Your Chance at a Spot in Street Meat Palooza 2

Photo by Blondie and Brownie

One year ago this month, 30 Midtown Lunchers converged to eat 26 containers of street meat from 13 different Midtown carts.  Chicken and lamb over rice was consumed, scores were given, and in the end one cart claimed victory over the others in a completely blind taste taste.  The event was dubbed Street-Meat-Palooza, and the Famous Halal Guys on 53rd & 6th Ave. were declared the winner.

Now, one year later, the top 5 from last year will return and face a new set of challengers in Street Meat Palooza 2!  The tasting event is not open to the public (for logistical reasons), but there is a way for you to be one of the 30 lucky lunchers who gets to attend.

Unlike The Vendy Awards which is a competition that celebrates all street food vendors throughout New York City, Street-Meat-Palooza is a battle over who makes the best chicken and lamb over rice in Midtown.  That’s it.  One dish, 15 carts.  One winner.  No chicken tikka masala.  No jerk chicken or teriyaki chicken.  Chicken + Lamb + Rice + White Sauce + Hot Sauce. And the carts don’t know they’re competing.  The plates of food are ordered on a regular day during lunchtime, each by a different Midtown Luncher.

The top five carts from last year will gain automatic entry into Street Meat Palooza 2, and they are:

1. Famous Halal Guys on the SE Corner of 53rd & 6th
2. XPL on 48th & Park
3. Adham’s Halal on 40th & Broadway
4. Halal Food Cart on NE Corner of Park & 50th
5. Kwik Meal on 45th & 6th

And these two carts will be given automatic wild card spots:

6. Trini Paki Boys (because last year we ordered the wrong rice)
7. Biryani Cart (because a lot has changed since last year, and their Peoples Choice Vendy Award makes them deserving of another shot.)

The remaining 8 slots will be decided by you. If you have a favorite cart (or carts) that you think deserves to be on the list above, post it in the comments. Feel free to nominate or vote for as many carts as you like, even if they have already been nominated by somebody else. The more votes a cart gets, the more likely it will be chosen to participate (and if a cart that you voted for is chosen, you’ll have a chance at being selected to attend the event.) Carts who participated in SMP 1 are still eligible, so if you think one of your favorite carts got a bum deal last year, feel free to nominate them again. The event will go down sometime next week from Noon to 1:30pm at a location to be revealed only to the participants.

Nominations will be closed on Friday (6/26) at Noon. Invitations to the event will be sent out by the end of the weekend. Good luck!

Street-Meat-Palooza: A 13 Cart Chicken/Lamb Over Rice Showdown


  • Ah darn, wish The Dragon was closer to Midtown then. Oh well.

    Sounds like all or nothing for XPL and Kwik Meal. Haha.

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    Hallo Berlin Cart.

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    el rey del sabor! just had their enchiladas and they were prob some of the best street food i’ve ever had. though i also have to agree with the others who mentioned 100% halal & healthy, they’re delicious and super nice

  • Kwik Meal at 45th and 6th is much better than the other locations.

    Biryani cart has the two carts next to each other and Meru doesn’t work in the one that makes the chicken and lamb over rice. Significant disadvantage, I don’t see them winning.

  • Now that I see mentions of Hallo and El Rey, this might be wishful thinking on my part but I hope NYC Cravings and other vendors work on their very own chicken/lamb combo (not a bootleg copy of halal or greek please) so they can be considered for SMP3! Same thing for any of the Korean carts. Then again, what would asian white-rice be like? The tartar sauce from the fried dish? ;P Or perhaps a washabi-mayo sauce.

  • I am a BIG fan of the 100% Healthy and Halal Cart, so that is where my vote is going! Good rice, GRILLED chicken…. Mmmmmmm…. Hungry

  • ^asian white sauce be like?

    Man, now I’m hungry too. I was just thinking about Fried Chicken & Grilled Lamb over rice. Yo, NYC Cravings – make it happen! HAHA.

  • Sorry guys… this is about Halal-style street meat. No Mexican food. No fried chicken. Those carts and trucks get plenty of press.

    Street Meat Palooza is about finding the best plate of chicken and lamb over rice in Midtown (with white sauce and hot sauce, of course.)

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    north side of 47th st, between 2nd and 3rd.

  • Zach, then Greek style is the only exception?
    I thought as long as they have a hot sauce and a white sauce, it’s good to go? Maybe if the chicken and the lamb is grilled in similar fashion BUT spices differentiate…

  • TC – Sorry, maybe “halal-style” isn’t the best description. As I stated in the post

    Chicken + Lamb + Rice + White Sauce + Hot Sauce

    Any cart that serves a dish falling into that description can enter.

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    My vote goes for the Halal Cart on the SE Corner of 40th St. & 7th Ave. (not sure if it has a name).

    Also Zach, I believe Adham’s Halal on 40th & Broadway has changed owners (and more than once) since last year, because it tastes completely different (and worse IMO). Though props for having grilled eggplant as a side.

  • Maybe the knock-off Biryani started across the street from Meru?

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    possibly the best chicken and rice in the city is out of midtown lunch boundaries so this is just for the benefit of all the ML readers (those who read 25 deep into the comments section). It’s downtown right across from the huge Bull (by the exchange) on Broadway. The cart is right be Broadway on either Stone or Bridge St, I can’t remember which. Anyways, you’ll identify it by the crazy neon lights it has going all the way around. On to what matters.

    This cart is incredible, make sure you ask for a pita on the side cause he heats it up in the chicken grease and it’s delicious. Also get a hot pepper. He’ll give you a huge pepper and the key is to bite off the tip and squeeze out the juice over your chicken/lamb. Enjoy this one, the secrets already getting out and the lines are starting to grow.

  • Adham’s changed owners?? Oh no! I have a sentimental attachment to that cart :-( even if it wasn’t the best.

  • I also voted for Aamir’s earlier. Haha. ;P

  • @T.C. Hah, didn’t see that. I guess we’re just independently awesome.

  • Here is a nomination for the Kwik Delight, 100% Healthy and Halal and Rafiqi’s (eh they’re a major presence even though they’re jerks, apparently) carts. can i come now?

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