Thursday, December 31, 2015

D'Marcos Pizzeria: A Taste of the Windy City in Space City

D'Marcos Pizzeria
Address: 11102 South Highway 6 Suite 106, Sugar Land, Texas 77498
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 12/23/15



Photo Credit: their website


Background:
Salam/hey guys, welcome to my final review for 2015! Today I will be reviewing a pizza place that has a favorite among many people: deep dish pizza. The place is called D'Marcos Pizzeria. It was actually started up by a person named Demarco who moved here from Chicago. An interesting fact is that the owner used to be an engineer with a Professional Engineering license who had a Master's degree in Infrastructure Engineering and Management. He was actually featured on the Houston Chronicle, Fox 26, and the Houston Press. He has even participated in pizza competitions, finishing in the top 10 in one commpetition, and the top 15 in the other. And guess what, they have halal options for their deep dish pizza! I remember eating deep dish pizza back  in Chicago in 2010, but it was all cheese. There is another place with halal deep dish pizza called Rosati Pizza located on Federal Rd. in the east side of town. They also have a location on Memorial Dr. Ever since I found out about this place, I have been waiting to go here for a really long time. I remember seeing a lot of my friends trying the place and actually liking it. The time came for me to try it on my birthday. I picked up my best friend and made the drive to Sugar Land.



Let The Experience Begin!
D'Marcos Pizzeria is located off a strip mall on Highway 6 just before the W Airport intersection. It is located next to A1 Bombay Grill. The inside was nice and casual. We went up to the counter and we were ready to order.



Let's Eat!
One thing my friend and I knew before going there was that we were going to eat deep dish pizza. When we got up there, we made sure that there were halal items. The friendly lady helped us out telling us what toppings were halal and what toppings were pork. She also told us that the deep dish was going to take 45 minutes to be served (mind you it is BIG). So we decided to get some appetizers. We ordered the lasagna dip with halal chicken sausage ($4.99 + tax), garlic bread ($2.99 + tax) and also a meatball sub for both of us to share ($5.99 + tax). We both had soda. They don't have Pepsi or Coke or Dr. Pepper. They actually have Maine Root Soda. We both had the Mexicane Cola flavor. For the deep dish, we had the Southside pizza, which contained halal chicken sausage (tell them you want the halal chicken sausage when you order), mushrooms, green peppers, and onions ($22 + tax). While waiting, we had the appetizers and we talked.



Menu: http://dmarcospizzeria.com/#menu
Not only do they have deep dish pizza, they also have regular pizza if you don't want to wait. They also have halal pastas, including chicken parmesan! All the chicken and beef at the Sugar Land location is halal (they advertise as "100% organic which is free of hormones and antibiotics"). However, at the Memorial location, only the meatballs are halal, and this was confirmed at the Sugar Land location. On the menu and the website, it's marked in green. It turns out that they serve halal meat because they know that Sugar Land has a lot of Muslims, and that it would be nice to accommodate them and also get them to try a taste of Chicago.


Lasagna Dip with Chicken Sausage


Halal Meatball Sub


South Side Deep Dish Pizza


Garlic Bread


The Verdict:
The drive from Cypress to Sugar Land was worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed the food. The deep dish was excellent! It was well worth waiting 5 years to try it again, and worth waiting 45 minutes to get it served to us. The Lasagna dip was marvelous. Just a heads up though, it is very hot when it is served. The meatball sub was also good. The garlic bread could have been a bit more crispy though. It definitely seems like the hype that the media made was true, and that the top finishes were actually justified. Overall, two thumbs up for the food.
Service was magnificent. They are very friendly and always have a smile on their face when they help you. They make sure that you feel welcome in the restaurant.



Conclusion:
D'Marcos Pizzeria is a place that I would definitely recommend you guys to check out if you want to eat halal deep dish. There is actually one place in Chicago (from what I know is well known) called Italian Express that has halal stuffed pizza, which is literally the same thing by appearance. I think both NY and Chicago style pizzas are great to be honest. Now I got a tip for you guys. If you don't want to go and wait for the deep dish to come, call them up (I put the number of the restaurant like I always do in every review) and let them know in advance that you want to order the deep dish. I would also advise you to save the menu or visit their menu on their website before ordering. If you still want regular pizza, you should give this place a try. I know I am coming back here in the future.



Grading:
Service: 10/10
Food: 9/10
Total: 19/20 = 95% (A)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information:
D'Marcos Pizzeria
11102 South Highway 6 Suite 106, Sugar Land, Texas 77498
Phone: (281) 575-6100 for Sugar Land location. (281) 589-8800 for Memorial location
Website: http://dmarcospizzeria.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dmarcospizzeria
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dmarcospizzeria
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dmarcospizzeria/
Timings:

Sugar Land location:
Monday: closed
Tuesday: 11 PM - 8 PM
Wednesday-Sunday: 11 PM - 9 PM

Memorial Dr. location:
Monday: closed
Tuesday & Sunday: 11 AM - 8PM
Wednesday-Saturday: 11 PM - 9 PM

Caters: Yes
Delivery: Yes
Online ordering available

Feel free to comment below, send me a message on Facebook, or send me an email!

