Archive for 'Street Meat Palooza'

Last Chance to Win a Spot at Street Meat Palooza 4

Street Meat PaloozaJust a friendly reminder for those of you interested in being a part of Street Meat Palooza (our annual battle to determine the best plate of chicken and lamb over rice). The event is closed to the public, and the only way to score an invite is to nominate your favorite plate of street in Midtown.  The nominations close tonight at 6pm, and the winners will be chosen before the end of the week.  And remember, you can’t bitch about the finalists if you don’t bother nominating your favorite.

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.

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Win Your Way Into Street Meat Palooza 4

When we announced the Midtown Lunch 5th Birthday Party you may have noticed the mention of prizes. Not just at the party, where we will have tons of “presents” to hand out to you (oh, like, a $50 gift certificate to Schnitzel & Things), but also in the weeks leading up to the party as well. And to get things started we figured we’d give away something that money can’t buy… a slot on the judging panel for Street Meat Palooza 4! If you have been a ML reader for awhile you know that every summer we hold an exclusive street meat taste off, where one plate of chicken and lamb over rice with hot sauce and white sauce is crowned champion by a select group of Midtown Lunch friends and readers. It’s not open to the public, but we’re going to give away a judging slot this week.  All you have to do to be entered to win is buy your Midtown Lunch 5th Anniversary Party ticket before this Sunday (5/15) at 11:59pm.  Every ticket you buy counts for one entry… so 1 ticket gets you one entry, 2 tickets gets you 2 entries, 10 tickets… hell… if you buy ten tickets we’ll just give you an automatic invite to SMP4! If you’ve already bought your ticket, you’re already entered (for this, and all the contests to follow.)  If you haven’t… seriously, what are you waiting for?   It’s going to be a great party, and it’s for a great cause.  Buy your tickets here>>

Related:
Street Meat Palooza 3: Crowning The Best Chicken And Lamb Over Rice Cart in Midtown
Tix On Sale Now For The Midtown Lunch 5th Birthday Party

Could You Eat Street Meat Every Day for a Month?

I wish I had co-workers like this when I worked on 48th and 6th! This guy’s buddy is two weeks into a challenge to eat street meat every single day for a month, paid for by a co-worker. Not sure what happens if he doesn’t make it, although it doesn’t sound like we’re going to find out. So far the guy has eaten mostly chicken and lamb over rice and dirty water dogs, with one stop at the Jamaican Dutchy. The only stipulation: he can’t eat chicken kebabs “because those are kind of legit.” Who knew?! (Thanks to Lunch’er Michael for passing this one along.)

Street Meat Palooza 3: Crowning The Best Chicken And Lamb Over Rice Cart in Midtown

If you have any dramatic music, now is the time to throw it on…

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2 years ago, a group of trailblazing Midtown Lunch’ers converged on Bryant Park with 13 plates of chicken and lamb over rice with white sauce and hot sauce from 13 different Midtown vendors.  The goal?  Crown a street meat champion of Midtown Manhattan, the undisputed chicken and lamb over rice capital of the world.  If you’ve ever been to New York City, you can’t help but notice the street meat.  A mix of Middle Eastern tradition, with cabbie induced street vendor ingenuity, it’s a lunch you won’t find in any other city in the world. The captivating smell will draw you in, and the taste doesn’t disappoint.  And while street meat neophytes will make the mistake of thinking that most carts serve pretty much the same dish, eating 15 different plates of street side by side instantly destroys that notion.

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In 2008, The Famous Halal Guys’ daytime cart (parked on the SE Corner of 53rd and 6th) took home the inaugural Street Meat Palooza crown- silencing critics who have called the ultra popular cart bland and overrated.  A year later, the equally popular Kwik Meal cart (on 45th and 6th) had its revenge at Street Meat Palooza 2.  This year, both champions were retired in order to give somebody else a chance to shine- and 3 weeks ago 40 Midtown Lunch’ers converged on Bryant Park for a blind taste test of 15 different plates of chicken and lamb over rice with white sauce and hot sauce- all nominated by you.

The ballots were then sent to an accounting firm (not true) to be meticulously tallied and analyzed (that part is true) and the results are in…

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At Lunch Now: Rain Can’t Stop the Palooza

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And that’s only half of it

That’s right… today was the big day. Almost 40 Midtown Lunch’ers converged at noon today in Bryant Park to rate 15 plates of street meat nominated by you. It was looking dicey this morning, but apparently Jeebus likes street meat, because the clouds parted long enough for the chicken and lamb over rice massacre taste test to go down. If you didn’t score an invite this year… there’s always next year! As for the results, they’ll be posted on the site after our accounting firm has a chance to validate all of the score cards.

