Every Day Fresh Halal Food Looks A Lot Like Kwik Meal
Upon returning from lunch one afternoon, close to the trinity-turned-tetrad of Japanese places on 41st Btw. Mad. + 5th (Cafe Zaiya, Yagura, Mai Cuisine, and Sunrise Mart), I happened upon a sidewalk halal cart called Every Day Fresh Halal Food that appeared to be new. Could it be so? I did a bit of research and I couldn’t surface a thing. I went by to try them out a few days later, and found out they had indeed only been at this location for a short while… and something about their food seemed oddly familiar.
What initially attracted me to the cart is their bold self-identification with freshness. Their name, Every Day Fresh, of course indicates they are confident in the freshness of their food. Well… I mean, you’re supposed to have fresh food every day, right? So you don’t get a prize for that… But perhaps the reason the word fresh is emphasized is the inclusion of many types of fish and seafood on their menu: tilapia, salmon, and two options for shrimp, all less than $7.50. Fish, if not smoked, must be marketed as uber-fresh.
Now this brings me to the question: who would order fish or seafood at a street meat cart? It seems a bit strange to some folks to order fish from a cart on the street. I ran the idea by a handful of my co-workers and they all turned their noses up. Although I didn’t get it on my first trip to Every Day Fresh, I would definitely try it. I plan on going back this week in fact.
For my first visit, I thought I should try out the usual suspects. It was cheap enough that I was able to order two things and still stay at $10: the grilled lamb over rice and salad for $7.00 , and the chicken kati roll for $3.00. Here’s my take:
The lamb dish was very nice. There was plenty of meat, and the texture was soft (but not rare by any means as it appears in the picture on the menu). The white sauce very creamy and thick and had a fantastic flavor. The green hot sauce doesn’t seem too spicy at first but it has a lingering heat that surprised me a minute later. The meat appears to be seasoned with just salt and pepper — simple enough so you can taste the lamb — and the onions and peppers seem to be basically as is, but they are cooked nicely and add a crunch. The yellow rice (you can also ask for white rice) has a brothy flavor and is cooked nicely. The salad and dressing were what they were. Look familiar? Street meat aficionados will immediately recognize the real chunks of lamb and white sauce/green sauce combo of the Kwik Meal Cart and its various off shoots and imitators.
To distinguish itself from the original, though, this cart also has kati rolls… something that Fahima Halal has always served. The flavors are similar to the rice dish with copious amounts of delicious white sauce and a good amount of hot sauce ensuring juiciness. The roll was very big for the comparatively low $3.00 price, and came out piping hot even after my trip back to the office. The chicken was perfectly done — tender but not so much that you’re concerned as to whether or not it’s fully cooked. The paratha was a little greasy but nothing that kept me from enjoying it. I’d say not quite as awesome as Desi Shack, but only because of the heavy bread. If you like your paratha greasy, you’ll probably like this one better. The price is definitely better!
So, is this cart an offshoot of Fahima Halal? Or is this just somebody who worked at Fahima Halal striking out on their own? (Much in the way the way Fahima’s owner did when he quit Kwik Meal and started his own competing cart.) Clearly I need to go back to get to the bottom of this. And when I do, I’ll probably try the fish.
Every Day Fresh Halal Food Cart, 41st Btw. Mad. + 5th