A halal cart is a food cart which serves halal Mediterranean cuisine, particularly in the United States. A halal cart platter consists of chicken or lamb gyro, yellow rice, and salad, with optional red or white sauce on top. The red sauce is believed to derive from harissa, while the white sauce may come from zabadi (similar to tzatziki).
The origin of the halal cart is disputed, but The Halal Guys was one of the first, starting off as a hot dog cart in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, before switching to halal food in the 1990s. As early as 2007, halal carts had already begun displacing hot dog carts as the city's dominant form of street food. A Queens College study showed that there were 306 street vendors who immigrated from Germany and Italy to New York City in 1990, and none in 2005; over the same period, those from Egypt, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan had risen from 69 to 563. The ubiquity of halal carts in New York City has been compared to that of taco trucks in Los Angeles.
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