Related:
Street Meat Palooza 2: Our New York City Chicken/Lamb Over Rice Showdown Crowns A New Champion
Street-Meat-Palooza: A 13 Cart Chicken/Lamb Over Rice Showdown

Win a Slot at Street Meat Palooza 3

That right… it’s time.

For the past two years a select group of Midtown Lunch’ers have been chosen to converge on a single location to eat an ungodly amount of street meat, from 15 different carts in Midtown, and crown a winner.  Two years ago, the Famous Halal Guys (on 53rd and 6th) took home the top prize, but last year they were unseeded by the Kwik Meal cart (on 45th & 6th).  Both 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 3!

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.

Read more »

Post Palooza Popularity

Shendy'sIt sounds like last week’s Street Meat Palooza 2 caused a few problems for some of the vendors that scored well. Kwik Meal, the winner, reported larger than normal lines, while on twitter there were complaints of a 20+ minute line at Shendy’s (the second place cart) that was not moving. And this one probably has nothing to do with SMP 2, but another lunch’er complained they got a counterfeit $10 bill from the Steak Truck (the waffle fry plate of street meat that surprised everyone by taking 4th place.) On Wednesday I waited on line at the Famous Halal Guys cart (SE corner of 53rd & 6th) for 15 minutes, but that’s pretty much been the standard wait for at least a month now.  See the results from Street Meat Palooza 2 here >>

Street Meat Palooza 2: Our New York City Chicken/Lamb Over Rice Showdown Crowns A New Champion

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One year ago this month 20 Midtown Lunch’ers converged in Bryant Park to taste 13 plates of street meat and rate them in an event that became known as Street Meat Palooza.  The Famous Halal Cart on 53rd & 6th was crowned the winner, and we vowed to return one year later to give another set of carts a chance at unseating the champ.  Last week a new group of lunchers once again converged in Bryant Park to blind taste test and rate 15 different street meat carts, many of them nominated by you.  Food was consumed, scores were given, and a new winner has been crowned.  Ladies and gentleman, Midtown Lunch’ers, and street food enthusiasts from around the world, I’m excited to give you STREET MEAT PALOOZA 2.

At Lunch Now: Street Meat Palooza 2

Some of you may be asking, “What exactly is street meat?”  Well, for the purposes of this contest it is an order of chicken and lamb, served over rice, with “white sauce” and hot sauce.  In Midtown it is often referred to as “Halal Food” (the Muslim equivalent of Kosher), but in this case the method of preparation (or its degree of holiness) is not important.  As long as you serve something called chicken and lamb over rice (with white sauce and hot sauce) it could be Palooza’d.  7 carts from last year were granted automatic entry, while the other 8 were culled from your nominations.  Carts received separate scores for chicken, lamb, rice, white sauce, hot sauce, and value, plus received an overall score (the most important.)  Every judge was also asked to choose a top 5 at the very end.

Keep in mind there are no losers in Street Meat Palooza, just different degrees of winning (I see the good in all street meat).  Just getting picked to participate meant that somebody likes the cart, and every single entry showed up in at least one judge’s top 5.  In other words, this isn’t a contest as much as a celebration- and just because a new champion has been crowned doesn’t meat that last year’s winner is no longer great.  It just means that on any given day, any number of amazing Midtown street food vendors might be putting out “The Best” plate of street meat.

Here are the results…

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53rd & 6th Halal Imitator Switches Up Their Packaging

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The results of Street Meat Palooza 2 are just two days away, but here’s a little discovery that is worth sharing with you now.  If you’ve been following Midtown Lunch, or the street food scene in Midtown, than you know about the “Famous Halal Guys” who park on the SW corner of 53rd and 6th at night, and the “imposter” cart during the day that pretends to be related to it. (It’s not.)  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should read this now.

When I first wrote about the “imposter” cart a year and a half ago, I noted that one of the ways you could tell the difference was the daytime cart had a rectangular tin, while the “famous” nighttime cart (and its daytime offspring on the SE corner of 53rd and 6th, and the SW corner of 53rd and 7th) all had circular tins.  Well, at Street Meat Palooza 2 we discovered that the imposter cart (in addition to wearing the signature yellow sweaters worn by the famous cart) has now changed their packaging to circular tins.  Meaning the two plates of food are now virtually indistinguishable.

Can you tell which is which?  Larger shots are after the jump.

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