Miss Softee’s Favorite Street Meat


If there’s one things I love about eating street meat in Midtown is that everybody has their own favorite spot for chicken and lamb over rice. Sure, some of the halal carts have become more famous- and Street Meat Palooza has crowned two different winners. But most people have their favorite spot (usually close to their work) where the guy knows your order, and makes it just the way you like it. And while it may not win any awards, it doesn’t make it any less worthy of being patronized.

So yesterday when Miss Softee (yes, that Miss Softee!) offered to take me to her favorite street meat cart, I immediately took her up on the offer.

Miss Softee (aka “everybody’s favorite Mister Softee truck driver”) is back from her vacation, but since the Mister Softee trucks hibernate for the winter, she’s not currently slinging soft serve. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t come back into Midtown every so often to visit her old friends. She introduced to me to one of them yesterday… his name is Habibi Muhammad (Habibi means “my beloved” and is just what Miss Softee calls him!), and he runs the “Halal Food” truck on the SW corner of 56th & 6th. She is all about the gyro on pita, but I went for my standard order: chicken and lamb over rice with white sauce and hot sauce.


You get your choice of rice (white, yellow, or spicy) but Habibi said the spicy was the best if you like spicy. It was pretty standard rice, with a good flavor… not as perfectly cooked as the basmati rice you get at Kwik Meal or the Famous Halal Guys Cart or as flavorful as the rice at XPL, but it wasn’t the crappy waterlogged rice you get at so many mediocre carts. It was somewhere in the middle. The best part of the platter was that Habib lets the meat cook on the flat top for a good amount of time, ensuring that the gyro gets crispy. This usually happens more often when you go to a cart late in the day, but Miss Softee assured me that his gyro is always crispy. It also had veggies which I surprisingly enjoyed- and Miss Softee swears make the platter healthy. Muhammad echoes that sentiment… he’s quick to always let you know that his street meat is “good for the heart, good for the liver.” (Is that a hangover joke?)

Anyway, I was definitely pleased with my lunch. Will it replace my personal favorites, or win Street Meat Palooza 3? Probably not. But if you like switching it up every once in awhile, the Halal Food cart on 56th and 6th is worthy of being added to your rotation. Especially if you like your lamb crispy…

Halal Food, SW Corner of 56th and 6th


  • I walk by everyday but was skeptical , but if Zach AND Miss Softee give a thumbs up, I gotta give it a shot.

  • It doesn’t hurt to have variety but by looks alone, seems standard. Hey, me still willing to try it. If I went to the samwich’s recommended 49th and 6th spot a while back for tasty halal spicy rice mush, then what more could happen? lol. Still need to try goat’s 28th & Mad place though.

    My go-to these days has been XPL near me. No longer locked down on 53/6. And Little Morocco is more of a quick dinner choice.

  • that’s me with my gyro, white sauce only, veggies — which clearly make it healthy ;), and crispy chunks of grilled lamb. nom nom nom. i think i lived on these all summer long at my nightspot!!

    ooooh, also worthy of mention — this is the only vendor in the city that i trust to eat a hotdog from. not only are his grilled, (read: not sitting in luke warm leftover bath water for hours), but he splits them in half and puts them on the grill before serving!! i mean, if you’re gonna eat a hotdog, don’t you want it to be caramelized with the juices of the surrounding grilled meat? (as Zach pointed out yesterday — this was probably what made it so fracking delicious.)

    anyways, if you work in the area or happen to pass by, it’s nothing fancy, and certainly not out to win awards, but being super clean and super friendly, he’s definitely one cart, and one vendor, worthy of a quick bite! he also usually has chairs set up outside the cart too for you to rest your bones if it’s been a long day!

    <3 miss softee

  • You sold me on the hot dogs for sure then. Perfect snack on your to or from lunch :)

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    It’s been said keep their mouths full and you don’t have to listen to them yak (or laugh as the case may be).

  • Just tried his chicken over rice. It’s a clean cart, Habibi’s friendly, and I appreciated the choice of 3 different rices. It’s tasty – a great go-to meat cart in the mid-50′s along 6th.

  • But, Bossman, what technique is it that you use to “keep their mouths full”?

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    I like this cart. The food is good and the guy is pretty cool. I’ve gone to about 4 or 5 different Halal Carts (I usually get lamb over rice) and this one is my favorite.

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