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Old 01-26-2019, 08:35 PM
 
756 posts, read 197,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Just talking about NYC in general and how not everything ethnic food is good even if you can find it many places. You could say that about anywhere though.
I actually really dislike halal truck food and I hope actual Middle Eastern food isn't like that.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,420 posts, read 18,289,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamposite View Post
I actually really dislike halal truck food and I hope actual Middle Eastern food isn't like that.
Most of the middle eastern food carts in Manhattan at least aren't that good. There are some good ones here and there, but most are not good compared to real middle eastern food. Halal Guys, especially while you're sober, is absolutely terrible. Flavorless and just not good. My Syrian coworker and I constantly s*it talk it whenever someone brings it up at the office.

Middle Eastern food is also a lot more varied than this. For whatever reason, people just think it's a bunch of meat and that's it, which is pretty false. Lebanese food for example is usually very fresh and a lot of vegetables and stuff like that. Palestinian food too - what we come to know as Israeli food is actually just a lot of Palestinian, Lebanese, etc food from the Levant. Turkish food - same thing. The scope of Turkish cuisine is huge and it has a lot of fish, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, etc but the stereotype is just skewered meat. I'm sure some places here do it, but back in Chicago there were a few places that did a legitimate Turkish breakfast that you could ask for as it wasn't on the menu. There is a good Kurdish restaurant in Chicago (The Gundis) that I think has the only legit Turkish breakfast I've had in the US ever. I think in general, the Turkish food in New Jersey is actually much better than in NY. In Queens, Steinway in Astoria has some good stuff and in Brooklyn, Bay Ridge has good ones. Manhattan though on average, the Middle Eastern food is not that good minus a few places.

Also, the one thing that bothers me is how "halal" has become synonymous with "chicken over rice." Halal are food laws - you could have Halal Chinese food (I know places in Astoria that are Halal Chinese food - not to be confused with Uyghur Muslim western Chinese food). It's similar to Kashrut - you could have a Kosher steak house, Kosher Chinese food, etc. Same damn concept. Plus that whole "Chicken over rice" is basically a take on the Bahrain national dish Chicken Machboos/Saudi dish Kabsa (or maybe even Chicken Biryani from India at some carts).

Last edited by marothisu; 01-26-2019 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:08 PM
 
756 posts, read 197,191 times
Reputation: 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Most of the middle eastern food carts in Manhattan at least aren't that good. There are some good ones here and there, but most are not good compared to real middle eastern food. Halal Guys, especially while you're sober, is absolutely terrible. Flavorless and just not good. My Syrian coworker and I constantly s*it talk it whenever someone brings it up at the office.

Middle Eastern food is also a lot more varied than this. For whatever reason, people just think it's a bunch of meat and that's it, which is pretty false. Lebanese food for example is usually very fresh and a lot of vegetables and stuff like that. Palestinian food too - what we come to know as Israeli food is actually just a lot of Palestinian, Lebanese, etc food from the Levant. Turkish food - same thing. The scope of Turkish cuisine is huge and it has a lot of fish, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, etc but the stereotype is just skewered meat. I'm sure some places here do it, but back in Chicago there were a few places that did a legitimate Turkish breakfast that you could ask for as it wasn't on the menu. There is a good Kurdish restaurant in Chicago (The Gundis) that I think has the only legit Turkish breakfast I've had in the US ever. I think in general, the Turkish food in New Jersey is actually much better than in NY. In Queens, Steinway in Astoria has some good stuff and in Brooklyn, Bay Ridge has good ones. Manhattan though on average, the Middle Eastern food is not that good minus a few places.

Also, the one thing that bothers me is how "halal" has become synonymous with "chicken over rice." Halal are food laws - you could have Halal Chinese food (I know places in Astoria that are Halal Chinese food - not to be confused with Uyghur Muslim western Chinese food). It's similar to Kashrut - you could have a Kosher steak house, Kosher Chinese food, etc. Same damn concept. Plus that whole "Chicken over rice" is basically a take on the Bahrain national dish Chicken Machboos/Saudi dish Kabsa (or maybe even Chicken Biryani from India at some carts).
Yeah I do not like Halal Guys. I liked it the first 2 or 3 times I had it, and really don't like it anymore. I'm not a food snob either.

