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Lunch time in Midtown means two words: Biryani Cart. You’ll easily recognize this cart at 46th Street & Sixth Avenue by the swarms of unorganized people. This place likes to roll Desi style, which means good ol’ fashioned Indian ethics. Elbow your way through the crowd and yell out your order. Don’t get sidetracked watching the lost and confused faces of newbies, the Biryani Cart senses fear.

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There’s a reason why this resto on wheels was the 2008 Finalist and People’s Choice Vendy Award winner. The Biryani is stellar, served with an hard-boiled egg and pickle for $5. But my favourite item on the menu are the Kati Rolls, $6 for two. A Kati Roll is India’s version of fast food which consists of a circular piece of fresh paratha (Indian flat bread) filled with delicious toppings and then rolled up, burrito style.

My Kati Roll of choice is the vegetarian Aloo Gobi. It’s stuffed with curried potatoes and cauliflower, fresh carrots, lettuce, cucumber, green peppers and smothered in a creamy spicy sauce.

What’s completely impressive about the Biryani Cart are the workers and their ability to memorize everyone’s lunch order. Sure they may mess up once in a while, but come on. Watching three dudes cook Indian food in a teeny cart in 35˚C weather is pretty spectacular.

* Just announced: the Biryiani Cart has been nominated as a 2009 Vendy Awards Finalist. The Vendys is an intense cook-off between the best sidewalk chefs in New York City. The winner will be announced on September 26th. Check out Meru Sikder, the Biryiani Cart owner, plead his case for this year’s Vendy Awards. Good luck, we’ll be rooting for you!

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