Archive for 'Street Meat'

Biryani Cart Gets New Competition From the Strangest Place

Aamir's Halal Food

Lunch’er Josh, aka NYC Foodie, tipped me off to a new cart called Aamir Halal Food- which is serving chicken tikka and lamb over rice on the opposite corner diagonally across the street from the Biryani Cart (on 46th and 6th). According to Josh, the new cart is run by Aamir Hussein- who just so happens to be the father-in-law of Meru, the owner/chef of the Biryani Cart. When I stopped by to ask Meru about it yesterday, he called the new cart “competition” and admitted that it was in fact his father-in-law running the cart, and serving very similar food. He stopped short of saying it was causing “a problem in his family” (my words, not his) but I could see he wasn’t too psyched about the whole situation.  If I had to translate the look he gave me into words, I think it would be: “it is what it is”.

Totally in the mood for some street meat (I’ve been on a street cart tear lately) I headed over to this new unauthorized copy of the Biryani cart to see what was going on.

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XPL Quietly Started Charging for Drinks?

XPL, the street meat cart that surprised everybody by coming in 2nd place at last year’s Street Meat Palooza, might have raised their prices recently: “Hey Zach, Went down to the 3rd Ave. outpost of the XPL Halal food cart at 48th St. for lunch today. They charged $5 for a platter (chicken or lamb over rice) and included in that price was a free drink. Great deal, and pretty good street meat for us eastsiders not a quick walk from the Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th. Anyway, I got my food and my normal drink and instead of receiving a $5 bill as change for my $10, I got four singles. So just like that, I guess they’re now charging $1 for drinks. Not a huge deal, as $6 for meal and drink is still good. I just won’t be getting drinks from there any more so that I can keep my costs steady at $5. P.S. – The rice today, usually a standout, was bland and flavorless. I’m hoping it was just a bad batch… Edward”

Sounds like they either started charging for drinks… or maybe they are now charging $6 (and you still get the free soda.) Anybody else experience this? (Or bad rice?) XPL has locations on 3rd & 48th, Park Ave. & 48th, and Broadway btw. 53+54th.

Magdy’s Cart Makes Me Wonder: What the Hell is Chicken Scampi?

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I was on the prowl for some street meat yesterday (thanks to everyone for twittering their recommendations @midtowlunch) when I noticed this sign on the Magdy’s Philly Cheesesteak Cart (on Park Ave & 46th St.) I’m sure it’s always been there, but Magdy’s is known for their philly cheesesteaks… and I just never noticed it before.

Scampi means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To my mom it meant breaded shrimp baked in a pyrex dish covered in Pam cooking spray. At most Italian restaurants it involves shrimp, butter, garlic, and white wine. In England it’s fried lobster! I was super curious what it meant to a cheese-steak cart in Midtown.

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Pete Wells Loves the Trini-Paki Boys Cart

via Twitter today:

C’mon boys… this is the Dining Editor of the New York Times we’re talking about. Don’t you think he knows what chicken and rice cart he’s talking about?

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100% Healthy & Halal’s Kofta & Chicken Pita

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One of the best parts about the Midtown Lunch Challenge is how many street vendors are getting in on the act.  There was El Rey Del Sabor’s spicy Mexican cheesesteak, I hear rumors that the Jamaican Dutchy is introducing two sandwiches today, the Biryani Cart has something in the works, and there is this… from the 100% Healthy and Halal Cart on the NW corner of 55th and Park.  You may remember this cart for making one of the few salads I will actually eat in Midtown, and now with the help of Wined and Dined, he’s created a special sandwich just for us.

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First Look: Quick Delight’s New Chicken Shawarma

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Last week I swung by the latest addition to the Kwik Meal empire, Kwik Delight on 3rd Ave. and 45th Street.  I was interested in sampling their brand new chicken shawarma, which isn’t offered at either of the other two Kwik Meal carts (how could I not, right?)  In a Iot ways, I feel like chicken shawarma is chicken shawarma (much like gyro is gyro, if leave it on the spit long enough), but the white sauce and hot sauce are what Kwik Meal is known for, and they clearly make the difference.

As for their famous lamb, a few commenters remarked that it was chewy… but for those who are unfamiliar with the Kwik Meal carts, it kind of goes with the territory. 

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Kwik Meal’s Muhammed Rahman Returns to Midtown in New “Quick Delight” Cart

New Kwik Meal Cart Opens in Midtown East

Last August Muhammed Rahman, the cart operator who famously used to cook at the Russian Tea Room, left Midtown for a new pizza and pasta venture on the Upper West Side; entrusting his famous Kiwk Meal cart (on 45th and 6th) to helpers.  Well, this week Muhammed made his triumphant return- opening a new cart called “Quick Delight” on 45th Street and 3rd Avenue. This is the third cart in the Kwik Meal empire, replacing Kwik Meal 2 which used to park on 5th Ave. until it was stolen a few months ago from the garage where it was parked.  Kwik Gourmet, the second cart, is still parked on 47th & Park Avenue.

This is huge news, and the tips poured in yesterday from excited Kwik Meal fans on the East side who have always had to walk West for a taste of Rahman’s famous lamb pita… but even more exciting is the news that Quick Delight will have two menu items not available at either of the other two carts.

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Greek Salad From a Cart May Be The Only Salad I’ll Eat

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I’ve walked by this cart on 55th btw. Park+Madison many times, and each time was equal parts turned off and intrigued by the sign. What exactly is “healthy” street meat? Is that even possible? And what would it taste like? Well, last week the question was partly answered when a couple of commenters recommended the Greek salad topped with chicken from this very cart.

Now, if you read this blog regularly you know my feelings on salad. I generally can’t bring myself to do it. If I want to eat healthy, I’ll get a “salad style” bibimbap from Cafe Duke on 51st btw. 6+7th (that’s about as healthy as I’ll get). But salad from cart? Well that is kind of interesting. I think I could get away with that, without ruining my reputation… plus it’s a Greek salad- so you throw in some feta cheese and grape leaves, and this fat guy is ready to eat some greens!

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Breaking: WCBS TV Uncovers Halal Cart Imposter! (Complete With Yellow Sweaters)

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I don’t even know where to start with this one.  I post a story on Thursday, and yesterday CBS 2 ”reports” the same exact story on their 6 p.m. newscast- pawning it off as their own discovery.  Kind of lame if you ask me.  I might believe that it was just a coincidence, if it weren’t for the reporter being a complete douche total idiot guy who doesn’t know what the world halal means.  I’m flattered you use Midtown Lunch to come up with stories for your newscast… but a little credit would have been nice.  Think I’m being a bit harsh?  Read what I wrote on Thursay.  Then watch the video of the newscast… and you be the judge.

More Cart Shenanigans: Beware of the Yellow Sweaters

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Fresh off taking photos of that mediocre Mexican cart posing as a Vendy Award nominee, I ran into these guys again on the SW corner of 53rd and 6th Ave… who have now started wearing yellow sweaters to further confuse people into thinking they are the famous 53rd St. and 6th Ave. halal cart.  As you know (or maybe you don’t know), at night this corner of Midtown is occupied by one of the most popular street meat carts in the city. The line stretches down the street from the time they set up (around 7 p.m.) to the time they leave (sometime after 3 a.m.) But during the day, there is a different cart there serving different food- but that doesn’t stop them from claiming to be the same cart that is there a night. They still don’t have yellow bags though, which is the true way you know you’re getting the real thing.  If they ever switch to yellow bags, there might be a war.

A photo of the actual famous halal cart guys is after the jump…   Read more »