I should give real Middle Eastern food a try. And yeah, I agree about Halal.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,420 posts, read 18,289,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamposite View Post
Yeah I do not like Halal Guys. I liked it the first 2 or 3 times I had it, and really don't like it anymore. I'm not a food snob either.

I should give real Middle Eastern food a try. And yeah, I agree about Halal.
Yes. It's unfortunate that people think Middle Eastern food is all just skewered meat and stuff. Go to Astoria or Bay Ridge in NYC for it if you want. Skip Manhattan for that (Turkish Kitchen though is pretty decent flavor wise).
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
1,838 posts, read 883,639 times
Reputation: 1592
Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Most of the middle eastern food carts in Manhattan at least aren't that good. There are some good ones here and there, but most are not good compared to real middle eastern food. Halal Guys, especially while you're sober, is absolutely terrible. Flavorless and just not good. My Syrian coworker and I constantly s*it talk it whenever someone brings it up at the office.

Middle Eastern food is also a lot more varied than this. For whatever reason, people just think it's a bunch of meat and that's it, which is pretty false. Lebanese food for example is usually very fresh and a lot of vegetables and stuff like that. Palestinian food too - what we come to know as Israeli food is actually just a lot of Palestinian, Lebanese, etc food from the Levant. Turkish food - same thing. The scope of Turkish cuisine is huge and it has a lot of fish, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, etc but the stereotype is just skewered meat. I'm sure some places here do it, but back in Chicago there were a few places that did a legitimate Turkish breakfast that you could ask for as it wasn't on the menu. There is a good Kurdish restaurant in Chicago (The Gundis) that I think has the only legit Turkish breakfast I've had in the US ever. I think in general, the Turkish food in New Jersey is actually much better than in NY. In Queens, Steinway in Astoria has some good stuff and in Brooklyn, Bay Ridge has good ones. Manhattan though on average, the Middle Eastern food is not that good minus a few places.

Also, the one thing that bothers me is how "halal" has become synonymous with "chicken over rice." Halal are food laws - you could have Halal Chinese food (I know places in Astoria that are Halal Chinese food - not to be confused with Uyghur Muslim western Chinese food). It's similar to Kashrut - you could have a Kosher steak house, Kosher Chinese food, etc. Same damn concept. Plus that whole "Chicken over rice" is basically a take on the Bahrain national dish Chicken Machboos/Saudi dish Kabsa (or maybe even Chicken Biryani from India at some carts).
Chicagoís Mediterranean/Middle Eastern scene is absolutely delicious. Thatís from the city through the suburbs. Here in Boston, there is a substantial Lebanese and Syrian population, but the food scene is super average.. Some great places downtown, but not nearly as widespread and ďpopularĒ on a day to day basis.

Halal Guys in NYC isnít bad, itís simply fast food. Chicken and Rice Guys is the Boston equivalent, though C&R is 5x better.. Different story for a different day.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,420 posts, read 18,289,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
Chicago’s Mediterranean/Middle Eastern scene is absolutely delicious. That’s from the city through the suburbs. Here in Boston, there is a substantial Lebanese and Syrian population, but the food scene is super average.. Some great places downtown, but not nearly as widespread and “popular” on a day to day basis.

Halal Guys in NYC isn’t bad, it’s simply fast food. Chicken and Rice Guys is the Boston equivalent, though C&R is 5x better.. Different story for a different day.
Agree. I think Chicago's Middle Eastern food is actually better than advertised. Chicago area actually has the highest population of Palestinians of any metro area in the country, 2nd highest Syrian population, highest population of people born in Jordan I think (or 2nd highest), 2nd or 3rd highest Iraqi population, etc. As we should all know, high population doesn't always mean best, but it could.

Halal guys is pretty damn bad, unless you're drunk. However, I'll give them credit for making an actual hot sauce that's pretty legitimately hot.
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:24 PM
 
6,031 posts, read 13,557,518 times
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In regards to Philly>NYC for Mexican. I refuse to pay more than $3.50 for a taco. Sorry. Call me a snob for tacos, but that's fine haha. Philly's Mexican food is often far cheaper and it's often more common to stumble into a taqueria or Mexican restaurant and have it be good and affordable. I'll admit I haven't tried them in Queens yet. I've had some amazing ones from trucks in the LES. And the sit down places are generally just okay. I live in Jersey City actually, and I think the Mexican food here is better than any I've had in the city anywhere. I can recommend at least 4 just in JC that I like, and haven't tried another that's supposed to be really good as well.