Cheers and Happy New Year!
Zain Mohammed

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Kabab Korner - 3 Cuisines in One Place

Restaurant: Kabab Korner
Address: 12039 Antoine Road, Houston, Texas 77066
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 11/30/15






Background:
Salam/hey guys, and happy holidays! Today I will be reviewing a place that is pretty popular in Houston and enjoyed by many. The place is called Kabab Korner. Many people I know have praised the place, saying that the food tastes good. I have heard countless times from people I know about how good that place is and how they offer a wide variety of food. Kabab Korner has two locations: the one I am reviewing today and one in Katy. I decided to give this place a try after going for a ride along in a Tesla Model S P90D (boy it was FUN) before heading for my 5 PM class at Prairie View A&M.



Let The Experience Begin!
Kabab Korner is located just before the intersection of Antoine and Veterans Memorial. The inside was nice and casual. You go up to the counter, order the food and then pay.



Let's Eat!
There were so many options that I had to literally think about what to try and get some recommendations from a good friend of mine that is a regular. I even asked the person at the counter what the popular items were. I ended up going for the non spicy mix shawarma combo (they asked whether I wanted spicy or non-spicy). It came with tahini sauce, hummus, and garlic sauce. I also got a side of Mediterranean rice. To drink, I got water. I paid $10.98 (tax included). The waiting time was good at 5 minutes and 32 seconds.



Menu: They have their menu on their website, but there are two major issues. Firstly, and most importantly, they don't show the prices. It's important to show the prices so that the person can get a good idea on how much he/she is expected to pay when visiting the restaurant. Anyways, the place has kababs from both the Middle East and the Subcontinent, and they have burgers, biryani, shawarma, and khatti daal. Pretty diverse place I must say.



Non Spicy Combo Shawarma Plate


The Verdict:
The shawarma meat was great, especially the chicken. The sauces were also great! The hummus was also pretty good, and this is coming from someone who isn't a fan of it. The rice could have some improvement though. The food was washed down with water.
The service was normal like any other restaurant. I had no complaints about it. I just ordered the food, paid, and headed out.



Conclusion:
Kabab Korner is a decent place to eat at. The food convinced me to go and give the place a second try. I will most likely visit the Katy location on my next trip, or wait until their food is catered for a specific occasion. I will update the next time I go.



Grading:
Service: 8/10
Food: 7.5/10
Total: 15.5/20 = 72.5% (C)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information:
Kabab Korner
12039 Antoine Road, Houston, Texas 77066
Phone: (281) 880-0786
Website: http://kabobkorner.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kabob-Korner-167004979997713/
Timings:

Monday-Thursday & Sunday: 11 AM - 10 PM
Friday & Saturday: 11 AM - 11 PM

Caters: Yes
Gift cards available for purchase

Feel free to comment below, send me a message on Facebook, or send me an email!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Fogo de Chao- More like Fogo de Wow

Restaurant: Fogo de Chao
Address: 1900 Hughes Landing Boulevard, The Woodlands, Texas 77380
Buffet or a-la-carte: Buffet
Date of visit: 11/27/15



Photo Credit: http://www.hoursmom.com/themes/outlet/images/brandlogo/fogo-de-chao.jpg

Background:
Salam/hey guys! Welcome to my latest review! Today I will be reviewing what is possibly the fanciest and most expensive place on this blog. That place is Fogo de Chao. Well, why would I review a place like Fogo de Chao? Two reasons: one, halal lamb. And two, a FREE DINNER! Now before I continue reviewing, I would just like to make it clear that I am not being paid to do any reviews including this one. All my reviews are completely unbiased. If I notice some mistakes, I will write it. If I didn't like something, whether it's the food or the service, I will write it.
Believe it or not, the lamb at Fogo de Chao is actually halal! A page called Halal Food Nation had actually called up the corporate office of Fogo de Chao and even the lamb distributor and asked about the lamb being halal, and the answer was yes. I have attached below the confirmation from the group itself about the lamb being halal.





The people have also verified with the supplier that the lamb is halal. They often update, so they are a reliable source. Fogo de Chao has restaurants in nearly every major city in America, in Puerto Rico, and in Brazil. This one is on the location in the Woodlands. They have another location on Westheimer next to Saravanaa Bhavan. Anyways, I saw on the Houston Food Bloggers Collective Facebook Group that Fogo de Chao is having a special where members would eat for free there. I decided to take that opportunity and go there on Black Friday. I first asked my parents, but then they told me to take friends. So I told my friends about it. waited until the day came, and then went to the restaurant.



Let The Experience Begin!
It was a really long drive from Cypress to the restaurant. It's located on Hughes Landing, next to other higher end restaurants. We qualified for free valet parking (yay!) and went in the restaurant. I confirmed the reservation with the person in the front and we were taken to the table. After being asked what to drink, we were ready to eat.



Let's Eat!
The way it works here is that a server introduces himself/herself and then explains how the churrasacaria works. Basically, you have a card where one side says "Sim por favor" ("Yes please" in Portuguese) and the other side says "Nao Obrigado" ("No thank you" in Portuguese). And, you can eat as much meat as you desire, and they would come to the table and actually carve out the meat and give it to you. We told them that we would like lamb only and that we don't eat pork (It's important you say that as South America is a popular place for pork). The server did help us out saying that the specific items had pork in it. A dilemma came as the server wasn't too sure about how to make the lamb since the marinade usually contains white wine  The server then said that it could be prepared with just lemon pepper. Disaster averted! So after the requests were taken, we were off to the appetizer area. The appetizer area was so big that it could be a legitimate meal. There were so many options to choose from, including vegetarian and seafood items. Along with the lamb chops and the leg of lamb, I got the following for appetizers: regular salad, potato salad, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, bread, imported cheeses, mozzarella cheese, smoked salmon, fresh tomato, and ranch. There is also an unlimited supply of Brazilian cheese bals (pao de queijo), polenta, and fried bananas. All of this food for free! Now if you want to eat here on another day, expect to pay at least $30 for lunch and $50 for dinner.



