Monday, March 25, 2013

Busy Boy = A Halal American Diner with a Mediterranean Twist

Restaurant: Busy Boy Sandwiches
5722 Hillcroft Ave. Houston, Texas 77036
Date of Visit: 3/24/13

UPDATE 8/13/16:
Even though it's been three years since I have written the review of this place, the food has simply been marvelous. This is actually one of my top spots to eat at in all of Houston! I have eaten a variety of things from the po boys to the wings, and even their burger. They did remove the pastrami a long time back, but they have halal deli meat. The people are really nice. Oh, and one suggestion I have you guys, EAT THE FRIES WITH THE GARLIC SAUCE. The garlic sauce is literally my favorite dipping sauce for fries in all of Houston.

=============================ORIGINAL POST==============================

Salam/Hello everyone and welcome to my latest review!! Today, I will be reviewing Busy Boy Sandwiches, a restaurant that is very similar to the typical American restaurant. I had just finished my chemistry and got an A on it! So I decided to reward myself by eating here for a nice filling supper. I had always been a fan of this restaurant before I started this blog. I have eaten many items from this menu, and have been visiting this place since moving to Houston from Saudi Arabia 7 years ago. Craving for something light, I decided to go here.

Let the Experience Begin:
After battling through the traffic and the erratic driving Houston is known for, I arrived at the restaurant. It is located in the Arab/Desi area of town, where many ethnic businesses are present. The competition is fierce, and Busy Boy is regarded to outrun all of them. In fact, there was even an article on the wall from the Houston Chronicle about them (sorry I don't have the link). The restaurant is very nice and clean.  The light interior makes the restaurant feel very welcoming and casual. There even was a TV, and to my delight, basketball was showing. I greeted the owner Salim, who recognized me after I walked inside. I then proceeded to order.

Let's Eat!
I ordered a Philly steak sandwich with a Pepsi, for around $9.20 (tax included). The waiting time was only 25 minutes, but I did not care as I was glued to the basketball game xD

Menu Pics:

Subs, Sandwiches, and Plates

Shawarmas and Panini Sandwiches

My Supper

One thing I noticed, however, was that they have been adding new items to the menu, all written on a whiteboard. Now there are options such as halal chicken burger, pastrami sanchwich, Turkey bacon cheeseburger, and Greek Chicken Wrap. To keep the ideas going, I had suggested to the owner that to add Beef Brisket, as it would be popular for people who want to try something different other than their home country's food. Oh, and for all the people looking for a unique experience, this place has some unique distinctions from other halal restaurants. This is the only halal restaurant in Houston that has halal po' boys, a submarine sandwich from Louisiana; what makes it different is the usage of New Orleans style bread, which is crunchy on the sides yet smooth in the center. This is also the first halal restaurant in Houston to introduce the Pastrami Sandwich, so if you are a New Yorker visiting Houston, you can make yourself feel at home. Finally, this is the first halal restaurant in Houston to have halal paninis, so you can forget about spending $7-8 on a SEPARATE panini at Panera Bread and pay the nearly the same amount for a full meal (panini, side, and drink).

IMPORTANT: The Fries are halal, so to all the Muslim readers, feel free to indulge yourselves in them.

The verdict:

If you want a good ol' American meal, this is the place you should go to. Forget all that processed crap at McDonalds or Burger King, eat here where everything is freshly cooked. This place is absolutely delicious. The beef was cooked perfectly and the cheese was absolutely mouthwatering! The onions were perfectly seasoned. All was washed down by a nice glass of Pepsi. Overall, a great meal!

Busy Boy has showed that it is consistent in making their food delicious. It has been open since 2006, and in all the times that I have visited there, I have NEVER been disappointed. Every time I would enter the restaurant, I would see plenty of families eating their food and complimenting it. No wonder it was featured at the local newspaper.
One thing they can do is expand the business. Maybe they could open up another branch around the city or even relocate to a larger building to allow more people to dine in. This is because their food is very popular and delicious, but it is far for a lot of people like me. For example, if they would open up a branch in Northwest Houston, then it would save me from the 35 minute drive from my House, or if they open a branch near Hobby airport, it would save me from another long car ride. For business purposes, they could also open up in places like downtown or the Energy Corridor. If they open up there, then many people would go there during their lunch breaks, thus the business would thrive. One noticeable example is Dimassi's on 610 and Richmond. But for now, I wish the best for the restaurant and hope that the consistency continues.


