Farewell Lunch Tour Day 2: Biriyani Cart & Kati Roll

So as painful as it is to say, this is my last week of full time Midtown Lunching. Don’t worry… the site isn’t going anywhere, but I’m moving to L.A. so this week I’m making sure to hit all the places I’ll miss the most. A “Farewell Lunch Tour” if you will. Here’s where I’ll be today…

Biriyani Cart on 46th & 6th, Midtown NYC
The Original “Biriyani Cart”, circa 2007

I still remember the day that the Biriyani Cart went from being just another chicken and rice cart with a few Indian dishes tossed in, to the media superstars you now know and love.  Kati Roll had just been forced to move their extremely popular operation from 46th btw. 6+7th, to 39th btw. 5+6th.  And it was in that moment that Meru, the owner of the Biriyani Cart, had the greatest idea of all time.  He threw up a sign on his cart for “kati rolls”, and a legend was born.

I still think of Kati Roll as the industry standard (their freshly fried paratha is out of control good), and my original post about Kati Roll was the most read post on Midtown Lunch for a long long time. But the Biriyani Cart is one of my favorite carts in Midtown… and they’ve had their share of accolades as well.  It would be impossible to choose a favorite… so, I guess I’ll have to go both!

2 Chapati Rolls from the Biriyani Cart on 46th & 6th, Midtown NYC

You can argue that Kati Roll’s kati rolls are better than the Biriyani Cart (on 46th and 6th)… but the Biriyani Cart has got something that Kati Roll doesn’t have.  The Chennai roll!  I love the sweet and sour kick of the tamarind sauce they put on the chennai roll, so I will definitely be getting one of those today (and hopefully Meru will throw a little taste of his delicious biriyani, and chicken tikka masala into the container for shits and giggles.)

Beef Rolls, Kati Roll

But not too much, because after that I plan on heading directly to Kati Roll (on 39th btw. 5+6th) for a chicken tikka roll.  I love the sliced red onions, and hint of lemon juice that permeates the big cubes of chicken tikka.  And did I mention how amazing the bread is?

Since Kati Roll blazed the trail in Midtown, these little “Indian burritos” have started popping up all over Midtown.  I hope they’ve made it out to Los Angeles as well…

The “Biriyani Cart” on 46th gives Kati Roll a Run for Their Money…
Original Kati Roll Post (6/2006)


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    There’s an Indian food truck in LA called India Jones that I think may have something similar. We never made it there during our last trip so I don’t know for sure, but it might be worth a try!

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    I was just at the Biriyani Cart this weekend, and you are right, the Chennai is so so good. If you want to say goodbye to one other Kati Roll restaurant before you leave, try the Kati Roll Company on MacDougal Street. They have one kati roll with a layer of egg inside the freshly fried bread.


  • You made my nostalgic with that 2007 pic. Ahhh, memories.

  • I gotta hand it to you for introducing me to the Chennai roll. Definitely the one I’d pick to stand toe-to-toe against Kati Roll’s best.

  • I don’t know, me and another of Zach’s guests agreed we liked the spicy mint-habanero kati roll better. ;-P

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  • Ohhh Indian Burrito, you changed my life forever. And I have one man to thank for that: Zach, I owe you a thousand slightly curry-tinged hugs!

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    Mamacita, don’t be shy, you can say it was me. I stand behind it 100% and would happily eat them with you again!

    BTW, hubby went to Biryani Cart the next day with co-workers, got a bunch of rolls, and everyone loved them. The office of Folica thanks you!

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