Nothing else in the menu is halal. They do have seafood, but it's not part of the churrascaria experience. Again, you can literally eat as many appetizers are you want, as it is very extensive. An interesting fact is that all the servers cook the food by themselves and then they serve it to you.





Regular salad, potato salad, roasted peppers, bread, imported cheeses, mozzarella cheese, and smoked salmon



Fried Banana


Pao de Queijo (Cheese bread balls)


Lamb chop (no white wine in any meat), imported cheeses, salad with ranch, and sun-dried tomatoes


Polenta

 

Lamb chop, imported cheeses, salad with ranch, fresh tomato, and some potato salad


Leg of Lamb


How they serve the meat at Fogo de Chao


The Verdict:
Despite the high prices on a regular day, I will tell you that each and every penny spent towards eating here is absolutely worth it. Both lamb dishes were excellent and had a lot of flavor. We were literally addicted to the pao de queijo. I lost count of how many I had after about 10. I also loved the polenta and the mashed potatoes. All the appetizers were of high quality and was very fresh. Two thumbs up for the food.
Overall, the service was great! The people were friendly and they literally didn't mind four college students literally eating their butts off, that too with one of my friends in t-shirt and jeans (It's recommended you go in business casual). The person in the front was very nice as well.



Conclusion:
I would recommend Fogo de Chao if you're going for a business lunch/dinner or if it's a special occasion. For the person dining in and wanting to eat halal, I have a tip for you: make a reservation. When making the reservation, ask them to not put any white wine in the lamb dishes, and ask them to just use the lemon pepper that we asked for. Also, tell them that you just want lamb and no other meat. Eat all the appetizers you want.
Now for Fogo de Chao, I have two tips for you. Firstly, you should consider exporting halal meat directly from Brazil. Brazil is actually one of the largest exporters of halal meat in the world. Nearly half of the meat that is exported from Brazil is halal-certified. You can find all the cuts that you guys use in your restaurants but with halal meat, as the halal meat market is constantly growing in demands and is being enjoyed by many all over the world. The second tip I have is that you could have some seafood items (salmon, shrimp, scallops with no bacon, sea bass, etc.) on your churrascaria menu. There are other Brazilian steakhouses that do have that and they are enjoyed by many. I believe that it would be successful alongside the sea bass you sell at Bar Fogo. 



Grading:
Service: 9/10
Food: 9/10
Total: 18/20 = 90% (A)
Pricing: $$$$ out of $$$$



Restaurant: 
Fogo de Chao
1900 Hughes Landing Boulevard, The Woodlands, Texas 77380
Phone: (281) 298-4200
Timings: 

Monday - Thursday: 11 AM - 2 PM for lunch and 5 PM - 10 PM for dinner
Friday: 11 AM - 2 PM for lunch and 5 PM - 10:30 PM for dinner
Saturday: 4:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Sunday: 11 AM - 2 PM for lunch and 3 PM - 9 PM for dinner

Caters: No
Private dining for special events and groups available
Reservation allowed

Feel free to comment below, send me an email, or message me on Facebook

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

TEMP CLOSED: Afghan Cuisine: Great Afghan food

Restaurant: Afghan Cuisine
Address: 11920 South Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX 77498
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 11/21/15

UPDATE 1/17/17: This place has been temporarily closed for the reconstruction of their kitchen.

Background:
Salam/hey guys! Today I will be reviewing another Afghan restaurant here in Houston: Afghan Cuisine. So my parents decided that we would go out for dinner after shopping at the Houston Premium Outlets instead of waiting for my mom to cook dinner. I was kinda against the idea, since it would usually mean a trip to either Khan BBQ or Saravanaa Bhavan. To my pleasant surprise, they actually decided to go here since they heard a lot of good things about the place. This is literally the first time since August that the entire family would be eating somewhere other than the two places I mentioned above. For once, I was actually happy about going to a restaurant with my family. Most of the places that I have been to and written up about in this blog have been either by myself or with friends. This is mainly due to the fact that my family is picky about their food. I tried countless times trying to convince them to go together to Stanton's for lunch whenever my dad is off from work, but he always says no saying that he doesn't like eating that sort of food. Before I started my blog, I tried convincing them to try other Indian/Pakistani places out wherever we were. But they would end up getting Khan BBQ. No matter where they were in town, they would always make a phone call and either order the chicken karahi, chicken biryani, chappli kabab (which is the only good thing to eat there) and their naan. The last three outings we had as a family were to Saravanaa Bhavan, where the other three family members ordered THE EXACT SAME THING EVERY SINGLE VISIT. I still remember that on the 2nd consecutive visit (1st was for aunt from Kansas who is literally obsessed with that place, 3rd for sister's birthday), my mom and sister chose to go there instead of grabbing some chocolate and pastries from La Madeleine. It really made me upset because I love their chocolate croissant, regular croissant, and their Sacher Torte Parfait. I had been looking forward to that the whole day. Anyways, we went shopping at the Premium Outlets and then headed to the restaurant.



Let The Experience Begin!
Afghan Cuisine is located at the intersection of Highway 6 and Voss Rd. in Sugar Land. It's in the same strip mall as Cafe Yasmeen and Agha Juice. The inside was packed, mainly because there was a party going on. We still had to wait for a table to be free when we got in. My dad made sure that the table was immaculate. We then went to the table, got the menus, and were ready to order.



