The halal cart craze is spawning a new category: A brick-and-mortar spot that's neither halal nor a street cart, but serves chicken over rice, mostly, with myriad topping-and-sauce combinations.
Owners Matt Suckle and Andrew Musumeci have opened the practically named NY Chicken and Rice in Glen Cove, modeling their business on halal street carts but with added bases — such as French fries — proteins, and sauces, such as coconut tahini and spicy "shug knight," a twist on the Middle Eastern hot sauce named for the record producer Suge Knight. "We toast coconut flakes for the tahini," noted Suckle.
Diners order at a counter from three kinds of rice, two kinds of lettuce, French fries or pita as a base. Then, the bird can come in several forms: Street-cart chicken (dark meat cooked in Middle Eastern spices); marinated and grilled white and dark meat; salt-and-pepper chicken (crispy, boneless thigh meat); or poultry fried into small bites. Beef and lamb gyro or falafel serve as alternative fillings. Then you cross the finish line by choosing from 17 sauces and 18 toppings, including smoky barbecue sauce, tzatziki, babaganouj, red-cabbage slaw and spicy feta dip.
Those overwhelmed by such decision-making can choose from dozens of pre-considered combinations. Bowl prices begin at $8.75, which buys two toppings; extra toppings cost 85 cents each.
NY Chicken and Rice, which has about 16 seats, is in the same Glen Cove shopping plaza as Villa Meci Pizzeria, which Musumeci also owns.
NY Chicken and Rice, 214 Glen Cove Ave., Glen Cove. 516-801-8080. nychickenandrice.com