53rd and 6th Halal Cart, New York, NY

Standard

I’d heard a TON about this vendor over the years and finally happened to be in the area right when my stomach started growling for lunch. The line, as always, went halfway down the block.
30 minutes later, as I wondered if this wait was really worth it, I had my $6 yellow bag full of food. I found a nice shady bench to sit on and opened my little aluminum container of WAY too much for one person to eat. I ordered the combo platter so that I could make sure to sample both the lamb and the chicken that is raved about by so many. With a ridiculous portion of yellow rice on top, a pita cut up into little wedges, and a small side salad of iceberg lettuce, green peppers and tomatoes, I wondered what all of this fuss was about. I started with little tastes of the 2 sauces I had asked for on the side: the classic white sauce and the hot sauce (by the way, ow). So, ok. Now I get it. I have NO idea why, but this food is really ridiculously good. The chicken is fresh, hot and lightly seasoned. I preferred it over the ground lamb, but that’s just my personal preference- both were really excellent. The yellow rice is sticky-licious, flavorful and plentiful. The white sauce, as everyone says, is what makes the meal what it is. Creamy and cool, kind of like tzatziki sauce but without the cucumber. I actually have no idea what is in it, but it sure is tasty.
I couldn’t even come close to eating half of my meal, but found a homeless man who was very happy to accept my 2nd half. I’m not actually sure that I’ll go back, because the too-full feeling I still had an hour later wasn’t exactly the most pleasant, but I am glad I finally tried it. Go with a friend and share one order. It’s a wisely spent $3 each for a great lunch.

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