Let's Eat!
We ordered a variety of Afghan food for dinner. We ordered Bolani (flatbread appetizer with potatoes and onions), borani badenjan (an eggplant appetizer), Kabuli Pulao (because you can't go to an Afghan place and not try Afghanistan's famous dish), chicken kabab, bread, and chopan kabab (lamb chops). We got our food in just under 19 minutes. Way to be efficient!



Menu: The menu is like other Afghan places in town. You have a wide variety of kababs, Kabuli Pulao, and curries. Compared to Afghan Village and Afghan Dastarkhwan, Afghan Cuisine has very similar prices with differences being around just $1.



Appetizers, Soup & Salad, and Vegetarian Dishes


Entrees


Kababs, Desserts, and Beverages


Menu Cover



The Verdict:
All four of us enjoyed the food! I really liked the Kabuli Pulao. I thought it was better than Afghan Dastarkhwan and it is as good as the one from Afghan Village. The kababs were also really tasty and flavorful. They were also as good as Afghan Village. The decision to go somewhere other than Khan BBQ or Saravanaa Bhavan definitely paid off! We all had water to go with the food. Two thumbs up for the food.
The service was nothing to write about. It was normal, like what you would expect.




Conclusion:
Afghan Cuisine is just as good as Afghan Village to be very honest. It's also really filling. We just had enough so that I could have ice cream from Agha's next door and my mom could have a falooda. I would definitely recommend this place for those looking for a good halal Afghan place in Sugar Land.



Grading: 
Food: 9/10
Service: 7/10
Total: 16/20 = 80% (B)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information: 
Afghan Cuisine
11920 South Highway 6, Sugar Land, TX 77498
Phone: (281) 879-0945
Website: none
Timings: Sun-Thu: 11:30 AM - 10 PM; Fri & Sat: 12 PM - 11 PM
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below, send me a message on Facebook, or send me an email!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed


Monday, November 30, 2015

Avesta Persian Grill: Finally, a new Persian place

Restaurant: Avesta Persian Grill
Address: 2691 Wilcrest Road, Houston, Texas 77042
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 11/11/15



Photo Credit: http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/09/23/4c/19/outside-view.jpg


Background:
Salam/hey guys! Welcome to my latest review! Today I will be reviewing a new Persian restaurant that opened up earlier this year. It is called Avesta Persian Grill. It is a welcome addition to the halal Persian food scene. At long last, I am finally able to review a new Persian place here in Houston. I was in the mood to eat out since I did not want to once again eat Subway at Prairie View. Nor did I want to eat the fries at Chick-Fil-A (fries are vegan). Nor did I want to stop at McDonalds or any fast food place near the university. So I was driving down I-10, then I remembered that it had opened up and I needed to try it. So I took the Wilcrest Exit and came to the place.



Let The Experience Begin!
Avesta is located just after the Westheimer and Wilcrest traffic light. It is located next to a salon. The ambiance was very nice. It wasn't too dark or too bright. I went in and was immediately assisted. I got the table, asked for a water, and then proceeded to read the menu.



Let's Eat!
I ordered the mix shish kabob combo. It was chunks of chicken kabob (probably jujeh) and beef fillet (probably barg) with grilled vegetables. I got the sour cherry rice instead of the usual rice. I paid a grand total of $14.06 (tax included). Like Bijan, they give you herbs, feta cheese, and bread to munch on while you wait for the food. The waiting time was 13 minutes and 27 seconds.



The menu is almost the same as the other Persian places in Houston. You have the koobideh's and kababs along with some stews. You have seafood, lamb, poultry, and beef options. A significant difference between Avesta and Bijan is that Bijan has a far more variety of kababs to offer than Avesta. The prices are fairly priced.



Mix shish kabob combo and the bread



The Verdict:
For the appetizers, the bread was ok. I found the Bijan one to be better. The feta cheese was still good. In the mix shish kabob combo, the best items were the chicken, the rice, and the vegetables. All the vegetables were fresh and there was a lot of flavor in them. The rice was as good as Bijan's. The sour cherries were really tasty. The chicken was excellent. The chicken was really juicy, tender, and flavorful. The beef was a different story. It was pretty chewy. It wasn't really that juicy to be honest.
The service was really good here. The people were really nice and they did everything with a smile. They were also really polite.



Conclusion:
After trying the mix, I would recommend getting the chicken rather than the beef. I would definitely give them another chance and try out their koobidehs. I hope the service will still be good the next time I visit the place! Listed below are the rankings of the whole meat kababs for the four Persian places that I have tried so far.

1) Bijan
2) Avesta 
3) Kasra
4) Darband


Grading:
Service: 9/10
Food: 7/10
Total: 16/20 = 80% (A)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information:
Avesta Persian Grill
2691 Wilcrest Road, Houston, Texas 77042
Phone: (713) 781-5555
Website: http://www.avestahouston.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/avestahouston?fref=ts
Timings: Mon-Thu: 11 AM - 10 PM; Fri-Sat: 11 AM - 11 PM; Sun: 11:30 AM - 10 PM
Caters: yes
Reservations available

Feel free to comment below, send me a message on Facebook, or send me an email!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

Monday, November 23, 2015

Frenchy's Chicken: Good Chicken, Bad Side

Restaurant: Frenchy's Chicken
Address: 10414 Richmond Avenue, Houston, TX 77042
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 11/5/15


Photo Credit: http://www.blacknews.com/images/frenchys-logo.jpg

UPDATE 8/11/17: The Frenchy's at 7955 Barker Cypress Road (Barker Cypress near Longenbaugh) uses halal chicken! They have a two piece for $1.49 deal, which is great! Had them a few days back and it was awesome.

