While we did have some hotdogs and pretzels (at tourist prices, sadly) in New York City, the best street food we ate on our trip came from this food cart a block away from our hotel. We first passed it on our way to the hotel from the train station, and despite rolling a luggage bag, checking street names and taking in the crazy bustle of NYC, I had time to consider the offerings plastered on the side of the cart.
“Chicken over rice”, “fish over rice”… they all sounded very zi-char-ish and oh so appealing. It probably had something to do with the fact that we hadn’t eaten much before getting on the 4-hour train ride from Boston. But the smells coming from the cart were divine, and when we were thinking of dinner options that evening, I decided that I would tarpau a packet of chicken over rice from the cart back to the hotel. Why oh why, you might ask, did we not have dinner outside in the first place? Because we killed ourselves navigating the overwhelming crowds in Times Square.
Chicken over rice essentially is a platter with chicken, basmati rice, and a salad. As my order was being prepared, the vendor asked, “White sauce?”. Erm, sure. I had zero clue what this white sauce was, but figured it was probably a mayonnaise + something sauce. Travelling is all about trying new things, no? This sauce probably would feature pretty low on the adventurous scale, but for all I know, it could had been some really odd emulsion of liquified chicken innards and egg whites. But it wasn’t, which was okay.
For $5, it was one of the most value-for-money dinners I ever had, NYC or not. The serving was beyond generous. Most importantly, it was just really good. Despite not having had it before, it felt like comfort food. Chicken, rice, mmm.
A few days later, we passed The Halal Guys , who are pioneers in this chicken-and-rice business, on our way to MOMA. The queue was one impressive kind of insane. We didn’t join it, but thinking of it now, maybe we should have.
Post-holiday depression is a real thing. So I cooked from this recipe I found on Serious Eats and last Friday, we relived a bit of our NYC trip in our living room, with this on our plates and a NYC property show on TV.