The Halal Guys – Food Truck Power In NYC. Chicken Over Rice and That Magical White Sauce
[New York City] One must not leave NYC without trying grub from a food trunk, many of which are parked along Midtown Manhattan along 46th street between avenues 6th and 7th.
Some indication of which to try: Look out for the lines, and/or those bestowed with the “Vendy Award” by a New York City street vendor advocacy group known as the Street Vendor Project.
I come from Singapore, where food trunks cease to survive due to sky high COE, road taxes, expensive parking and regulations, amongst many other reasons.
Thus, it is not very much in my culture to order food from a truck (though I remember doing so during my younger days) but my fascination with them was propelled by the movie Chef, where many can earn more popularity and cash than established restaurants.
The one single food truck that appears on my radar is The Halal Guys, started by Mohamed Abouelenein from Egypt, which sell a signature dish with varied names – Chicken Over Rice, Chicken & Gyro Rice, Platter, The Halal Guys Rice.
I found them at the corner of 53rd street & 6th avenue.
What was offered included Chicken Platter (USD$8), Gyro (USD$8), Combo Chicken & Gyro (USD$8) and Falafel (USD$8). The same combination was offered in Sandwiches.
Hastily ordered, and got a round aluminium foiled platter of Mix Chicken & Gryo Over Rice (USD$8).
What is this?
A messy looking platter that doesn’t look appetizing on sight, but has an aroma that suggested “Come to me.”
On the surface were slice of pita bread drenched in a ‘magic’ white sauce, dug further which revealed mixture of chicken and gyro beef meat, ice berg lettuce and orange coloured rice.
The taste, oh, the taste is quite out of this world. Spicy (!), mayonnaise-like creamy, tangy. The portion was huge. I told myself, “I am never going to finish this” which soon became “I can’t stop eating! Help!”
In a return visit, I realised that both the white and hot sauces were provided in sachets rather than squeezed in. Somehow the mix and the mess tasted better, but I suppose this would allow people to customise their preferred levels.
The Halal Guys platter reminds me of NYC, on how it can be so colourful, multi-cultural, unpredictable and exciting all at the same time.
The Halal Guys
W 53rd St & 6th Ave, New York, New York 10001 (Original Location in front of Hilton)
Opening Hours: 11am – 4am (Mon-Thurs, Sun), 11am – 5:30am (Fri-Sat)
Tel: (347) 527-505
53rd St & 6th Ave (across 6th Ave from above location; SE corner) /10am to 4pm (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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