Background:
Salam/hey guys! Welcome to my latest review. Today I will be reviewing a fast food place that has it's first location that serves halal meat: Frenchy's. Frenchy's is like a Cajun version of KFC. And interestingly, it is based here in Houston. They started off in the Third Ward and have grown with locations in the city and one location in Beaumont. It was only a few months ago where they announced that all their chicken items were halal. This was welcoming news as the Church's Chicken n Sugar Land had stopped serving halal chicken earlier this year as well as Church's all over Houston. I had made it a point to give the place a try. The time came before I headed to the University of Houston to hang out with one of my best friends since it was his birthday. After finishing for the week at Prairie View A&M, I went to the restaurant.



Let The Experience Begin!
The Frenchy's is located at the gas station on the intersection of Beltway 8 and Richmond. It is attached to the convenience store. I asked about the halal meat, and it was everything! This is better than KFC, where only the bone in pieces are halal. However, the only halal sides are the fries and the mashed potatoes WITHOUT the gravy. It was very nice of them to tell what the halal items were. After looking at the menu, I was ready to order.



Let's Eat!
I ordered the king special, which consisted of three wings, two dark pieces, and fries. To drink, I got water. I paid a price of $10.98. The waiting time was 4 minutes and 23 seconds.



Menu: http://www.frenchyschicken.com/menu
Well, it's a lot like your average fried chicken place, where you have the sides, the chicken, and the drink. The prices are reasonable. A major difference is that you can't tell them whether you want the chicken grilled or fried unlike KFC.



The King Special


The Verdict:
The chicken was actually good. It wasn't as crunchy as KFC, but it was still good. You can definitely taste the Cajun spices when you bite the chicken The fries however were a completely different story. The fries reminded me of Elevation Burger's fries: mostly soggy. I got the BBQ sauce and had some with both items. The BBQ sauce was pretty good. Overall, one thumb up for the chicken and one thumb down for the fries.
The service was great! The people were really nice and they actually helped me out about the halal items. Everything was done professionally, which was rare for a fast food place.



Conclusion:
I would come back only for their chicken. I could definitely make multiple trips here since it is really close to where my internship is when I return to it in the summer. If you want some halal fried chicken that isn't KFC, then you should totally come out and give this place a try! Now that a Frenchy's has halal chicken, let's see whether Raising Canes or Popeye's locations would start serving halal chicken or not.



Grading: 
Service: 9/10
Food: 6/10
Total: 15/20 = 75% (C)
Pricing: $ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information: 
Frenchy's Chicken
10414 Richmond Avenue, Houston, TX 77042
Phone: (713) 784-2117
Website: http://www.frenchyschicken.com/
Timings: Mon-Thu: 10:30 AM - 10 PM; Fri-Sun: 10:30 AM - 11 PM
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below, send me a message on Facebook, or send me an email!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Halal Food Festival: A monumental success

Date: 11/1/15

DISCLAIMER: If I made any mistakes about whether a place was there or not, please let me know in the comments section.

Salam/hey guys! Sorry for being late as I have been busy with school. I know I am very behind on my schedule in regarding to my blog posts. Anyways, this post highlights the halal food festival that took place at Masjid Bilal in Houston, TX. As you may or may not know, Houston has grown to be one of the most diverse halal food scenes not just in the US, but in all of North America as well. In the past 10 years, places that serve food that are popular all over the world. There are still some specific cuisines needed in Houston (Moroccan, Malaysian, Vietnamese, French to name a few), but progress is being made! After hearing about the event on Facebook, I made it clear that I would be attending. The special guests were Sameer Sarmast of the YouTube channel Sameer's Eats, and Yvonne Maffei of MyHalalKitchen. There were plenty of places coming to the place. The weather wasn't cooperating, so the festival had gotten delayed to the 1st instead of the 31st of October.

So on the day of the festival, I picked up my friend and headed there. We were one of the first people there for two reasons: parking, and most importantly, the halal Texas BBQ food truck. The truck is called Chopped n Smoked, and they have the distinction of being the only fully halal place for Texas BBQ in the entire state. I had been wanting a halal Texas BBQ place since Hungry Farmer became no longer halal, so I get to see what the hype is about. Apparently the place has long waiting lines, so I wanted to come so that I could get some of their food before the rush started. Other places that came include: Dasman food truck, Gabriel's Soul Food, IslamInSpanish with home cooked food, Mezban, Lazeeza, Abu Omar Halal Food truck, Halal Cafe & Dessert, Marble Slab, Tempura, Piddy's Kitchen, and Stacatto's. The diversity is absolutely wonderful! Anyways, we prayed, and it was time to get my grub on!

