Like many of those famed traveling food writers on the Travel channel I am all about delicious, different and delectable foods. The other thing that I have in common with these food writers is that many of the best dishes can be found on the street. That’s right street vendors are exploding in popularity around the city and thankfully the food options are only getting better. For this blog entry I wanted to profile Halal food vendors, or as my friends and I refer to it as chicken and rice. In the two years I been at Queens college there has been not one, but two of these carts popping up around campus and the fact that they are still around gives proof of their success. My first encounter with “street food’ was about 6 years ago in Manhattan, it was about 4 in the AM and my friends and I are a bit tipsy and more importantly starving. We were tipped off by someone we meet that the go to place is 53rd and 6th; when we arrived the line for food stretched half a NYC avenue, that’s about 80 people in front of me, and the line only grew behind me. Check out the photo from the NY Times:
Below is a shot of the plate I received about a few months back.
I think the main reason for the cult following for this food is:
- Availability (Where else your going to find middle eastern food at 4am)
- Inexpensive ($5 for a large tray of chicken or lamb over seasoned rice, white sauce and hot sauce included)
- Tasty (cant argue with the lines)
But there are also some visual cues to study, is this food only for drunk club and bar goers? Is there a social stigma associated with street food? Where did halal street food come from? I plan I answering these and other questions relating to the social popularity of halal street food in my final project.