Chances are if you ask anyone in the city where to find the best Halal cart, they’ll point you to 6th Avenue and 53rd St. (though Sammy’s Halal in Jackson Heights, Queens, did pick up a Vendy award in 2006). But there are a lot of amazing unheralded carts out there that deserve credit as well. Here’s my first installment: 2 carts that, coincidentally, run their shop spitting distance from places I’ve worked.
5th Avenue and 32nd St. (map): The E&G Pyramid cart gives you small ($4) and large ($5) platter options, which is convenient unless, like me, the word small is not part of your food vocabulary. The large platter is way too much for one lunch, which means delicious leftovers. And your arteries will thank you for the generous addition of peppers, onions, and sauteed cabbage that nicely complement your meat.
6th Avenue and 55th St. (map): Just two street blocks away from its famous neighbor, this cart serves up a spread that just about matches the competition both in quality and quantity. It costs 50 cents to a dollar less, has a much shorter line, and friendlier service. It quickly became my regular spot in the neighborhood.
There are hundreds of carts in this city, and I’ve only experienced a few. Leave a comment and let me know your favorite–more installments are sure to follow.