We ate at the famous New York City food truck that just went international

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New York City is filled with food trucks.

But even tourists have heard of the praise-worthy Halal Guys food truck on 53rd and 6th.

On Yelp , devotees from near and far have called it "a must try," while others proclaimed: "I left my heart in New York City with The Halal Guys!" Some are such die-hard fans that it appears they choose the food cart as the location to celebrate their marriage .

The same business that started 25 years ago has now gone international, with more than 200 restaurants all over the world in progress. Earlier this year, it expanded nationally by opening new locations, including Chicago and Costa Mesa in California. But it also went abroad to the Philippines.

I went to the original location of The Halal Guys which started it all, and stood in line for 20 minutes -- not unusual at this particular NYC food truck. Others, who have waited at least an hour here , might even say I was lucky. But I am convinced, there is no other truck food quite like it.

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I get there around 8 p.m. and the line is down the block. This location will be open until 4 a.m.

I get there around 8 p.m. and the line is down the block. This location will be open until 4 a.m.

Don't be misled by The Originals food truck down the street, the night shift cart manager told me, The Halal Guys have always been on 53rd and 6th. You can also spot the people who work there in mustard hoodies.

Don't be misled by The Originals food truck down the street, the night shift cart manager told me, The Halal Guys have always been on 53rd and 6th. You can also spot the people who work there in mustard hoodies.

They have a system going in the back. Someone pre-loads the tray with lettuce and rice - the base for all halal dishes - then another employee adds, chicken, gyro, falafel, or a combination of all.

They have a system going in the back. Someone pre-loads the tray with lettuce and rice - the base for all halal dishes - then another employee adds, chicken, gyro, falafel, or a combination of all.

This is Lena, who, on her trip from Philadelphia said The Halal Guys was a mandatory pit stop. Her tip? Take it easy on the hot sauce, because it is dangerous.

This is Lena, who, on her trip from Philadelphia said The Halal Guys was a mandatory pit stop. Her tip? Take it easy on the hot sauce, because it is dangerous.

While food carts in Philly may offer free water with a gyro plate, here it comes with a price. You can choose a drink from a heap of beverages over ice.

While food carts in Philly may offer free water with a gyro plate, here it comes with a price. You can choose a drink from a heap of beverages over ice.

The plate is served steaming hot with pita bread on top.

The plate is served steaming hot with pita bread on top.

For $7 it's a total steal. I was told the combo platter was the best so that's exactly what I ordered.

For $7 it's a total steal. I was told the combo platter was the best so that's exactly what I ordered.

Nothing short of savory goodness. Though there are rumors that this plate might carry quite the weight: about 2,000 calories for eight to 12 ounces.

Nothing short of savory goodness. Though there are rumors that this plate might carry quite the weight: about 2,000 calories for eight to 12 ounces.

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But the night cart manager told me the cooks use no oil to cook the meat, and the rice uses very little of it. It's all in the sauce. And customers told me the most popular topping was indeed the mystery "white sauce."

But the night cart manager told me the cooks use no oil to cook the meat, and the rice uses very little of it. It's all in the sauce. And customers told me the most popular topping was indeed the mystery "white sauce."

What's in it? A mayonnaise-base. But beyond that, some other ingredients that don't make it easy to replicate: natural flavors, black pepper, xantham gum, sodium benzoate, and a company secret, the manager says.

What's in it? A mayonnaise-base. But beyond that, some other ingredients that don't make it easy to replicate: natural flavors, black pepper, xantham gum, sodium benzoate, and a company secret, the manager says.
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