Fahima Halal Takes On Kwik Meal *And* The Biriyani Cart

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Kwik Meal vs. Fahima, bumper against bumper, brother against brother, the side by side street cart family feud on the SW corner of 45th Street and 6th Avenue rages on! Yet in the black cloud of this Greek tragedy is there perhaps a silver lining? Out of this great turmoil might there be great rewards? With some new additions to Fahima’s menu, I certainly hoped so. Bear with me people; I’m inspired by Halal not Homer. Ehem, So then, here’s my first take.

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Our classical drama began with Fahima seeking to usurp the glory of his brother through a deviously delicious plan of culinary griddle skills and keen street cart savvy! Not only has Fahima responded to Kwik Meal’s more established reputation with lowered prices, they have now added Biriyani and noodles ($6/$5 with free drink) to their menu. In yo face Kwik Meal’s Halal and Pasta cart! But by adding biriyani to the menu Fahima would seem to be taking on their close neighbor the Biriyani Cart as well.

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Very much like the Biriyani Cart, Fahima’s biriyani comes with chicken, a hard-boiled egg stained with Indian spices, and basmati rice with a hint of saffron. The difference is in the details. There is real tzatziki in a big spoonful on the side. The tzatziki was tangy and creamy, and dare I say just as good as his brother Muhammad’s Kwik Meal cart. (He probably learned to make it while working on his brother’s cart.)

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Fahima’s rice has a notable cardamom seasoning. There is also a dollop of what I can only describe as garlic and onion chutney with some fennel seeds? It was a small amount, but it had the slightest tamarind flavor underlying it.

The only nit-pickety thing I can add is that the side salad doused in Italian dressing was totally unnecessary and maybe distracting to the other flavors that were going on. With all that tzatziki on the side I’d say adding a simple tomato and cucumber side would definitely elevate this street meat. All this made for a delicious and filling lunch for only $6 dollars. The chicken used at Fahima’s is seasoned with black pepper and some of the usual Halal flavors as opposed to Biriyani’s masala rub, but I dare say the extras you get at Fahima make it worthy competition? Is it possible that the underdog can win this challenge? Does he even know what form of trickery and tzatziki he has unleashed upon the midtown masses!! To top it all off Fahima also does kati rolls. Holy hell in a hand basket, this cart is all about trouble isn’t it? Next step: Noodle and kati challenge!

Fahima Halal, SW Corner of 45th & 6th Ave., 646-575-3544 (And they have a second cart on 42nd St BTW 9th and 10th ave)

17 Comments

  • I literally cringed when you mentioned the side salad with ITALIAN dressing. I wonder why none of them use a typical Middle Eastern dressing (lemon juice with a dash of olive oil and a handful of smoky, hot red pepper flakes, and the optional chopped garlic).

    also – Mamacita, I really enjoy the way you write!

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    I’m having trouble deciding whether to support this or not. On the plus, delicious food. On the minus, undercutting your brother and other local competition is not cool.

  • *tear* wish i was there to try this. can’t wait to see what the noodle dish and kati rolls look like.

    Although I kind of agree with MattZ on this one. It’s kind of wrong to be taught the business by your brother and then start your own cart right next to his cart against his wishes. Although I like that he’s doing different dishes now… it’s a tough one.

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    Wow, this is the most dramatic foodie article I’ve ever read. Hopefully it doesn’t turn out bad. However, I am happy see competition creating quality. Just hopefully not at the expense of brotherhood.

  • i dont know any of them personally nor do i care to ….gimme the cheaper tastier one please~!

  • Just had it with the addition of one of the beef patty things (the name escapes me right now). I really liked it. The green hot sauce is a little chunkier and tangier than Kiwk Meals version but just as hot. The tang of the tzatziki is great, overall a decent meal. I agree with the weirdness of the Italian dressing but it didn’t deter me at all as I ate everything. If I had to complain about one thing is that the hard boiled egg was WAY overcooked. That garlic/onion chutney has a REALLY strong taste so eat it sparingly with other things.

  • I’ll have to try Fahima sometime too. The Biryani looks flavorful and TZATZIKI FTW!! Can’t wait to read about their Kati Rolls to see how they measure up.

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    Taint of saffron? Loving it.

    If this isn’t proof positive ML should eschew the link dump mentality and hand the reigns over to Mama than nothing is.

    Kudos, well done Chiquita.

  • Formz, was it like a basic beef patty or was there something special to it?

    Funny thing, I pulled out their paper menu that came with my order to see if it listed any beef patty and noticed this funny misprint,

    “NY Barger…. $5″

    Huh? you mean Burger? With an attitude maybe? What makes a burger NY-like? :-D

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    I have to say that I am really not impressed. I had the Chicken Biriyani and it was not all that. I barely had any chicken, they gave me a fried egg(not boiled). The worse part is the rice was very bland and a little overcooked. The only good thing I found was that the tzatziki is just as good as Kwik Meal’s. So as far as Biriyani goes I would suggest to stick to the Biriyani Cart.

  • My taint certainly doesn’t smell like saffron.

  • I was over there today and went for Kwik Pastas penne w/meat sauce instead of Fahima. If Fahima learned the biz from his bro and went elsewhere to start his cart, that would be fine, but not next door. Not cool. Make it on your own, not your bro’s coattails. That reminds me, I loved the saffron-y taint comment too.

    http://tinyurl.com/kwik-pastas

  • YESSS. This is how it should be — informative with personality.

    It makes me want to try it so I can try to pick out the flavors you were able to discern with that seemingly keen palate. oh and Italian dressing doesn’t make sense to me either. He can probably save a buck or two by using a squirt more white sauce.

  • Mamacita it was one of the typical seasoned patties that you get with halal food. Is it doner? Anyways it was delicious. The meat was shredded finely and almost had a crab cake consistency. Would eat again.

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    -Tears- all those food are supposed to be special and tasty. Great food advertisements, but I suggest improving the taste. Looks isn’t everything. The taste is. Agreed to ^midtownk, maybe he think that Chicken Biriyani wasn’t thats impressive, since he probably wasn’t impressive and the way is supposed taste..I mean have tasted biriyani before, and i was amazing.

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    I went there to try biriyani and the salad was dry also italatin dressing should not be their. However the worst thing of it all was that there wasn’t enough chicken and I love chicken!!

  • Formz, that sounds like Kofta, halal meat patty. Doner is usually meat sliced off a spit.

    I also like how MidtownK, Luv4FoodII, and chickenlover all pop-up recently on Midtown Lunch to bash on Fahima’s cart. I need to try their Biryani myself to see if it is lacking. Just say no to the italian dressing.

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