Tag Archives: food carts

The Halal Guys! NYC Food Cart Review

Gentle Readers, is any food review worth a 30 block walk in bitterly cold wind? Yes, yes it is. The Practical Cook is here braving the elements so you don’t have to. Well, except for my partners in crime, whom we shall call MobileFoodie and Warlord. However, good news, The Halal Guys Food Cart on 53rd and 6th is completely worth it.

Chicken over rice with hot sauce and tzatziki from The Halal Guys, for the win.

Chicken over rice with hot sauce and tzatziki from The Halal Guys, for the win.

As some of you may have noticed, I will in fact walk a mile for food. Even if I have just eaten. This past weekend, after a long and leisurely brunch amongst friends, new and old, it was time to eat again. There was not a good reason other than I had never been to this food cart, and it came highly recommended (special thanks to the CHO for that).

Like a beacon of warmth in the distance, The Halal Guys keep the fires burning.

Like a beacon of warmth in the distance, The Halal Guys keep the fires burning.

So we walked. The food itself is very straightforward, but you have some choices to make, so use your transit time wisely: chicken or lamb; gyro or over rice; hot sauce, tzatziki or both. Served with lettuce and tomato no matter what, I went for chicken over rice with both sauces. The meat was fresh and flavorful, that mysterious combination of outdoor cooking and unnamed spices. The hot sauce was in fact hot, nicely balanced for me by the tzatziki, and the portion was outrageously large for the price.

Lamb gyro, extra hot sauce, from The Halal Guys!

Lamb gyro, extra hot sauce, from The Halal Guys!

I tried a bite of the lamb as well, and I’m definitely getting it next time. Or perhaps a combination platter? I can’t decide. The Halal Guys claim to be different, and they’re right. Lines can be long, but they run two stands and move fast. Have your order ready and step to the side. Or no meat for you!

Ohhhh, we're halfway there . . .

Ohhhh, we’re halfway there . . .

Thanks to my companions for braving the cold, though I do hope we can stop for wigs and necklaces next time. The next time you’re in Manhattan, stop by The Halal Cart and take a break from the dirty water dog and the pretzel. It’s a NY institution, and well worth the trip.

I became an ice zombie en route.

I became an ice zombie en route.

Send your extras scarves, your actual suggestions, and food related questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Why I Should Be Your Next Deep Fried Ambassador at the N.C. State Fair (with video)

Gentle Readers, when I announced that I was applying for the esteemed and prestigious role of Deep Fried Ambassador, there were a couple of responses. For people who know me well and have eaten with me, it’s “of course you are” and “I hope there’s a sash.” For others who know me through other avenues of my life, there were some who doubted that this was actually a legitimate position that was open to be filled. I shall now state my case, and my proposed platform, if I should be so fortunate as to be selected.

1. The Practical Cook considers Fried a food group. In reviewing my blog posts, I notice that I’ve reviewed fried okra in 4 establishments to date, and I haven’t even covered my favorite one yet (local BBQ joint, the cinder block kind). I stand firm that Fried is best done in a commercial setting, and what could be better than the N.C. State Fair? Renowned for deep-frying everything, these mobile practitioners are devoted to the art of Fried, and it will be crunchier than a practical home cook can manage.

Fried Macaroni and Cheese from Burger Bar

Fried Macaroni and Cheese from Burger Bar

2. I love food on a stick. Honestly, is there anything better? And it’s mobile. The N.C. State Fair is the original food truck rodeo, the original elusive outdoor food experience. Elephant ears, cotton candy, turkey legs: all better consumed outside, walking the midway. And we haven’t even started talking about the ice cream or apple categories.

Hello Fried Okra, Welcome Home

Hello Fried Okra, Welcome Home

3. Authentic N.C. birth certificate.  I am deeply Southern, with Fried Squash being one of my first jobs. I make jams and preserves, and I believe you have to put in your time to perfect the pound cake. If you want the real scoop on everything from lemonade stands to ham biscuits to prize-winning pies, I’m there, video camera in hand.

Summer Picnic Platter Featuring Cold Fried Chicken

Summer Picnic Platter Featuring Cold Fried Chicken

4. It takes a village, and I plan to take one with me. How can I possibly eat one of everything? Perhaps it will just be a nibble, but I plan on taking a crew of merry eaters. Five have already signed on (The Practical Cooks Junior were on-board with “Fried” and halfway out the door with “Fair”), and I’m going to invite other bloggers, eaters, and comrades to join me on this odyssey.

The Pile at Geer Street Garden

The Pile at Geer Street Garden

Will you support me in this quest to become the next Deep Fried Ambassador at the N.C. State Fair? Post a comment or Tweet (to me, ccing: @NCStateFair). I look forward to bringing the Fried to you.

Send your letters of support and your video requests for the N.C. State Fair to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, You Say You Want a Revolution? Restaurant Review!

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Filed under Fried, Kitchen Philosophy, Snacks