Stop! It’s Hyderabad Time!

Terrible attempts at 80s puns aside, looking for lunch one day we stopped at the Hyderabad Goat Kacchi Biryani cart. Boy, that’s a mouthful! Midtown Lunch is no stranger to the place, but it’s been a while so I decided to give it a whirl.

What I whirled, after the jump!

What drew my friend to choose the cart in the first place was the promise of goat kacchi biryani for $10. I noted the other special but then decided I didn’t want to risk it, and instead looked to the rest of the menu…

The fairly extensive menu – I mean, for a cart to have so many things on offer is pretty impressive. I spotted “butter chicken curry” pasted above the line “chicken tikka masala” and asked my friend, “Why does that not look like butter chicken?” and his response “because that’s chicken tikka masala” should not have satisfied me. I ordered butter chicken.

I realize that some of you will say that butter chicken and “poulet tikka masala” are the same dish. Google tells me this might be the case, but my local Indian place (which sadly closed after at least 7+ years of me ordering from them!) had both on the menu, and BFF and I would order both. They were not the same dish – hers had bell peppers in it, and was made with white meat chicken; mine had no bell peppers, and was made with chicken thighs. Both were boneless. Both tasted similar, yet different. Both were good, in different ways.

My point is, I don’t expect them to be the same dish.

Even more surprising, what came wasn’t the dish pictured on the menu (which was significantly darker), nor what I thought I’d get. After a short wait – not sure what they were doing, since most things should have already been made and just needed scooping into the containers – I received this. Slightly overcooked, dry, bland, small chunks of white meat chicken coated in sauce, over basmati rice and a bit of salad.

Flavor-wise, the sauce was suitably tasty, and eating the whole platter kept me full for the whole afternoon. The salad was an afterthought of greens, just mixed into the dregs of my platter, and revealed that the sauce was extremely oily (maybe why I’m still full). The chicken, however, was something akin to “what I’d like to never eat again” – granted, I find white meat in general to be the devil’s work – but it was just one step above sawdust in my mouth. Do not like! The sauce saved it from being completely awful, but if I return, I’ll be sure to ask them if they have anything with *dark meat* in it.

My friend ordered the goat kacchi biryani. While it was spicy with a heat that built (said he; I knew better than to risk it), the rice he found strangely bland, as though it hadn’t been all cooked together – the way it’s meant to be. Each individual component tasted very separate, not married together happily like we’re all allowed to now. Sadface.

After such positive reviews 2 years ago, I’m hoping this was a fluke of some sort. Has anyone else gone and can attest one way or the other to this cart’s tastiness?

Hyderabad Cart, 50th & 6th


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