Obviously the first place for me to try was Chopped n Smoked. When I was in line, the wait was only 10 minutes and I was one of the first ones in line. Later, the wait was as long as THREE HOURS! The line was so long people were getting confused as where the line for the other stuff was next to Chopped n Smoked. I had the rib, which was the biggest rib that I have had in my life so far. I got the dirty rice (rice, brisket meat, and bell peppers), a very rare halal item due to the fact that dirty rice almost always contains pork, and potato salad. I paid $12 for it. I then tried the chicken, and then the mix over rice from Dasman Food Truck, both of which I paid $5. Next, I had the Brisket plate from Gabriel's Soul Food. Finally, I had the vegetable tostada from the IslamInSpanish food, even though I was disappointed in not getting the halal tamales. After eating these items, I was beyond stuffed. I couldn't even get to try the other places, but I hope that I get to go to those places and try the food out myself and write up about it.



Clockwise from top: Mix over rice from Dasman Food Truck. Vegetarian tostada from the IslamInSPanish booth, BBQ Rib with potato salad and dirty rice from Chopped N Smoked, and brisket from Gabriel's Soul Food


The Verdict:
Everything was good, but the winners were the rib and the mix over rice. The mix over rice was at the same level as Gyro King in terms of quality and taste, The rib was just absolutely fantastic! It was actually huge and had plenty of meat. The dirty rice was also wonderful, and so was the potato salad. 



Conclusion:
The halal food festival was a monumental success and it really showed how diverse Houston is with halal food. I am pretty sure that most of the major cities in America have a lot of halal places, but not as diverse in Houston. A special thanks to Masjid Bilal on Adel Rd for organizing this. I hope we have this every year.



Grading: I will individually assign grades to the items I had
Rib: 10/10
Mix over Rice: 10/10 (so good I got another round)
Brisket: 8.5/10
Tostada: 8/10


Feel free to comment below, send me a message on Facebook, or send me an email!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saigon Subs: New Cuisine, Good Food

Restaurant: Saigon Subs
Address: 1809 Eldridge Parkway #109, Houston, Texas 77077
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 10/15/15


Photo Credit: https://d.zmtcdn.com/data/pictures/6/16893036/55176b697b7b2a546869f8f4020f2518_160_thumb.jpg


Background:
Salam/hey guys! Sorry I am running behind on writing the reviews. I have been really busy with school and because of school I have to constantly push back publishing dates for my reviews. Anyways, today's review is of a sandwich shop. It's not your usual Subway or a deli with vegetarian/seafood items. It's actually a Vietnamese sandwich shop. Yup another halal cuisine in Houston! It is obvious that it's Vietnamese because the restaurant name, Saigon Subs, has the former name of Ho Chi Minh City which is Saigon. I actually have never been to a Vietnamese sandwich shop, though I have tried vegetarian egg rolls and vegetarian spring rolls (the ones that are white and can see the fillings. I had a ray of belief that there would be some Vietnamese place that would be halal, but it's a challenge because of the extremely wide consumption of pork in Vietnamese cuisine. That was until I discovered that in Fullerton, California, there was a place that had halal pho! Pho (pronounced "fa") is a really popular Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of meat, noodles, and broth. It is a really popular street food item in Vietnam. I saw that it serves pho the exact same way as popular pho places serve here in Houston. A year and a half later, I discovered that this place had halal beef! I had been wanting to go ever since. The time for me came to try after I finished for the week at Prairie View A&M University. Our childhood friends and their mom, who is good friends with my mom, were visiting from Boston. I had time before going to pick them up, so I decided to give this place a try.



Let The Experience Begin!
Saigon Subs is located in the same strip mall as the relocated Crespo Pizza (I got a cheese pizza and Pepsi because I hadn't eaten anything since morning and was extremely hungry since it was around 3 PM) The ambiance was dark. The radio was playing, and there was a friendly lady ready to take my order. After confirming the halal status, I was ready to order.



Let's Eat!
I ordered the grilled beef banh mi. Banh Mi is basically Vietnamese bread, similar to a French baguette. It's a very popular snack in Vietnam. The banh mi sandwich comes with cilantro, pickled shredded carrots, and cucumbers. I also got a bottle of water. The waiting time was 7 minutes and 13 seconds.



Menu: Banh MiSubsSmoothiesCoffeeTea
This place, like the vast majority of Vietnamese places, serve pork. Pate is pork liver, so be careful. I saw them go inside the kitchen to cook the meat. They then came and put the remaining things in.



Beef Banh Mi



The Verdict:
The Banh Mi was actually pretty good! The grilled beef was really flavorful. The vegetables were fresh and the bread wasn't stale at all! The food was washed down with a bottle of water. Good job Saigon Subs!
The service was good too. The person was really friendly. I had no problems.



Conclusion:
I would definitely give this place another try, and you guys should give this place a try. It's the only Vietnamese restaurant that has halal meat here in Houston. You won't be disappointed. Now the countdown for a halal Vietnamese place with both banh mi and pho begins!



Grading:
Service: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Total: 16/20 = 80% (B)
Pricing: $ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information: 
Saigon Subs
1809 Eldridge Parkway #109, Houston, Texas 77077
Phone: (281) 759-5429
Website: http://www.saigonsubs.net/index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Saigon-Subs-659477844148045/
Timings: Mon-Sat: 10:30 AM - 8 PM; Sun: closed
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below, message me on Facebook, or send me an email!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Burger Palace- First Higher End Burger Experience

Restaurant: The Burger Palace
Address: 2800 Sage Road, Houston, Texas 77056
Buffet or a-la-carte: A-la-carte
Date of visit: 10/1/2015


Photo Credit: http://rdc.rdcimage.com/partner-images/55137/micrositeimage_430013photo1.jpg




Background:
Salam/hey guys! Welcome to my latest review! Today I will be reviewing a new spot for halal burgers: The Burger Palace. It was the birthday for a very good friend of mine from UH, and the next day, it was my sister's birthday. Coincidentally, I was going to attend the birthday party for a very good friend of mine at the Galleria. So this was the nearest halal place to the Galleria. After the class finished at Prairie View A&M, I drove to the restaurant.



