New Halal Cart on 35th Has An Interesting Cooking Technique

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I walk down 35th Street from 6th Ave to 5th Ave pretty much every day on the way to work. About a month ago, a new Halal cart popped up and caught my eye. After the yellow halal truck on 33rd showed up and then disappeared a few weeks later, I hesitated to write this new cart up for fear that it would wander off before too long. At this point, it’s been around long enough that it’s worth mentioning, which is good since the guy who runs it has an interesting trick or two that absolutely makes it worth a visit. See why after the jump.

Street meat, #midtown #NYC #food

The cart is pretty much like so many others, which makes it so odd that he’d decide to park so far into what amounts to a pass-through block. 35th Street may have Leña Latin Grill and some notable Korean spots, but it’s not the high traffic area you’d expect a cart to look for. The cart on the other end of the block always sticks as close to 5th Ave as he can to make sure he gets as many passersby as possible. Still, as far as I can tell, this new guy has already begun to get a following, I know I’m fond of him already.


Here’s the thing that makes the street meat here different, in my opinion: he adds the white sauce and hot sauce onto the meat while it’s still on the griddle. This gives me extra sauce (because he still tops it all off with sauce when it’s done) and it leaves a thicker, reduced sauce blended into the meat while it’s browning. When I saw him do this, it caught my attention and I’ve noticed him do it a couple times afterward, so it’s not fluke. It’s a nice technique that I really appreciate.


On another visit, I decided to switch it up a bit and try out the cheesesteak on the menu. I was hesitant, after all it was just down the block where I had that terrible halal Italian sausage.

Thankfully, this wasn’t anything like that. He tossed a flat square of steak on the griddle and chopped it up with some onions and a couple slices of cheese. He even surprised me with a proper hero roll to put it in.


Now, I won’t claim this is an authentic cheesesteak, or even that it approaches the level of Carl’s, my favorite cheesesteak place this side of New Jersey. Still, it certainly hit the spot and is worth having again when I’m in the mood for greasy steak and cheese.

Besides having good food, the guy who works the cart is very friendly and already seems to know a fair number of his regulars. His cart is a good addition to a generally under-served area. I’m glad to have him there.

Halal Cart, Near 66 W. 35th Street (btwn 5th Ave and 6th Ave)


  • what’s with the first pic of the griddle? your camera has a 1970s Polaroid setting?

    will have to check this guy out. how much?

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    ive seen one or two guys do that myself. but to be honest the best part of this article was reading the fact that he cooks the meat on ordering rather than just shoveling it from a pile into you a pita which had gotten me sick before at the cart on 23rd and 6th.

  • Sauce-infused…sounds like it’s worth a try.
    And as for the meat prep, and cooking it to order rather than digging it off a meat mountain? I would highly doubt. I would believe they pre-cook, contain it and throw back on the grill when someone orders, which is fine.

  • Cause mayo always tastes better when it’s grilled

    Hides the tinny essence of botulism too

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    There’s a cart on the corner of 6th Avenue and 47th Street, and it looks like the same meat sits on the side of the grill all day / evening.

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    He die yesterday morning while setting up his cart. It’s a sad day indeed. He will now be making halal food for the man above. I work at the building in front of where sets up his cart. He was very proud of this review (had it printed) and taped to his cart.

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    What a wonderful person he was. I am the Director of Sales at the Hampton Inn. The man who ran this cart was so very nice and proud of what he did. The first time i went to his cart a few months ago, he was so personable. I got to know about his grandson Omar whom he was very proud of… after he was finished cooking my lunch, he said that it was his invitation for me to dine from his cart and refused to take money from me. I made sure thankfully to come back again and buy lunch on another occasion from him. It saddens me that yesterday morning at 9 a.m. he had a massive heart attack near his cart as he was setting it up. He died not long afterwards. For all those who went to his cart, you know he tried his best to make it a very nice experience and always had a huge smile on his face for everyone. I am saddened by his passing but I know that we come from God and to him we do return. May God bless him always. Thank you for the lunch that day…. neither you, nor the hospitable gesture will be forgotten. May we all learn from other about hospitality for strangers. -Ginger

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    Today is a very sad day for me!! What a special person!! I am the Assistant Front Office Managaer at the Hampton Inn Empire State on 35th Street!!!! Sam will be missed a great deal!! He will always look for me and made sure I had lunch!! Very Sweet Man!! Really!! Very Sad!! Its crazy!! You never know what tomorrow will bring!! RIP Sam!! And to his family!! I’m very sorry for your lost!! Really!! Marianela

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      Thank you all for making my dad’s experience on earth a wonderful one. He enjoyed working there and enjoyed most when he made others happy. He was a wonderful person and am glad to see that others felt the same. Thank you…

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