Heaven with White and Red Sauce

If you’re looking for a quick chicken fix without the side of rat droppings, run, don’t walk, to the 7, E, F, G, R or V train (but for the love of Mike, don’t run in the station) and head east into Queens. I can sum up gastronomic bliss in two words: Sammy’s Halal. This food cart on 73rd and Queens Boulevard in Jackson Heights is the winner of the 2006 Vendy Award. There is some discussion on Chowhound.com as to whether it is part of a group of Sammy’s Halal carts also found in Midtown and Astoria, and no one has offered a precise analysis as to how one compares with another, but for my money, after having visited the one in Jackson Heights, I have no reason to stray. He’ll have a small crowd gathered at his window. But it’s well worth a 10-minute wait. For five bucks you get a big polystyrene container with heaps of basmati rice, grilled seasoned chicken and a little bit of side salad. Get the white sauce and the spicy sauce. Mix it all up: Heaven.

Jackson Heights, long known for the amazing variety and quality of its cuisine, is lucky to have this guy.

Listen for yourself:

Incidentally, another of the five 2006 Vendy finalists, the Arepa Lady, is also in Jackson Heights, a bit further down Roosevelt Avenue. I haven’t found an arepa yet that blows my hair back, but maybe I’ll give her a go.


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