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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

[NYC] Halal Guys - Chicken over Rice



Halal Guys is a legendary food cart in New York City known for its chicken over rice and its very great, central location very near to Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA), and shopping on Fifth Avenue. For only $6, you can easily get two meals! It is such a great deal and is delish.
 
Since it is a food cart, it is CASH ONLY!




Make sure you get the REAL HALAL GUYS cart. There are a lot of copycat carts in the area.
This is what the real one looks like. Look for the characteristic red and yellow umbrellas. There is another cart across the way that says it's the original chicken and rice and they also have yellow sweatshirts, but it's not the same place. One of my Korean friends came to NYC to visit and wanted Halal Guys Chicken Over Rice and thought she was at the right place. She bought it and was very disappointed. She took a picture of the cart where she bought her fail halal chicken and let me tell you, it was very similar in appearance, but it was not the right place.

I took her to the real Halal Guys cart the next day. She was very impressed by the food and was so mad that she ate the bad one the day before.
 
So, there are four rice options: chicken, lamb, combo (chicken and lamb), falafel. Each is $6.
They also have a sandwich option for $4 (chicken, lamb, falafel).
 
I have never gotten a sandwich from here, nor a falafel-anything. I usually stick with the chicken over rice. I have tried the combo before, but I wasn't as pleased with it, to be honest. I am not sure why. I usually like gyros. I think it could have potentially been a timing issue, but the lamb was very dry and not that flavorful. When I'm in line, people overwhelmingly order the chicken over rice. If you've never tried Halal Guys, I would recommend the chicken over rice as your entry point.

They make your meat over rice as you order. The rice is bright orange and the chicken is always cooked well and hot when I open my tray. You then get the option of having white sauce and/or red sauce and then if you want the sauce on top or on the side.

The rice is put side-by-side with some iceberg lettuce on the bottom of the metal tray. The chicken is put on top of the rice layer. Then, two pieces of pita bread are laid on top of the chicken. The whole mess is topped with sauce, white and/or red. If you want to control the amount of sauce on top, get it on the side. Plus, with the sauces on the side, you can dip your pita bread in the sauce. So unhealthy, but so worth it.
The white sauce is very mild. It is a creamy yoghurt sauce. I am not sure what they put in it, but it tastes a bit different when compared with other white sauces at other halal carts. I would recommend getting the white sauce on the side, but that's because I never finish it all in one sitting and I don't really like the idea of my rice just sloshing around in sauce, but that's likely just a me thing.

I would also recommend always getting the red sauce on the side even if you really like spicy food. I really like spicy food and can handle super spicy flavors, but this red sauce is a different kind of spicy. To me, it just tastes like a mouth burn with no other really distinguishable flavor.
 
Another one of my Korean friends really really likes spicy food "cuz I'm Korean" and didn't heed my advice. She got the red sauce poured on top. The Halal guy was very generous with the sauce and she was caught very much off-guard. She kept saying that it was "just spicy." So, I always get the red on the side and add it to taste.
 
Since it is a cart, there is no place to sit. You can sit on the granite ledge of the bank that is right by the stand. You'll see plenty of people doing that, but I don't really like sitting outdoors. I usually get it and take it to Rockefeller Center and find table indoors by the ice rink and then you have plenty of options for drinks if you don't want to get a soda or juice from the cart and didn't bring your own water bottle.

I can never finish it, so I usually take it home with me to eat the next day.

Also, don't think about calories. Ever.

Locations (taken from the official website: http://53rdand6th.com/locations-timings/):

53rd St & 6th Ave “Original Location” (in front of Hilton) / 7pm to 4am (till 5am on Fri & Sat)
53rd St & 6th Ave  (across 6th Ave from above location; SE corner) /10am to 4am (till 5am on Fri & Sat)
53rd St & 7th Ave / 10am to 5am (till 5am on Fri & Sat)
East Village (NE corner of E 14 St. and 2 Ave) / 11am to 4am (till 5am on Fri & Sat)
Laguardia Community College (Thomas Ave, in front of Building B) / 10am to 8pm

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