Let The Restaurant Experience Begin!
Burger Palace is located in a really nice neighborhood. The cars surrounding it were really fancy ones, and there were places that were pretty expensive. It's also a short walk from the JW Marriott, which is a pretty expensive hotel. There were tables and chairs, like every other restaurant. After the friendly waitress gave me the menu, I was ready to order after a few minutes.



Let's Eat!
I ordered the Florence Burger, which was chicken burger with sun-dried tomato pesto, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, spinach, and garlic aioli. I also got truffle fries. I paid a grand total of $17.21. While waiting, I was busy being in contact with my parents about what my sister wanted for her birthday.



Menu (click to view): StartersSaladsKobe BurgersSlidersChicken Burger and SandwichesVeggie BurgersGourmet SandwichesSidesDrinksShakes
Only the chicken items are halal. On the website, they advertise it as kosher, but I had verified with them that it was actually halal.



Left: Florence burger. Right: truffle fries



The Verdict:
The burger was actually pretty good. It wasn't good as Stanton's though, but it was better than Elevation. The truffle fries were absolutely outstanding. Truffle fries are more crispier than regular potato fries. This definitely hit the spot. Food was washed down with a glass of water.
The service was good. Nothing bad about it. The person helping me was very nice.



Conclusion:
I would give this place another try, and I would definitely order the truffle fries again. If you are shopping and want to grab a bite near the Galleria and not have fast food, then you should give this place a try.



Grading:
Service: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Total: 16/20 = 80% (B)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information:
The Burger Palace
2800 Sage Road, Houston, Texas 77056
Phone: (713) 877-9700
Website: http://www.burgerpalacehouston.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theburgerpalace
Timings: Mon-Sat: 11 AM - 10 PM; Sun: closed
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below, send me a message on Faccebook, or send me an email!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tandoori Garden- Another New Cuisine

Restaurant: Tandoori Garden
Address: 2002 Fry Road, Katy, Texas
Buffet or a-la-carte: A-la-carte
Date of visit: 9/26/14


Background:
Salam/hey guys! Welcome to my latest review. Sorry I have been out for a while as I have been busy with life and am currently sick. Anyways, my latest review is on Tandoori Garden. Why would I go to a place like this? It's because it features a new cuisine in the Houston halal food scene- Nepalese. Nepalese cuisine is very similar to Indian cuisine. They have various curries that are popular in both countries. One notable Nepalese dish is momo, which is essentially a Tibetan dumpling. It's basically the Tibetan version of Mantoo. They also have curries that use Nepali spices. There are some differences between Indian and Nepalese food. Nepalese food is generally less spicy than Indian food, and Nepalese curries do not have cream or curd. So the Nepalese curries have thinner gravy and is more watery. Also, Nepalese cuisine do not make green vegetable paste. The green vegetables are actually stir-fried and chopped. Finally, Nepalese food doesn't contain any sugar. Anyways, I set off to the restaurant. Before going, I called the restaurant and confirmed that they served halal meat



Let The Experience Begin!
Tandoori Garden is located next to Katy Halal Market. Inside, the ambiance was pretty nice. There was Indian music playing. I was immediately helped to a table, got a glass of water, then went to the buffet.



Let's Eat!
After seeing the options, I was disappointed. I was expecting some fresh momos, since they're the most known Nepalese dish. There was only one Nepalese dish, which was the Nepalese lamb goat curry. Everything else was the usual Indian fare. I got the tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala, the kachumber salad, pulao rice, and the Nepalese lamb curry. I forgot the price, but it was indeed fairly priced.



Menu: http://www.tandoorigardenkaty.com/our-menue/
Besides the few Nepali style items, the menu is made up of mainly Indian dishes. They have the typical kababs, curries, and rice items.



The Food


The Verdict:
Overall, the food was average. The tandoori chicken was cold when I had it. The kachumbar salad literally burned my mouth. They did give out free naan, which was actually really nice was crispy. The rice was also good. The goat curry was decent. Overall, two side thumbs
The service was normal. I neither have any praises nor complaints about it.



Conclusion: 
Well, I would only go when I try their momos in the future or if I am with people. But for the buffet, I give it a pass. The food at the buffet didn't convince me to try their Indian food again to be honest. I will provide an update on how the momos are.



Grading:
Service: 8/10
Food: 5.5/10
Total: 13.5/20 = 67.5% (D)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information:
Tandoori Garden
2002 Fry Road, Katy, Texas
Phone: (281) 579-7778
Facebook: None
Timings: Mon-Sun lunch: 11 AM - 2:30 PM; Dinner: 5 PM - 10 PM
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below, send me an email, or message me on Facebook!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

Monday, September 28, 2015

Basha Kabab - Halal Mediterranean Food in the Mediterranean Center

Restaurant: Basha Kabab
Address: 2807 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, Texas 77054
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte:
Date of visit: 9/12/15



Background:
Salam/hey guys! Sorry I've been away as I had midterms to take care of at Prairie View A&M. Today I will be reviewing a new Mediterranean place that has opened near the Medical Center called Basha Kabab. Basha Kabab is located in the strip mall that is right next to the intersetion of Almeda and 90 Alt. Right opposite it are the Abu Omar Halal and Gyro King food trucks. I was in the mood for trying a new place, but my friend insisted on going to Gyro King. So I actually dropped him there, and then drove myself here.



