We ate at the famous New York City food truck that has gone international

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Facebook/The Halal Guys.
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https://www.facebook.com/TheHalalGuys

New York City is filled with food trucks, but even tourists have heard of the praise-worthy Halal Guys food truck at 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue.

On Yelp, devotees from near and far have called it “a must try,” while others proclaimed: “I left my heart in New York City with The Halal Guys!” Some are such die-hard fans that it appears they choose the food cart as the location to celebrate their marriage.

The same business that started 25 years ago has now gone international, with more than 200 restaurants all over the world in progress. Earlier this year, it expanded nationally by opening new locations, including Chicago and Costa Mesa, California, but it also went abroad to the Philippines.

I went to the original location that started it all, and stood in line for 20 minutes – not unusual at this particular NYC food truck. Others, who have waited at least an hour here, might even say I was lucky. But I am convinced that there is no other truck food quite like it.


I get there around 8 p.m. and the line is down the block. This location will be open until 4 a.m.

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Lyanne Alfaro

Don’t be misled by The Originals food truck down the street, the night shift cart manager told me, The Halal Guys have always been on 53rd and Sixth. You can also spot the people who work there in mustard hoodies.

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Lyanne Alfaro

They have a system going in the back. Someone pre-loads the tray with lettuce and rice — the base for all halal dishes — then another employee adds chicken, gyro, falafel, or a combination of all.

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Lyanne Alfaro

This is Lena, who, on her trip from Philadelphia, said that The Halal Guys was a mandatory pit stop. Her tip? Take it easy on the hot sauce because it is dangerous.

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Lyanne Alfaro

While food carts in Philly may offer free water with a gyro plate, here it comes with a price. You can choose a drink from a heap of beverages over ice.

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Lyanne Alfaro

The plate is served steaming hot with pita bread on top.

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Lyanne Alfaro

For $7, it’s a steal. I was told the combo platter was the best, so that’s what I ordered.

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Lyanne Alfaro

Nothing short of savory goodness. Though there are rumors that this plate might carry quite the weight: about 2,000 calories for 8 to 12 ounces.

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Lyanne Alfaro

Quora


But the night cart manager told me the cooks use no oil to cook the meat, and the rice uses little of it. It’s all in the sauce. And customers told me the most popular topping was the mystery “white sauce.”

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Lyanne Alfaro

What’s in it? A mayonnaise-base. But beyond that, some other ingredients that don’t make it easy to replicate: natural flavors, black pepper, xantham gum, sodium benzoate, and a company secret, the manager says.

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Lyanne Alfaro