Perry, the founder of New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City street food.
Today for lunch we went to one of the first street food vendors to raise the level of cuisine that can be found at a street cart. Kwik Meal, on the SW corner of 45th St & 6th Ave, was started by Muhammad Rahman, who was once a chef at the fabled Russian Tea Room. How’s that for a pedigree?
And it didn’t take long for them to get noticed. Kwik Meal won the People’s Choice Award at the 2007 Vendy Awards, and was a finalist for the Vendy Cup again in 2008.
You can get a quick meal of chicken over rice for $5, but we prefer to spend a little more ($7) for the grilled chicken breast over rice. Unlike the chicken over rice, which was already prepared and waiting to be served, our lunch took a few minutes because the chicken was cooked to order.
To be fair, the shredded chicken probably didn’t sit long on the grill because there is a lot of turnover at this cart during lunch hours. Numerous customers ordered chicken over rice while we were waiting, and were immediately rewarded with one of the better versions of this iconic NYC street food dish.
The grilled chicken breast lunch had many large chunks of grilled chicken breast. The meat had an interesting rub of spices that added to the flavor, but there’s no way we could decipher the mix without a laboratory. Just take our word that it was tasty. Better yet, see for yourself.
The grilled chicken was served with grilled onions, and a green chili sauce that had a bit of a kick.
In this dish, white sauce is served on the side instead of smothering the meat. Unlike other white sauces from street carts, this one has small pieces of feta-like cheese mixed into the sauce. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough white sauce to last through the meal, so we suggest asking for extra white sauce.
The grilled chicken was served over a thin-grained rice that was probably basmati. The rice was cooked well, and was on the lighter side.
Lunch came with a small side salad of lettuce, tomato and red onion that was forgettable. The only thing it added to lunch was a little color.
By the end of the meal, the green chili sauce had become pretty hot in our mouth. There was no more white sauce to cool things down, but the rice did help.
For one of the better street food lunches, Kwik Meal is on the SW corner of 46th St and 6th Ave every weekday for lunch. They also have a sister cart called Kwik Gourmet that’s on the SW corner of Park Ave & 46th St, if you’re closer to that area.
Kwik Meal doesn’t really do the social media shuffle, but they don’t need to. They have a regular business that’s been following them for years. If you like seafood, Kwik Meal also does an excellent grilled salmon for lunch.