We haven’t been to Tariq’s cart in a while, so we stopped by 19th St & Park Ave South last week to see how things were going.
Tariq seemed to be doing well, with a larger, new cart, custom signage, and some new menu items.
We decided to try the kathi rolls, which are only $3 each. The choices were chicken, chicken tikka and “lamb”. We went for the latter two.
There are a couple of reasons why Tariq’s cart stands out from the hundreds of other carts around, but the main one is the friendly service. Tariq is one of the nicest vendors you will meet, always smiling and giving customers his best.
Even though the cart is halal, the focus is Indian cuisine, as opposed to Middle Eastern. Chicken tikka, biryani, samosas, and our favorite, sauteed fish, are the go-to dishes here, although they also serve chicken over rice and a few other dishes.
Indian street food also means kathi rolls, which are served on chapati bread. It’s not as thick as pita bread or naan, and is a little gummier, but holds everything together well, and has a nice flavor after it’s grilled for a short time.
The strength of chapati bread was important with Tariq’s kati rolls, which are among the largest kathi rolls we’ve run across.
Tariq has some different “extras” than most other halal carts, and they are not the same every day. When we went last week, he put corn, red onions, lettuce and chickpeas on our kathi rolls. Other days there might be eggpalnt, tomatoes or cilantro.
Tariq has a few extra sauces too. In addition to white sauce and hot sauce, there is a hot green sauce and a sweet green sauce. The green sauces up the herby quotient in the flavor of the kati rolls.
The fillings and sauces were the same in both kathi rolls, with only the meat being different.
Not surprisingly, we enjoyed the chicken tikka more than the “lamb”. The chicken was tender and tasty, with no funky stuff in the roll.
The chicken tikka also had the spices and seasonings that give it a red tint and the Indian taste we enjoy.
Tariq’s #1 Halal Food Cart does not have a website or twitter account, but they are parked on the NW corner of 19th St & Park Ave South every weekday for lunch.