Win a Slot at Street Meat Palooza 3

That right… it’s time.

For the past two years a select group of Midtown Lunch’ers have been chosen to converge on a single location to eat an ungodly amount of street meat, from 15 different carts in Midtown, and crown a winner.  Two years ago, the Famous Halal Guys (on 53rd and 6th) took home the top prize, but last year they were unseeded by the Kwik Meal cart (on 45th & 6th).  Both have been retired from competition, and this year 15 new carts will vie for the chance to be crowned the winner of Street Meat Palooza 3!

Just like previous years, Street Meat Palooza will not be open to the public. It is an invite only, blind tasting of 15 different plates of street meat.  But there is a way for you to win a coveted slot at the “judges” table.

Want a chance to attend?  All you have to do is nominate your favorite street meat cart in the comments and you’re registered to score a slot at Street Meat Palooza 3.  But there are a few rules so please read them closely:

1. Street meat = chicken and lamb over rice with white sauce and hot sauce.  Not jerk chicken.  Not biriyani.  Not schnitzel.  Not tikka masala.  It doesn’t have to necessarily be “halal” but it does have to be chicken and/or lamb over rice with white sauce and hot sauce.  It’s also worth noting, the carts won’t know they’re competing. The plates of street meat will be ordered on a regular day during lunchtime, each by a different Midtown Luncher.

2. Participating in previous years doesn’t exclude a cart or truck from being nominated for SMP 3, but winning does.  So Kwik Meal (on 45th and 6th) and the Famous Halal Guys cart (on the SE Corner of 53rd and 6th) will be ineligible to compete this year.  But their other carts are eligible… so feel free to nominate the Kwik Gourmet cart (on 47th and Park) or the Famous Halal Guys cart on 52nd and 6th (formerly Shendy’s.)

3. Limit one comment per person, but feel free to nominate as many vendors as you wish in that one comment.  The more votes a cart gets, the more likely it will be chosen to participate.  Carts must be located within the Midtown Lunch’ing boundaries… that’s 8th Ave. to the West, 3rd Ave. to the East, Central Park to the North, and 32nd to the South.

4.  If you are chosen to attend the event, you may be asked to bring the food from the cart that you nominated.  (We’ll pay you back, of course!)

5.  Nominations will close on Friday (4/23) at 6pm EST and the invites will be sent out at the beginning of next week.  The judging will take place sometime in May, from noon to 1:30pm at a central location in Midtown that will only be revealed to the participants.

Good luck!

Street-Meat-Palooza: A 13 Cart Chicken/Lamb Over Rice Showdown
Street Meat Palooza 2: Our New York City Chicken/Lamb Over Rice Showdown Crowns A New Champion


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Haters albeit, I’m actually a big fan of the imposter famous Halal guys on 53rd and 6th. They’ll do in a pinch, in the absence of a delicious Chik-fil-A cart. Wouldn’t a cart selling Chik-fil-A sandwiches and Sonic drinks do great in midtown. I’d vote for that!

  • Since I can see them from my window, and coming in 2nd in Palooza #1 made them my go-to street meat lunch, I feel it’s necessary to give XPL on 48th & Park a chance to regain their glory and maybe even take it to the top. Plus, it’s an easy pick-up for me!

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    I nominate Trini Paki Boys (love that they add curried cabbage and chickpeas for the same price….plus best hot sauce in the city)!

  • I’m nominating the same guys as last year, who for some reason you guys thought had cardboard in it, however it still scored high.

    My vote is for: Mr. Khan’s Best (45th and 6th NE Corner)

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    The Little Morocco cart on 39th and 7th…

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Kabab Express on 55th and 6th (the one with the 7min video)
    Carnegie Johns
    the Imposter Cart

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Little Morocco. Besides being close to my office and my default go-to cart, their rice is good (yes, rice – it has actual cloves and cardamom pods and other spices in it!), their hot sauce is good, and their secret ingredient: the eggplant. I really have to ask the guy what they do it it… I love when they sneak that on my platter.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I nominate Little Morocco. I also like The Trini Paki Boys. Also, I know a lot of people will disagree, but I’ve always had good street meat from the Rafiqi’s carts. I never understod why they get such a bad rap.

  • Mr. Khan’s, I go there all the time and never got cardboard

  • You got a bunk Mr. Khan’s. I always love their stuff.


  • Trini Paki Boys are my home town (IE: closest to my job) favorites so I’m going to go with them. And if you pick CheeeeeEEEEEse and myself we’ll finally get to meet even though we live like two blocks away from each other.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Here’s my 2 cents for this year:

    – 100% Halal & Healthy on the NW Corner of 55th & Park get their brown rice and special homemade hot sauce.

    – XPL truck on the NW corner 52nd and 3rd. Ask for their special chutney hot sauce. Guy said it is Indian based.

    – I spoke with the other XPL guy on 48th and 3rd two months ago. He also said that he would have a new green hot sauce starting in April. I haven’t made it back, but perhaps it’s similar to the chutney sauce at the XPL truck? Also, I think he has the best smelling rice.

    – Rafiqis is gross, and I believe it to be something to do with the sauces since most gyro cones originate from a handful of vendors.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I nominate Little Morocco.

  • For Manhattan

    Little Morocco

    Freddie’s the King of Falafel

    Freddie’s is the only regret that I have for moving out of Queens.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I nominate King Tut. Very consistent, generally nice guys who will accomodate to your needs as a midtown luncher. Solid white sauce, spicy hot and great lamb.

  • Although the hot sauce isn’t that hot, I still love 100% Halal & Healthy. The grilled vege’s and brown rice are awesome. I can see them being a dark horse.

  • I’m with Masto, the 48th and 3rd XPL guys are great. They always hook me up.

    In case anyone didn’t know, they also have a new chicken recipe. It’s pretty awesome, though it wouldn’t count for this. They started doing it At the beginning of the month.

  • Alright, SMP3 is almost here!! I’m excited and glad it’s earlier this year.

    I nominate the ex-Shendy’s/ new Famous Halal on 52nd/6th in the lineup. Although the lunchtime 53rd/6th is one of my favs. and they cannot compete to win, but I would still like to see their food/plate in this rumble!! Hopefully the 52nd/6th doesn’t have killer lines after this… :P

    I also nominate XPL on 52nd/3rd since I frequent them more than the other XPLs and they still have one of the best rices on the streets.

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    Gotta nominate the Biryani Cart; even though there is no earthly reason you should be ordering their street meat rather than anything else, they deserve a nod.

  • Jimmy’s Spot or as I call it, the Chicken Cart on 47th b/w 2nd and 3rd. Chicken’s always great quality and the lamb is so good too!

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