The Halal Food Cart's gyro platter is as good as the ones we remember eating in New York City

We found a gyro platter in Baltimore that's as a good as what we remember eating in NYC

When we moved back to Baltimore in 2008 after 17 years in New York City, near the top of the list of things we knew we would miss was the beloved Halal Guys food cart on the corner of 6th Avenue and 53rd Street in Manhattan. If you ordered "mix with white sauce a little hot sauce," you got a metal tin with basmati rice and a mix of gyro-style pressed lamb and pulled chicken, topped with lettuce and tomato, copious amounts of a fairly mysterious white sauce, and a squirt of less-mysterious red chili sauce, all accompanied by four or five pita triangles. In New York, foodie town that it is, the contents of the white sauce has been the subject of considerable blog debate and attempted re-creations. A New York Daily News story last year breathlessly declared "The Halal Guys reveal what's in white sauce and hot sauce" after the cart's owner, who began franchising The Halal Guys last year, published a list of ingredients. But it turns out they hid considerable details under the vague term "natural flavors." In any case, it took us seven years to discover a cart in Baltimore that could serve as a reasonable "Hot Sauce White Sauce" facsimile, but we finally did, and it's right downtown, smartly in the plaza behind the Mitchell Courthouse where jurors are adjourned during lunch breaks. We ordered the exact same way we did in New York and got the exact same platter—food really is a uniter. It's been a while, so our taste buds may not recall the original as precisely as they once did, but this local version had all the savory flavors and the perfect combination of sweet and heat that we remembered. The key is definitely the white sauce, which pretty much everyone agrees is mostly mayonnaise and yogurt sauce. From there, it's hard to tell. Dill? Coriander? Cardamom? No matter, it just works. And at $5.99 with a drink, it might be the best damn deal in town.

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