I visit XPL 2x per week and the rice was off today… it usually packs more flavor but was a bit bland today… line at 1:30 was approx 10 people deep..

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    whoa kiznick, you need to eat a greater variety of things!

    YES, it would’ve been super gross if a guy was eating a peach and carelessly spat it into the rice.

    BUT it’s just part of the pitted fruit that they scoop out of a jar of stuff (i’ve seen them do it) and put into your rice for seasoning. i don’t know the terminology for any of this, but rest assured that it is intentional.

    i know western food takes the bones out of everything (at the price of succulence, imo), so if you eat predominatly american food you probably felt a little betrayed and offended at the intrusion of the inedible pit. but… now you know to slow down when you eat ethnic food. it’s good, you’ll enjoy the flavors more when you eat slower!

    ALSO kudos for getting TWO ROLLS PLUS BRYANI. respect.

  • I hope someone can help me. I live in Texas and just came home from a 10 day stay in NYC. I had an absolute blast! Were it not for my kiddos and my husband, I would not have come home. Ok, here’s where I need help. I had chicken & rice from this cart twice (ok, three times) while I was there, and OMG!! I’m in love. Can someone tell me what kind of food this is? If you happen to know where in Dallas I can find some of this sinfully good stuff, that would be even better!

    Craving Chicken & Rice in Dallas

  • What sort of cart?

    Bet it’s Tandoori.

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