Service: 10/10 (Very Friendly)
Food: 10/10 (Delicious, even after visiting for 6 years)
Total: 20/20 (2nd straight 100!!)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$

Restaurant Info:
Busy Boy Sandwiches
5722 Hillcroft Ave. Houston, Texas 77036
Phone: 713-783-1188
Timings: Mon-Fri --> 10 AM - 10 PM ; Sat --> 10 AM - 11 PM ; Sun --> 12 PM - 8 PM
This restaurant also caters

Feel Free to Comment Below

Zain Mohammed

Friday, March 15, 2013

Crespo Pizza and Italian Grill- A Bit Pricey But Totally Worth It

Restaurant: Crespo Pizza & Italian Grill
10232 Westheimer Rd. Houston, Texas 77042
Date of Visit: 3/13/13

Salam/hello everyone to my newest review. Today, I will be reviewing Crespo Pizza and Italian Grill. I was out with my friend yesterday and we got hungry as we were driving down Westheimer Rd. My friend was a very picky eater. He would seldom go places that were not Desi (anything from the Indian subcontinent) because he usually prefers eating Desi food. And when he would eat Desi food, he would only eat from one restaurant, and I absolutely HATE that restaurant. I said to him that we should go and eat pizza, but he says that cheese gives him stomach aches. Nevertheless, we went there on the condition that he gets a sandwich.

Let the Experience Begin:
Crespo is located near many offices on Westheimer Rd. Getting into the restaurant, I noticed that there were many awards that were given to the restaurant, and many thank you notes that schools and companies gave to them for their excellent food. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a TV, which actually entertain the diners while they were eating pizza or even waiting for their food to come. Thus, my friend and I were convinced that the experience would be great. And so I proceeded to the menu

Let's Eat: I ordered a medium Meat Lover's Delight with a bottle of Pepsi, while my friend ordered a Chicken Gyro Sandwich. I paid around $17.30 (tax included) while my friend paid around $7.04 (tax included). The waiting time was around 30 minutes, but we didn't need to worry about the time because we were busy watching the TV xD.

Menu: No pics unfortunately :( but the full menu is on this link -->

IMPORTANT: All meat is halal and no pork is used in this restaurant. The pepperoni and hamburger are made with beef, and the bacon and sausage are made with turkey. The cheese is Wisconsin made and all vegetables and the dough are organic.

My friend's Chicken Gyro

My meat lover's delight pizza

The Verdict: I agree with all the praises that those awards had said. The pizza was absolutely mouth watering! The meat was tender and tasteful. And I really liked the extremely gooey cheese. This delicious meal was washed down with a nice bottle of Pepsi. My friend actually liked his Chicken gyro pizza that he ate with the pizza. It reminded me of my childhood days in Saudi Arabia, where I would eat pepperoni pizza nearly every few weeks and would always enjoy it. One thing I was impressed about was that they even serve pizza by the slice. So if you want a nice snack after a long day's work, you can come here and grab two slices of any pizza that you want. No doubt, top marks. For once, I can say that there is no need for any improvement with the food or service. Everything was perfect from the friendly owner to the entertaining wait to the delicious meal. Keep it up and you will continue to succeed!!

Conclusion: Crespo Pizza & Italian Grill may be one of the fewest places where you can get halal pepperoni and bacon, but it is worth the visit. I can assure you that the food is amazing and you can order whatever you want based on how hungry you are. You can even cater for a corporate event or for some major occasion. So forget about processed crap like Pizza Hut. If you want fresh pizza, Crespo would be the right place.


Service: 10/10 (No problems here)
Food:  10/10 (Delicious and enjoyable)
Overall- 20/20 = 100% (A) (First 100!!)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$

Restaurant Information:

Crespo Pizza & Italian Grill
10232 Westheimer Rd. Houston, Texas 77042
Phone: 713-978-7885
Timings: Mon-Sat --> 11 AM - 9 PM; Closed Sun

Feel Free to Comment Below!

Zain Mohammed

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

D'Caribbean Curry Spot- Pearland's best?

Restaurant: D'Caribbean Curry Spot
8201 W. Broadway St. Pearland, Texas 77581
Date of visit: Sat 3/2/2013

Salam/Hello everyone and welcome to my second review!! today I will be reviewing a rather unique experience. I was craving for something different from the norm of biryani, kabab, and curries since I had been graciously fed by my amazing mother. I was one day surfing the Internet to find something that was unique, some cuisine that was neither Indian nor Mediterranean. Then I came across D'Caribbean Curry Spot on I was curious to see what Caribbean cuisine was like, since I had never had it before. While most of the people in my family often go out for Indian food or Mediterranean food, I actually look for unique cuisines and popular American foods such as burgers, wings, and subs, so I had the joy of going by myself since they were not interested in trying a new cuisine. I read other reviews of this restaurant, with all of them saying that the restaurant "was amazing" , "very popular", and "worth the drive". It was even voted one of the best restaurants in all of Pearland. Eager to see whether this was true, I decided to go there for a nice Saturday lunch.

Let the Experience Begin:
After the 30 minute drive from UH after the Chemistry Lab class, I arrived in the restaurant. The restaurant has a nice dark setting, and there is Caribbean radio playing. The owners, Moh and Sherry were very friendly. Just to be sure, I asked Moh whether the restaurant was fully halal, and he said yes. He then asked how far I came to try the food and where I found out about the restaurant, and I told him that I came from UH and found out from To my surprise, he knew about, unlike most owners. He then ensured that I would enjoy eating at the restaurant, and that it has always been popular with the customers since the business was established 8 years ago. Taking his word, I proceeded to look at the menu.

