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NOT White & Hot: 28th and Madison

Author Steve    Category Murray Hill     Tags

Location: 28th and Madison
Price: $5
Container: Rectangular (Styrofoam)

It’s a beautiful day outside, so I go to Madison Square Park and relax for a bit.  On the way back, I’m thinking… hmm I should get some Chicken and Rice.  I really wanted White & Hot on 28th and Madison, so I make my way there.  When I approached, I didn’t see the signature yellow truck, but there was a Halal truck there so I figured it was just a different truck for the weekend.  When I approached it just seemed different, oh well.  I ordered.  The guy gave me a choice of rice (I got yellow) which was weird cause White & Hot normally doesn’t give a choice.  Then he asked if I wanted fries, and I KNEW it wasn’t the same guys.  I was disappointed — but at least it’s time for another review!

On to the food, overall it was just ok.  The chicken was smaller chunks, and there wasn’t enough.  The rice was pretty good, and the fries were the best I’ve had from a C&R cart (not soggy!).  The white sauce was average as well, but there wasn’t enough.  The hot sauce however, was HOT.  It was so hot that it really overpowered everything in the plate.  It had good flavor in the beginning but it just kept building up and became hotter and hotter.  Eventually I couldn’t even finish the dish because it was so hot.  So beware!

I’m not really sure what the deal is with this cart, because it’s in the exact location that White & Hot is.  I thought maybe it’s a different cart on the weekends — but I’m pretty sure I’ve had it on a weekend.  I don’t know.  I just hope the original White & Hot isn’t gone.  It’d be very disappointing to have one of the best C&R carts in the city replaced by another average cart!

good chicken, not enough
white sauce is pretty good, just not enough
hot sauce is way too hot!
not nearly as good as White & Hot. They’re tricking me!

XPL Halal Food – 43rd and 2nd

Author Steve    Category Murray Hill     Tags

Location: 43rd and 2nd
Price: $5.00
Container: Rectangle (Styrofoam)

I ventured out today and walked randomly until I came across a Chicken and Rice cart.  It was fun.  I also passed by this Energy Kitchen place with a line a block long (literally).  Apparently they are giving out free lunch for tax day.  They should have just went to XPL and gotten some C&R!  Anyways, on to what I thought!  To be honest, this didn’t seem like a regular Chicken and Rice dish, but more of an Indian style plate.  The curry was very evident.  After a few bites, I really started to enjoy it.  The curry really sets it apart from other C&R carts with some very good flavor.  There was plenty of nice, smaller chunks chicken.  Between the white sauce, hot sauce, and the curry — everything blended together to give some really nice flavor.  The spice was from the curry and was not overpowering at all.

If you’re looking for something a BIT different, definitely try this cart — that is, unless you don’t like curry!

Curried white/hot sauce really adds a nice distinctive flavor to the dish.
Overall just a very enjoyable dish to eat

Shady’s Halal Food: 40th and Lexington

Author Steve    Category Murray Hill     Tags

Location: 40th and Lexington
Price: $5.00
Container: Rectangle (Styrofoam)

Such a beautiful day outside, what better way to celebrate with some chicken and rice?!  I got to Shady’s Halal Food and there was this bike messenger on a phone talking to someone.  Then he gave the phone back to Shady!  It was… well, Shady!  Anyways — the food.  It’s decent.  The chicken comes in chunks — not huge, but they could be smaller.  What’s really nice about the chicken is there are chopped carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli cooked in — which gives some good flavor (and make up for the lack of chicken flavor) and texture to the dish.  You get a choice of three different kinds of rice; orange, white, and fried? — I got orange.  It had great texture — but only so much flavor.  The white sauce was barely noticeable flavor-wise … but it really moistened up the entire plate so I was pretty happy.  Hot sauce had GOOD flavor.  It was a nice kind of spicy, too.  Usually the more spicy food you eat the hotter your mouth gets, well not so much with this.  It got my mouth hot and then it stayed there and just kept kick in in some flavor!

Choice of rices!
Cooked in Veggies!
White sauce moistened the dish well, but not much flavor

Halal Food – 40th and 3rd Ave

Author Steve    Category Murray Hill     Tags

Location: 40th and Third Ave
Price: $5.00
Container: Rectangle (Styrofoam)

So let me first start off by saying for $5 you get not only your regular chicken and rice with salad, but you get a drink (I got a bottle of water), a choice of yellow or white rice (I got yellow), some falafel, and optional fries!  I will also add that I have been to this cart before and was not impressed.  However, that changed today!  The chicken was excellent.  It plentiful, cut up in nice small chunks, had great flavor — and even had some veggies mixed in (carrots, broccoli, onions — I think that’s all).  White sauce was pretty good.  It had decent taste, it was a good balance of creaminess — and there was plenty to go around.  At first I was disappointed with the amount of hot sauce — there didn’t seem to be enough — but I was wrong.  After mixing everything up, the white and hot sauce spread evenly over everything and seemed to cover almost every morsel of food in the dish.

