While I generally focus on fine dining establishments in New York City, I felt like it is absolutely necessary as a New Yorker to review the spectacular, mouthwatering, line-waiting food truck experience from the Halal Guys.
For years, I am always pleasantly surprised by the impressive consistency that these guys operate in. Rain, snow, or shine, the Famous Halal Guys, located on the corner of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue, are always there to provide. While they may have various competitors contending for their food truck title, the original itself cannot be replicated.
Let’s start first with the extraordinary hype behind this food truck brand. Like many New Yorkers, an even tourist, our first impressions did not start from the red and yellow umbrellas waving for our attention. Instead, it began with a whisper. For as long as I can remember, all I could hear about this place was their infamous chicken and gyro platter with rice, iceberg lettuce, and slices of pita bread all layered with the notorious white sauce-hot sauce combination. With many people raving about it and lines literally down to the end of the block, I had to try it for myself.
For those of you who have not tried this staple of perfection, fear not, they are constantly open. During the weekdays, they are open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 am. For weekends, they extend their visit for an additional hour so that hungry late-nighters can grab a delicious meal before retreating to their beds.
Admittedly, my first experience at the Halal Guys was only satisfactory, particularly because the overall hype. The meat itself can oftentimes be dry and somewhat bland. But the one thing to remember is that this is a food truck venue, NOT a five star restaurant. Once I started comparing the quality of cooking to other more similar locations, I began changing my mind about the potential this location had. One thing I will say is that the lamb is absolutely the best choice to get. It is better seasoned with a more even spicing. While the proportion may be small, combination of rice, pita bread, vegetables, and secret sauce makes up for the limited meat.
For this venue, the staff is incredibly energetic! Their excitement really pushes their reputation and makes this one of the best places to pick up something quick. In addition, the Halal Guys provide you the most ‘bang for your buck.’ At a restaurant, they could have sold each dish probably double the price that they are asking for. For less than $8.00, you can find yourself with a meal and a half and a drink for the workday.
So if you are in the city and are looking for something New York, I definitely recommended you stop by and enjoy.