One of the best things about working in Midtown is the number of Halal carts. Since this is my last week in the office, I have permitted myself to eat at a Halal cart two times this week. And it's only Wednesday.
Anyway, I realized that anyone not from NYC has no idea what I am talking about when I say "Halal cart." Halal is a certain kind of meat, that people eat for religious reasons. I am indifferent to that aspect.
What I'm refering to is the street meat you can buy all over midtown. Not too far from my office is the famous 53rd and 6th cart (although it is NOT THE SAME CART during the day, so I don't go to that particular cart for lunch). It's basically a gross-looking but delicious slop, consisting of rice (I go for spicy) with chicken (or lamb, but I generally don't eat baby animals), carrots, broccoli, and onion all chopped up on top. Buried under there somewhere is usually some iceberg lettuce and a tomato slice or two. And. White sauce on top. No one actually knows what white sauce is, but answers seem to range from mayo and vinegar to tzatziki sauce. I think it probably varies from cart to cart, but that stuff is delicious. There is also red sauce, which I like, but it is nothing compared to how I feel about that white sauce.
Anyway, by one estimate, a plate of that stuff is 1410 calories. Which I don't believe, but if it's true, is pretty much an entire day's worth of calories for someone my size, so I have to either split it with someone or force myself to throw it away half way through, or I end up with a horrendous stomach ache because I cannot stop myself if that food is sitting in front of me.
Also, it's $5 - $6, depending on the cart. It doesn't get much better than that.
Photo of halal food from the 53rd & 6th cart via yelp.