Street Eats: Chicken Over Rice From Buona Journata
We were in the Midtown South area recently and needed to get lunch. We’ve seen the Buona Journata truck a couple of times in the past, but never pulled the trigger. The truck is on the SE corner of 28th St & 7th Ave, across the avenue from FIT.
While the truck’s name is Italian (for “good journey” we believe), the truck itself doesn’t look like anything special. They have a fairly standard breakfast cart menu and a halal cart lunch menu. There were several people around the window though, which is usually a good sign.
With this being our first time at the truck, we asked a couple of guys what they suggested, and one had just ordered a chicken gyro and the other had ordered chicken over rice. We decided to get the chicken over rice, which is what every halal vendor is judged on. It cost $5, which is cheap for chicken over rice.
After ordering, we asked the guy how long they have been at this spot. He said about 10 years! Guess we don’t get to these parts very often.
He also asked if we wanted regular rice or spicy rice, and we had to try the spicy rice of course. We have seen spicy rice at a couple of other halal carts, but it’s not too common. The final question was if we wanted white and hot sauce. Yes on both counts.
The first thing we did was try some of the rice without any chicken or sauce, so we could properly taste the spicy rice. Yup, it was spicy alright. You know how some very spicy dishes taste like chilies and some have a more chemical taste. The spicy rice had more of a chemical spiciness, although there were carrots and broccoli mixed in with the rice . It wasn’t bad, but we would recommend the regular rice if you go there.
The chicken on the other hand was a pleasant surprise. While it was your regular halal chicken, it was still moist and tender. At some halal vendors who don’t get a lot of traffic, the chicken can be dry and tough. This chicken was not overcooked, and had plenty of flavor left.
The white sauce was as expected, made with mayo, not yogurt. The Middle Eastern vendors make their white sauce with mayo, and the Greek vendors make it with yogurt, which is thicker and tastier.
The hot sauce was good. It tasted more organic than the spicy rice, and he put a lot on. We definitely walked away with a tingling tongue.
Buona Journata is a decent halal vendor, which means they are inexpensive, and we didn’t have any negative side effects in the digestion area later on. They park on the corner of 28th St & Park Ave, right by the subway entrance, if you’re looking for a dependable halal truck lunch.