The Halal Guys began service on the corner of 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue in 1990. After gaining popularity, other “imposter” halal streets carts began dishing out similar food on the streets of New York City. To learn more about the history of the halal street carts, the New York Post’s latest article about the “greasy competition” provides an excellent overview.
New York Street Food was asked by the New York Post to judge three halal street carts during a blind taste testing. I was sent to do the “greasy” work, taste three of these chicken, lamb and rice dishes. Upon my arrival to the New York Post, I was escorted by Features Writer, Reed Tucker. He placed the three halal dishes in front of me in their bright yellow and red bags. After examining the three strikingly similar bags, Reed mixed up the dishes and presented me with the first chicken, lamb and rice dish.
The first dish contained finely chopped pieces of chicken and lamb, which I liked. The hot sauce was not as overpowering compared to other halal street carts, however, the white sauce needed more flavor. After the blind taste test, Reed revealed that the first dish was from Halal for All located at 52nd Street and Sixth Avenue.
The second dish was from The Halal Guys, New York City’s original halal street cart. I was able to distinguish that The Halal Guys created this dish during the blind taste test because of the vibrant orange color of the rice. The white sauce also contained more seasoning compared to the first dish. If you’re a fan of spicy food, The Halal Guys’ hot sauce definitely packs a punch compared to the other dishes.
The third dish tasted much different from the previous two dishes. Although the lamb was cooked perfectly, the meat had a different spice mixture and was too sweet for my liking. The third dish was from NY’s Best Halal Food located at 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue.
Although the packaging is similar, New York City’s halal street carts are dishing out slightly different versions of halal food. Perhaps I’m a sucker for the original halal dish, but I enjoyed The Halal Guys’ version the best. Thank you to the New York Post for allowing New York Street Food to be a part of the blind taste test.