The Street Meat Game
Friday, May 9, 2014 at 10:49AM

Everyone that lives in NYC has dared to grab a chicken over
rice lunch from a tin box with two friendly Pakistanis cooking
up something that makes your nostrils dance in expectation.
Halal meals for $5-$6 a pop have been holding down hungry,
working NYers for years. Waaaay before boutique food trucks
selling vegan tuna these guys have mastered the art of the
lunch special. But as with anything in this city a Street Meat
cart HAS to be vetted. The last thing you need is a case of the
2 PM shits. So here are some general rules of thumb.  


1- The longest line means the freshest meal. 

This means the food is not sitting on an outside grill
on the sidewalk for hours letting truck fumes and
bacteria attack. If you are unfamiliar with the carts
in your area, this tactic is your best bet.

2- Get a guy.

If you happen to work in the same area everyday,
you get to know the guys giving you your coffee in
the morning and meal at lunch. Chances are if you
get friendly with one of the guys he will give you the
freshest items he has to keep you coming. To sweeten
the deal bring a friend with you next time get a meal.
He will be grateful and you will have a good meal every
time. It got so good with me that I’ve received meals
on credit. WTF!?!?

3- Order with confidence. 

Don’t be afraid to tell them what you want. If you want
greasy meat and want to wait, ask. If you don’t want
the complementary white sauce red sauce , say so. If
you want a hamburger as advertised with cheese tell him.
(but you are adventurous.)

4. Stay to the tried and true dishes they make.

Gyros, chicken over rice, lamb over rice and fast food
favs. Stay away from rarely ordered (but advertised)
hamburgers and fried chicken. Really? You think there
is a deep fryer in there?

Stick to these tips and you will have a good experience almost every time. 

Expert extras:

- Try the green sauce. It’s a mint mixture that give the dish a kick

- Try to stay away from truck that specialize in 10 or more items one
being fish. How can that stay fresh?!?

Article originally appeared on (
See website for complete article licensing information.