Street Meat Palooza 4 Nominations Are Now Open

Street Meat Palooza

You didn’t think we forgot about Street Meat Palooza, did you?  Now that the dust has finally settled on Midtown Lunch’s 5th Anniversary, it’s time to crown Midtown’s best street meat.  Every year we bring together a hand picked group of lunchers to taste 15 different plates of street meat, and crown a winner.  Three years ago the Famous Halal Guys won the inaugural palooza, but the next two years belonged to Kwik Meal and Kwik Gourmet.  All three 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 4!

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 4.  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), Kwik Gourmet (on 47th & Park), 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 the Famous Halal Guys cart on 52nd and 6th is still eligible.

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 Wednesday (9/14) at 6pm EST and the invites will be sent out a few days later.  The judging will take place sometime in September, 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
Street Meat Palooza 3: Crowning The Best Chicken And Lamb Over Rice Cart in Midtown


  • My go to place is still Famous Halal & love that there’s no line at 52nd & 6th!

  • I vote for Trini Paki Boys Cart!

  • chef samir truck

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    47th btwn 2nd and 3rd.

    This cart has a line 10 deep everyday and is the absolute best street meat I’ve ever had. They put a real chicken brest and fresh lettuce over this amazingly tasteful rice. I’m salivating just thinking about the cart. Is that odd?

    I’m really surprised it’s never been discovered by MTL

  • XPL and Trini Paki Boys.

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    I know it wont get a ton of publicity because its non a high traffic midtown area, but my guy in what I think is an unnamed cart on 40th and 3rd makes amazing good old fashioned chicken and rice, and depending on when you guy hell throw in a falafel ball or french fries in with your street meat goodness. Just a solid 1.5 pounds of food that always leaves me satisfied

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    Carnegie John

  • Prestige Halal at the SW corner of 52nd and 9th ave. You’ve probably passed this generic looking cart while on your way to Totto Ramen but the food is definitely better than expected and the staff is friendly.

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    Not even sure if it’s still there but when I worked there – The Steak Truck by 47th & Park was my favorite by far, amazing hot sauce!

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    I second the nominations for Carnegie John and Kebab Express on 55th and 6th (gotta get the basmati rice!)

  • Gyro Press on 40th btwn Mad and 5th is a good generic option.

  • The Famous Halal Cart guys… both carts are equally good but I’m gonna have to go with the one on 52nd and 6th!

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    Chef Amir’s truck on 36th and broadway!

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    I have to go with XPL on 48th and Park as my favorite cart.

    Second best goes to the Imposter Halal Cart on the SW corner of 53rd and 6th. I actually prefer that truck to the real deal Famous Halal.

  • I am sticking with my vote from 2 and 3. 100% Healthy & Halal on the corner of 55th and Park. Full chicken breasts grilled right there, then cut up over rice… Grilled right at the cart!!!

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    My favorite place is on the NE corner of 40th and 3rd. The unassuming/unnamed cart boasts powerful flavors unlike many halal carts I have tried. The choice of three different rices, my favorite being the saffron rice with peas and carrots mixed in. Of course there is a choice of lamb or chicken, but the chicken has a blend of spices that always deliver a kick. The taste from this cart is more of a wholesome flavor, making it harder to owe recognition to one specific flavor or spice. The salad mix is pretty standard including multiple types of lettuce (I like anything that has more than iceberg and tomato). To top it off, the guys usually throw in some fries and/or falafel. White and hot sauces are to everyones liking, my preference is not that much white, a little bit of hot. Also economically a good option, a free drink is always included.

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    XPL always hits the spot

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    Uncle Gussy’s! Best white sauce I’ve ever had.

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    Please include Mo’Men on 55th and 6th (SW corner).

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    Uncle Gussy’s for me.

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