Let's Eat!
I then proceeded to order the large two meat combo with vegetable fried rice and Pepsi, at a decent price of around $15.50 (tax included). The meat consisted of Jerk Chicken, a popular Jamaican chicken dish consisting of grilled Chicken with a spicy sauce called jerk sauce (consists of peppers, thyme, and garlic), and oxtail (cattle's tail).

Menu Pics

Appetizers (sorry if it is sided)

Desserts and Vegetarian Dishes


Entrees (Sorry for being blurred. Soon I will get a new camera)

Roti Wraps

Extra sides and drinks

Kids Meal, Soup, and Seafood. (Note that shark is haram)

My meal (oxtail on the left and jerk chicken on the right)

The verdict: 
Well what can I say, the owner was right, and the drive from UH was absolutely worth it. The food was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I finally felt satisfied with my meal after that horrendous Tandoori Nite experience. The jerk chicken had a lot of flavor and was also spicy, perfect to my tasting. I immediately fell in love with oxtail after I took my first ever bit of it. The meat was tender and cooked perfectly. The rice was also great, perfectly stir fried and spiced. The sauce in the little container is the hot sauce. Take a sample of it, and you will immediately need at least half a bottle of water or soda. But nevertheless, one of the best meals I have had in my life.
One thing that could be improved, however, is its cutlery. The restaurant uses plastic cutlery, including plates. It was quite difficult to break the really tender meat off with the plastic cutlery, as I nearly broke my knife a couple of times while trying to dig in the meat. Hopefully before I make another visit, they will have metal cutlery which would make it easier to enjoy the already fantastic meal.

D'Caribbean Curry Spot is definitely worth trying out, regardless of where you are in the Houston area. Friendly staff, good prices, and fantastic food; what more do you want in a restaurant? I would highly recommend this restaurant if you are craving for meat and are in the South of downtown, or simply if you want a unique halal experience. I wish them the very best in the future and hope that their business will continue to flourish.


Service- 9.5/10 (metal cutlery would have been 10/10)
Food- 10/10 (One of the best meals I have ever had)
Overall- 19.5/20 = 97.5% (A)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$

Restaurant information:

D'Caribbean Curry Spot
8201 W. Broadway St. Pearland, Texas 77581
Phone: 281-412-0849
Timings: Tue-Thu & Sun --> 11 AM - 9 PM; Fri-Sat --> 11 AM - 10 PM; Closed Mon

Feel free to comment below!

Zain Mohammed 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tandoori Nite Indian Cuisine

Date of visit: Thu 2/28/2013

Salaam. This is my first review, so please forgive me if I make mistakes. Feel free to comment below about suggestions for improvement.

Welcome to my first review! I will be talking about Tandoori Nite, a halal Indian restaurant in the UC satellite in the University of Houston. This opened in September 2012 to replace Montague's deli. It is located next to the Kim Son line. Being Indian, I had been curious to see how the food tastes and determine whether it felt like it was home-cooked food served in a university.

The food looks very appealing at first sight, and the people working behind are very friendly. There is no definite menu, as it rotates every month with different vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. This week's options include chicken curry, chicken karahai, tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, and aloo chana. Prices very pretty decent. One option costs $4.99, two options cost $5.99, and three options cost $6.99. All entrees come with standard rice and half piece of naan bread. I had the chicken curry and the tandoori chicken.

Closeup of the Tandoori Chicken

Close up of the naan

Close up of the Chicken Curry

The full meal

Taste wise, the food was a completely different story. I had the chicken curry and tandoori chicken. In all honesty, I really did not like it at all. The rice was the only decent part. The naan bread was stale. The chicken curry was completely flavorless and the tandoori chicken was tasteless. It seemed like the food was made last night, frozen, and then reheated it right before the restaurant opened for the day. It reminded me of the meals that were served on Air France during my trip to Turkey last Spring Break. Two thumbs down

Tandoori Nite really needs to step up their game. They could firstly make the food fresh before they open. Secondly, they could elaborate or even expand their menu, as Indian food is not just curry and rice. Finally, they could start a combo plan that includes a side and drinks, like other restaurants at UH do. So if you want good Indian food, I would suggest you spend somewhere else.

Since this is my first post, I will explain my grading system. It will be similar to a school grading scale. The grading will be done based on service and food. The totals will add up and be averaged. Then the result will give the percentage.

Percentage scale"
90 & up - A
80-89 - B
70-79 - C
60-69 - D
59 & below- F

Dollar signs will be used to grade the pricing. "$" is the cheapest while "$$$$" is the most expensive.

Service- 9/10
Food- 4/10
Overall 13/20 (65%) = D
Pricing: $ out of $$$$

Restaurant information
Tandoori Nite
UC Satellite, University of Houston
4800 Calhoun St. Houston, Texas 77004

Mon-Thu 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Closed Fri-Sun

Feel free to comment below!!!

Zain Mohammed