Friday, June 17, 2011

New York Gyro Cart - 20th and Market St

The Gyro Cart
It was on a cold January night out in NYC where a group of friends and I came stumbling out of a bar at 2AM starving and in search for food.  One of my more NYC frequenting friends declares that what we need to fill our alcohol soaked bellies are platters and the rest of the group excitedly agrees. Not wanting to seem like the tourist I don't question what this platter is and blindly follow along until we reach a line of what seems to be a small army queued in front of a steaming cart. It was getting near 3AM by the time we arrived and at this hour, in the freezing cold, this line was baffling.  So we diligently get in line, huddled in our jackets, half drunk, half freezing, me left wondering what could possess so many people to be here now.  When I finally reach the front I order what everyone else had asked for, combo rice, white sauce, hot sauce. What I had that night forever changed me and opened my eyes to the world of halal gyro carts.
For those who haven't had the pleasure this was the 53rd and 6th Halal Cart in midtown Manhattan and it's a meal that I've been chasing after ever since that late January night all those years back.

1) Gyro platter, white sauce, hot sauce w/ drink - $6
While I'd like to say that I've finally found what I'd been searching for when this cart opened up on the corner a few months back, honestly, I don't think anything can quite live up to the one in NYC, it was just too perfect.  But as far as Philly is concerned this is about as close as I've been able to get.  The platter comes with gyro meat over yellow rice with lettuce, raw onions, tomato and the option of white sauce and hot sauce(not an option, get it).  The gyro meat is tender, well seasoned and flavorful, the veggies are fresh and the sauces should not even be an option.  The white sauce(aka crack sauce) in particular is always a favorite of mine.

IMO this platter is best eaten with everything mashed together where you can get all the parts in each mouthful.  Not only is this delicious but for $6 including a drink it's one of the cheapest eats around.  

Overall LTE score [8/10]  When this cart first opened I literally ate it every day for 2 weeks straight.  At what used to be $5 it was a steal, not that $6 is any less of a bargain.  The staff are friendly, its clean, its delicious, its cheap, what else can you ask for.  Although this isn't 53rd and 6th in Philly, New York Gyro does a lot to earn its namesake.
*The regular pita gyros go for $4 and are also great.  The pitas they're served on are what real gyros should come on, talking to you Pita Pit. 

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