Basically, I'm sure there are places just as good and just as affordable in NYC, but I feel they're harder to hunt down than Philly. But also, I think you basically have to hunt down a bad restaurant in Philly. It's like Chicago in that sense. I can't honestly say I've had a single meal that's underwhelmed me in Philly or Chicago. OTOH, I have been VERY disappointed at some dishes in NYC...but it was only two Mexican restaurants lol. One was Tortilla Flats in Meatpacking which is closed thank god. Every other meal I've had in NYC is amazing.
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Old Yesterday, 12:08 AM
 
756 posts, read 197,191 times
Reputation: 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
In regards to Philly>NYC for Mexican. I refuse to pay more than $3.50 for a taco. Sorry. Call me a snob for tacos, but that's fine haha. Philly's Mexican food is often far cheaper and it's often more common to stumble into a taqueria or Mexican restaurant and have it be good and affordable. I'll admit I haven't tried them in Queens yet. I've had some amazing ones from trucks in the LES. And the sit down places are generally just okay. I live in Jersey City actually, and I think the Mexican food here is better than any I've had in the city anywhere. I can recommend at least 4 just in JC that I like, and haven't tried another that's supposed to be really good as well.

Basically, I'm sure there are places just as good and just as affordable in NYC, but I feel they're harder to hunt down than Philly. But also, I think you basically have to hunt down a bad restaurant in Philly. It's like Chicago in that sense. I can't honestly say I've had a single meal that's underwhelmed me in Philly or Chicago. OTOH, I have been VERY disappointed at some dishes in NYC...but it was only two Mexican restaurants lol. One was Tortilla Flats in Meatpacking which is closed thank god. Every other meal I've had in NYC is amazing.
I never pay more than 3.50 for a taco even in Manhattan. I usually don't even pay more than 3 dollars in Manhattan.. Yelp is your buddy, you can use it to get an idea of what the restaurant's menu and pricing are like. It's not just Queens by the way, all 5 boroughs have a large Mexican population and you can even find authentic Mexican restaurants in areas without many Mexican people (like Lower Manhattan). Mexican food is widely loved, plus plenty of Mexicans work or hang out in lower Manhattan
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Old Yesterday, 12:07 PM
 
Location: London, UK
3,443 posts, read 3,870,077 times
Reputation: 2586
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
Chicagoís Mediterranean/Middle Eastern scene is absolutely delicious. Thatís from the city through the suburbs. Here in Boston, there is a substantial Lebanese and Syrian population, but the food scene is super average.. Some great places downtown, but not nearly as widespread and ďpopularĒ on a day to day basis.

Halal Guys in NYC isnít bad, itís simply fast food. Chicken and Rice Guys is the Boston equivalent, though C&R is 5x better.. Different story for a different day.
When it comes to Turkish cuisine I find Boston to be one of the better places in the US i have tried. Istanbulílu in Somerville is the best Turkish restaurant I have tried outside of Turkey and Germany. I lived in Istanbul for over a year so I feel like I have some credibility when it comes to this.

If you havenít been get over there ASAP, itís about as authentic as it gets outside of Turkey.
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Old Yesterday, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,420 posts, read 18,289,613 times
Reputation: 6407
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
When it comes to Turkish cuisine I find Boston to be one of the better places in the US i have tried. Istanbul’lu in Somerville is the best Turkish restaurant I have tried outside of Turkey and Germany. I lived in Istanbul for over a year so I feel like I have some credibility when it comes to this.

If you haven’t been get over there ASAP, it’s about as authentic as it gets outside of Turkey.
Lucky. I was trying to find jobs in Istanbul around 2011 or 2012, but all the political stuff messed that up.

Their menu looks pretty good. Some very standard things but others not as much for the US. Next time I'm in the area I'll have to try them.

In NYC, Turkish Kitchen in Manhattan is pretty legit with the flavors. In Chicago, the Kurdish restaurant The Gundis has the most legit breakfast I've had outside of Turkey. Unfortunately they didn't have any pine honey but still awesome. Cafe Orchid in Chicago is decent but the interior is the only place I've been in the US that makes me feel like I'm physically in a small town in Turkey.

Do you know anywhere in the US that sells Kokorec in restaurant? When I lived in Chicago, when I'd travel to and from the airport, all the drivers I used were from Turkey. One told me there was a few places in Chicago who did it, but he never told me stuff places...
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