Chicken & Rice Cart on 43rd & 6th

So, Fashion Week is almost over, and despite it being only one block away from Bryant Park, I didn’t get my picture of a model eating at the Chicken & Rice Cart on 43rd and 6th ave.  But it didn’t stop me from enjoying a medium order of delicious chicken, served over rice, at this Midtown street meat institution.

There are many halal carts, serving many things in Midtown.  And if you are one of the adventurous lunch eaters willing to eat at the Midtown carts, you know that they are not all created equal.  Not only do they all serve their own “type” of halal food, the quality can vary immensely depending on what cart you decide to get your street meat from.  The undisputed “Chicken & Rice” king, seems to be the cart on 53rd and 6th (it was a Vendy Award runner up for best cart last year).  But unfortunately, that cart doesn’t open up until 7pm.  So for lunch, the cart that comes up the most is the Chicken & Rice cart on the SE corner of 43rd & 6th. 

Pictures and the +/- after the jump…

The menu is hilariously long, but there’s only one thing you go to this cart for… the chicken over rice.  As tempting as the “Spaghetti & Meatballs” “Chicken Lo Mein” or “Chow Mein” sounds, my thinking is you always want to order what a place sells the most of.  And based on the gigantic mound of chicken that sits atop the griddle of this cart, I think you’ll probably want to stick with the Chx & Rice.

Lunch comes in three sizes at this cart… and no matter which one you choose- it’s gonna be cheap.  The small ($3), and medium ($4) come in plastic containers (the medium is pictured below on the right), the large ($5) comes in a larger styrofoam container.  You start with the rice (your choice of basmati, yellow or brown).  Then they offer you “vegetables” which consists of a little bit of sauteed something (maybe onions and peppers… I couldn’t be exactly sure) and a small scoop of cooked chick peas in a sauce.  Then comes the chicken… flavored with yellow curry and maybe five spice?  I couldn’t really pinpoint the flavor, but it’s got a sort of hint of a nutmeg or cinnamon thing going on.  Really, really delicious.  On top of that, they offer a “salad” of mostly lettuce and onions- and top the whole thing off with your choice of a spicy brown sauce or the white sauce (I got both!).

You end up with an amazing mess of deliciousness that blends together the flavor of curry with five spice, a dulled heat from the the brown sauce, the crispness of the lettuce and the cool white sauce to bring it all together.  If you are not into the street carts, this one will probably not change your mind (especially if your concern is not spending the afternoon in the bathroom… the food may taste good, but I make no claims as to the after-effects.)… but if you are looking for “the best” Chicken & Rice in Midtown, this cart will certainly make most people’s lists.

SIDE NOTE:  I’ve heard is cart referred to as the “Trini Pak Boys” (referring to a mix of Trinidad and Pakistani food), but I couldn’t confirm that the cart that is on 43rd & 6th now is the same Trini Pak cart that has been around for over 5 years… so I decided to refer to it as the “Chicken & Rice Cart” which is what most people who have recommended it to me have called it.

THE +

  • Cheap (no matter what size you get).
  • Quick
  • The spices on the chicken are really delicious
  • Choice of two sauces (white & brown)

THE –

  • It’s street meat.  If you’re not into the street meat, this place isn’t going to change your mind.  It’s better then most… but it’s still a cart.
  • Like most street meat, you need a strong stomach.  I thought mine was like steel- but this meal put me to the test (I’ll still go back though…)

Chicken & Rice Cart (SE Corner of 43 & 6th)

9 Responses to Chicken & Rice Cart on 43rd & 6th

  1. Anonymous says:

    One thing you need to try there is the chicken roti – basically swapping out the rice for a flaky, grainy (in a good way) bread. Wraps upa full load of chicken, chickpeas, and potatoes, and serves it with the usual hot sauce. It’s fantastic – maybe even gives the chicken over rice a run for its money. And is way more sizeable than the usual pita wraps.

  2. Prodigal says:

    I work these particular corners often, and alternate between “Quick Meal” (45th and 6th: tame, not spicy, excellent rice, good for those not-so-iron-stomach days), “Fresh Fish Cart” (46th and 6th: sauces a little more mayonnaise-y, some sri lankan type food, spicy, good meat, friendliest street cart service hands down, bring your iron stomach) and your “Chix & Rice cart” (43rd and 6th) which I consider to be good and tasty, but only when I don’t mind having a bathroom emergency in the middle of the afternoon…

  3. foodcarts for me says:

    Prodigal, i agree. The fresh fish cart is great! Nice people, good price, while not the freshest fish, a good alternative if you don’t want the usual chicken/lamb rice stuff.

  4. e says:

    my friend showed me this website because she works in midtown. i’m in the financial district. could you convince a friend of yours to start a site like this? for serious. you think there’s no food in midtown?… try working (and living) down here. it’s a wasteland. i wonder where in the city *is* good to work for good lunches, when you’re an office drone.

  5. e says:

    i meant to say, also, great review. perhaps one day i’ll defect and start working in midtown and this site will be awesome. passing it on to my brother who DOES work in midtown, i’m sure he’ll love this. he’s always talking about where to eat.

  6. pete says:

    Is this cart there everyday? Walked over today and didn’t see anything on 43rd and 6th. 44th and 6th I see one but that’s on the NW side.

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  8. stalherz says:

    The Cart on 53rd and 6th is the best chicken and rice – though I have not tried this one. Though the weather is bursting right now and that stuff will come out through insane sweat.

    When the weather gets colder, I’ll give this a try.

    As for the comment on where there is good lunch, that is so true. Bring yours from home and sit on the sidewalk and watch the people go by is the best lunch in the city.

    -stal

  9. There are some delicious places to eat in Staten Island. There are not too many food carts however you will always see brown meals on wheels in Miller Field.

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