Overall, this was a very good cart! I’m not sure why I did not enjoy it last time, but I will definitely have it again!

Bottle of water included!
Everything about the chicken
White and Hot sauce provide great coverage for the rest of the food.

Halal Food: 41st and 3rd Ave

Author Steve    Category Murray Hill     Tags

Location: 41st and 3rd Ave
Price: $5.00
Container: Rectangular (Styrofoam)

There’s no better way to turn around your Monday than by getting some good old Chicken and Rice for lunch, right?  Right.  I decided to venture out in the rain and came upon a newish cart on 41st and 3rd Ave.  It was run by a nice looking older couple.  This C&R had a very minimalistic feel to it.  Straight lettuce and a few slices of tomato, chicken, and rice.  I actually enjoyed that feel.  It was enjoyable — compared to all the other carts who try to throw in every piece of what they can find to give their food something extra.  The chicken was cut up in to smaller chunks (not shredded, however), good flavor, and good texture.  The rice was a tad plain.  Hot sauce… was… HOT (much spicier than Rafiqi’s Truck) — but gave the dish some really good flavor!.  White sauce?  There wasn’t enough at all.  I’d definitely get this cart again!

minimalistic, straight-forward dish
good hot sauce (spicy!)
not enough white sauce

Rafiqi’s Truck: 39th and 3rd

Author Steve    Category Murray Hill     Tags

Location: 39th and 3rd
Price: $4.75
Container: Rectangular (Styrofoam)

Apparently Rafiqi has a bunch of Chicken and Rice carts throughout the city, however this is the only one that I have been to.  Rafiqi’s C&R is different.  It comes with a salad that consists of lettuce, tomato, beans, peppers, peas, corn, cheese, parsley, and onions (I opted out).  It’s served over really, really good yellow rice.  If you want, you can get fried onions on top as well.  Overall, I really enjoy the extra stuff that comes with the C&R.  Though it would be nice if Rafiqi would cut up the veggies.  Whole slices of tomatoes and long slices of peppers are kind of annoying to eat.

Taste-wise, I’d say the white sauce is on par with most other carts, although it could be a bit creamier.  The hot sauce is really good.  It’s got great flavor, and is spicy.  Depending on what you can handle, you either wont be able to finish, or you’ll be left with a nice heat in your mouth when you’re done.  Either way, you need it on the meal — it adds to the overall flavor tremendously.

Now, the chicken.  That’s the biggest part of the meal, right?  Well — Rafiqi likes his chicken big and flavorful.  The chicken is great.  My only beef is that you get relatively huge chunks of chicken.  This takes away from my eating experience because eating large pieces of chicken, with large pieces of veggies is tough, and messy.  Even though there’s large chunks, you get enough which keeps the Chicken ratio nice and even.

Definitely try this cart out.  If you can’t handle spicy, ask for A LITTLE hot sauce — you still want some for the flavor.  There’s a lot of salad options, make sure you know what you want!

salad and veggies
good chicken, big pieces
hot sauce is so good, but spicy!

White and Hot: 28th and Madison

Author Steve    Category Murray Hill     Tags

White and Hot TruckLocation: 28th and Madison
Price: $5.00
Container: Rectangular (Styrofoam)

I’ve had this cart many of times — sometimes after a night out, sometimes for dinner, sometimes for a snack.  It’s always great.  To start off, it comes with veggies: lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots.  Everything is served on top of yellow rice.  It’s served in a regular rectangular styrafoam container (not as deep as 41st and Madison).  The chicken is just the best.  It’s shredded, moist, flavorful, and plentiful.  The best part about this cart I’d say — is it’s ratio of chicken to rice/salad.  It’s a perfect mix.  Unless you don’t mix the plate (what kind of chicken and rice eater are you?), you White and Hot Containerare usually never left with food that doesn’t have some chicken in it.

The white sauce and hot sauce is really really good.  However, sometimes they are a tad inconsistent on how much hot sauce they give you.  I have gotten it much spicier before, but I think they are assuming most people don’t want it super spicy.  If you’re unsure, just ask for a little bit more.

My final verdict on this cart?  If you put it in a round container, and put some pita bread in it — you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from the famous guys on 53rd and 6th (okay — the white sauce isn’t THAT good, but who really wants to wait on that line?).  Seriously.

Every damn thing about the chicken
Perfect ratio of chicken to rice/salad
Sometimes inconsistent on white/hot sauce amounts.
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