What Did You Have For Lunch Yesterday? I Had Street Meat


Man, I was really in the mood for street meat yesterday… and can’t for the life of me figure out why.  (Oh, that’s right.)  I decided to hit up the Famous Halal Cart on the SE Corner of 53rd and 6th to try their kofta kebab (which we reported about a few months back.)  Probably not the smartest move considering they had just come in 3rd place in Street Meat Palooza 2 , but the line moved quick, and I just had to get my fix.

Check out my chicken and kofta combo plate, after the jump.


For those unfamiliar with kofta, it’s essentially a Middle Eastern sausage without the casing.  Or, if you want to think of it another way, it’s a kebab made from ground up meat (instead of big chunks).  They didn’t have any ready, so it had to be grilled up fresh (great for taste, not great for time.)  It took about 5 minutes, but I was rewarded with a perfectly cooked, almost medium rare kofta.  Moist and well seasoned, the guy who works at the cart told me he makes them himself (so I’m guessing they don’t have the kofta at night across the street, or at the other daytime cart on 53rd & 7th.)

Getting a chicken/kofta combo was a nice change of pace from the standard chicken/lamb platter- and for $5 it’s a real steal.  And else everything was spot on, as usual.  Great rice, good white sauce, and melt your face off red sauce… but I have to admit I kind of missed the gyro meat.  The subtle flavors of the kofta got lost underneath the white sauce and hot sauce a bit- something that never happens with gyro meat.  I wonder if they’ll do a combo plate with all three!  Now that would be awesome.

Debunking the Myths of 53rd & 6th, the Most Famous Halal Intersection in New York City
Famous 53rd Street Halal Guys Add Kofta Kebab to the Menu


  • damn that picture is making me so hungry

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    I had kofta from the 53rd/7th cart 2 days ago. Why does every cart on that corner feel the need to lie constantly.

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    Just stopped by the 53rd & 7th location, thanks to SMP2-induced craving. No kofka (though the guy promised to have them tomorrow). Lamb & chicken combo platter $5, an especially generous portion with rice packed in and more meat than usual. New: green peppers and onions on top, no charge.

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    I stopped at Kwik Meal around 1PM only 5 people in front of me but by 1:15 the line was around the corner.

  • Ooh, I had kofta for the first time the other day because the picture on the cart looked so good. But she chopped it up like she did yours. I think the intact kabab looks so much better. Still tasty. …Sweet SMP2 coverage.

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    had street meet today.. SMP2 took me to XPL.. nice…

  • Like everyone else, I had to go street meat after reading SMP2 on Tues.

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    Kwik Meal – Lamb/rice – xtra green and white sauce – absolutly delicious…as always – counted 38 people in front of me in line at 1:10.

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    they still charge me $6 at 53rd and 6th. when am i vip enough to get the $5 extra-food treatment?!

  • I guess Doug and LTrain were on line at the same time!

  • Buns, thats odd. A combo with felafel for me is $6. Though the kofta combo with felafel is $7.

    Zach, the combo with kofta is only $5 for you? He’s definitely playing with the prices…

  • wow, look at the line. They must be making a lot of $$..too bad I don’t work near them. Is there a good cart near 40th and park?

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    Guess I wasn’t big enough to qualify for the Fat Man’s discount like Zach…my plate of chicken and kofta cost $6 but was in deed pretty tasty.

  • It was so beautiful outside today that I went all the way up to the Dragon on 62nd. It was my first. Man… that tzatziki really makes the difference.

  • Still have never paid more than $5 for any plate, combo or otherwise, at Halal Guys, and I’m hardly a fat man. I got there early yesterday (12:10) so as to avoid the inevitable long line, so must have missed Zach. Saying hi and being friendly goes a long way toward showing you’re a regular at the cart, too.

    When they’ve done my kofta from scratch — form raw meat around skewers, grill, remove and chop — it’s been over 10 minutes wait. It’s worth it if you have the extra time, but I wish they’d keep a couple grilling (or sitting over by the lamb and chicken) for those of us who’d like to go more quickly.

  • The guy at the cart assured me the chicken and kofta combo was $5 (and that would be the price for everybody). He also said the chicken and lamb combo is $5 until 3pm. $6 after 3pm.

    If he tries to charge you more, just tell him you know the price is only $5! I don’t know how much the falafel platters cost…

  • I always order this way:

    (Lamb|Kofta) and chicken combo over salad, no rice, no pita. White sauce / barbecue sauce, and extra hotsauce. 3 felafel (if they’re available).

    Next time I’ll order just the meat combo and ask why its $6.

  • In lower Manhattan if there are 6 people on the line, thats a long line- LOL.
    i should count my blessings, huh?

  • @Zach

    $5 before 3 PM now, eh? It used to be 4 PM…

    Though the green peppers and onions are good to hear about – mmmmm

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