New Halal Cart on 35th Has An Interesting Cooking Technique
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.
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)