Before my Western sojourn, Ms. Blondie and I had a Biriyani Cart/Treats Truck double header where we tried their Combo Kabab for the first time. Since then Midtown Lunch has reported that there have been a few changes at the cart. And of course this demanded another visit...
One of the things that always struck me about this cart was the spelling of its name. I have seen its namesake rice dish spelled "biriyani," "biryani" and even "biriani." Which is correct? Are these variations regional? I tried to do a little research and according to the online version of India's National Newspaper, "biriyani" is the colloquial and wrong way of spelling "biryani."
Now...to the photo evidence...old cart, notice sign in the top center of the photo. "Biriyani" Cart...
And the new cart..."Biryani Cart"
Ok, maybe that's only interesting to dorks like me, but I guess since the sign changed to perhaps a more widely used spelling, I suppose I will now refer to them as the Biryani Cart (until they get a new sign that say the Biriani Cart).
On to the food...
How about that Combo Kabab, Brownie?
Well, you might have guessed from Blondie's post that this was a bit spicy. I believe her exact words were "en fuego." I can handle heat a bit better than Blondie, but even I thought this was a bit spicier than I was expecting. I like the balance of the chunks of chicken tikka with the ground chicken chapli kabab. Nice unique twist to the traditional chicken over rice street meat. I'd order this again if I wanted to shake things up a bit in my chicken and rice world.
Now the Biryani Cart knows how to do some spice, so when I heard about the new P.W.C.D Roll made up of "egg layered chapati bread with farm fresh scrambled egg and potato" I was excited. I love eggs! I love potatoes! So yesterday I got the PWCD and the Spicy Buradi Chicken Roll (grilled chicken with a "very spicy mint habanero sauce." The Spicy Buradi Roll was spicy as planned and tasty. If you like a powerfully spiced chicken kati roll, I think you'll enjoy this one. The PWCD on the other hand, disappointed. It was kind of bland. Not at all what I've come to expect flavorwise from the Biryani Cart. Though the egg was scrambled before my eyes in terms of the "farm freshness" it appeared to come from a yellow Styrofoam egg carton. You could probably ask for some sauce to kick this sucker up and I'm sure that would help. As for me, I'll probably stick to the Combo Kabab or one of the other more flavorful rolls.
Other new developments with the Biryani Cart...a new white uniform for the chef, color menu postcards for the taking, and new help. The older gentleman is still there, but it looks like the chef has a new trainee. Perhaps someone to man the new cart location?
As the guy behind me in line said, "Hey, fancy new uniforms, fancy new postcards, I knew you guys when." Me, too fellow midtown luncher. Me, too.
Close to Southeast corner of 46th Street and 6th Avenue
Friday, September 19, 2008
Spicy Buradi Roll (left) and P.W.C.D Roll (right)