Now that I’ve covered a healthy meal, it’s time to go back to the good stuff. I’ll be starting a new series called QC Street Meat, where I hit up all the food carts around QC campus and sample for you lovely readers what the best things to order are. This will be an arduous process with lots of unhealthy eating and absurd amounts of calories and sodium… I promise to enjoy every bite and morsel of this experience. So without further ado, here is the first stop on our street meat experience… QC Halal!
You’re walking into school from the Q25 or the 88, or from your car, your earphones are in, mentally preparing yourself for the long day ahead of you. You’re about a block away from school, when suddenly a faint but distinct scent tantalizes your nose. For a moment your heart skips a beat as you draw nearer to the intoxicating smell. You draw closer and closer to the source of the delectable aroma, a mix of sizzling chicken and lamb, steamed rice, lightly toasting pita, and the irresistibly savory white sauce.
After a second of deliberation, you decide today is going to be that kind of day. You need all the extra energy you can get; so you get on line, deciding on a combo over rice, that is chicken and lamb over rice with salad, white, hot please. After a few minutes, you hand the gentleman 6 dollars and receive that iconic red bag and head to SU.
My usual order is the combo over rice with white sauce, hot sauce, and barbecue sauce, with pita on top. Now for those of you who are not familiar with this famous dish, sometimes referred to as chicken and rice, it has become a staple of NYC street meat. The first (and sometimes last) things my west coast friends eat when in the big apple is none other than this, chicken and rice.
These carts can be found all over NYC. The most iconic of the bunch is, of course Halal Guys, found on the corner of 6 Ave. and 53 St. But each of these carts carry their own unique tastes and ingredients that make them unique.
The carts outside of QC are unique in that they offer rice that isn’t found in many other rices. The chicken and lamb are both fairly standard in terms of flavor and texture, so no need to mention that. But the rice is the selling point for me. There are very few instances where the rice hasn’t been perfectly steamed; no clumps. Another thing that makes the rice particularly flavorful is their use of herbs in the rice itself, in particular fennel seeds. It gives the rice a delicate sweetness with just a hint of licorice. It is also just a the tiniest bit fresh, but you probably won’t be able to taste that over the white and hot sauces. So combined with the flavors of the meat(s), along with the well cooked rice and, of course the white and hot sauce, you get a dish packed with intense flavors, as well as light and subtle tastes that make it truly unique.
Along with a soda or water, this meal will cost you 6 bucks. They have variety of other things as well, but the rice dishes are the most popular.
Next time I’ll be hitting up the Colombian cart by the Science Building, so stay tuned. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, mention them in the comments below! Now get to eating!