Let The Experience Begin!
Inside the restaurant was very bright. It had paintings of famous monuments in the Middle East. There were the usual cashier area and tables. I then decided to order.



Let's Eat!
Trying to order here was at first chaotic. My original choice of Cornish Hen ran out. I don't know why a restaurant would run out of a specific meat during the day, out of all the times in the day. So I decided to settle with the kofta kabab. I got the sides of rice and french fries and with the kabab came pickles and red cabbage. I paid $9.73 (tax included). I just waited for my friend to come while waiting.



Menu: This place has all the popular Mediterranean food items like hummus, shawarma, and plates. I'm surprised that they don't have a mixed grill. They also have a wide variety of appetizers.


The Menu. Photo Credits: Their Facebook page


The Kofta Kabab


The Verdict:
Overall, the food was pretty good, though I didn't get my first choice of Cornish Hen. The bread was tasty. It was nice and fluffy. The vegetables were fresh, and the kabab was juicy and tender. The rice tasted nice also. The fries (not pictured) were perfectly cooked. The food was washed down with half a glass of Pepsi. Overall, one thumb up.
Though they ran out of the item I wanted, the service could still improve. The guy behind the counter was nice and was apologetic about my first item finishing, but they forgot my side of fries. It's important to not forget the order of the customer otherwise the customer would be very upset.



Conclusion:
I would definitely give this place another try. The food was convincing enough for me to try it again. Just recently they announced that they were going to introduce a favorite dish of mine: Mansaf. Guess it's time to plan my next trip.



Grading:
Food: 8.5/10
Service: 6/10
Total: 14.5/20 = 72.5% (C)
Pricing: $ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information:
Basha Kabab
2807 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, Texas 77054
Phone: (713) 747-1000
Website: none
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BashaKababRestaurant/timeline/
Timings: Mon-Fri: 10 AM - 9 PM; Sat: 10 AM - 6 PM; Sun: closed
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below, message me on Facebook, or send me an email!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Taz Indian Cuisine - Halal Indian Food in Aggieland

Restaurant: Taz Indian Cuisine
Address: 2416 South Texas Avenue, College Station, Texas 77840
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 9/9/15



Background:
Salam/hey guys! Welcome to my latest review. Sorry I haven't been posting for a while. I've been getting really busy with schoolwork, with midterms right around the corner. Anyways today's review is Taz Indian Cuisine. I visited College Station to attend the career fair that was taking place at Texas A&M University. Although I attend Prairie View, I am allowed to attend there since Prairie View is part of the Texas A&M System. I actually heard of this place by reading a list of restaurants that were listed on the website of the Islamic Community of Bryan- College Station when I came here for MSA Showdown. I also did not want to drive far from the Texas A&M Campus to Bryan, because I was planning on meeting a good friend of mine at his apartment. I then remembered reading this and actually considered trying this place, even though it's Indian. I called them up, and they said it was halal. So I went to the restaurant after finishing speaking to companies and handing in my resumes.



Let The Experience Begin!
The restaurant is located in the same strip mall as the Kroger at the intersection of South Texas and Southwest Parkway. The inside had a very dark ambiance, the darkest I've been in during the daytime. In fact, it was so dark that I found it difficult to take the picture without flash. And it was actually packed with people! To make things more ironic, it was a buffet because once you came in, you saw a few yellow lights and food right under it. The last time that I remember a packed buffet was at Mayuri back in Houston. Could this buffet be really good for it to be packed?! I had to wait for a little bit before someone came and arrived and helped me. I was then escorted to the table, asked what to drink, and then started eating.



Let's Eat!
Among the Indian/Pakistani buffets I have been to, this is a very rare occurrence where there was no biryani in the buffet. This is only the second instance (first being Maharajah back in Houston) that this had occurred. It was like every other Indian buffet, where you have vegetarian and non-vegetarian options with rice, naan, and chutneys. I had potato with brocolli (they're actually two of my favorite vegetables), white rice, chicken tandoori, lamb curry, chili chicken, and chicken masala. I went twice. I don't remember the exact price, but I think it was either $9.95 or $10.95 (both NOT including tax).



Menu: http://www.tazcuisine.com/collegestation_tx/menu.html
This restaurant does serve alcohol, but there is no pork. The restaurant has many of the popular curries, kebabs, naans, and rice dishes from both North India, and dosas, and idli from South India.



The Buffet


The Verdict:
For an Indian buffet, it was actually tasty! This was far better than most of the Indian/Pakistani buffets that I have been to back in Houston. The curries actually had some flavor. The rice was actually fresh as well. It definitely didn't seem like everything was just reheated. Good job Taz!
Service could improve though. The people were very nice and had smiles, which is one thing that is severely lacking in many Indian/Pakistani restaurants back in Houston. The gentleman who took me to my table didn't speak at all however. I honestly was confused who was gonna help me. My advise is that they should let the gentleman refill the water or do something that doesn't require communication, and let someone who speaks help the customers that walk into the restaurant. On the bright side, they weren't hesitant to answer when I again asked if they're halal.



Conclusion:
Taz Indian Cuisine exceeded my expectations, especially considering the fact that it was a lunch buffet. I would definitely come here for dinner one day if I were to be in College Station in the future. I would also recommend those who want Indian food or those who only eat Indian food when eating out (yes, there are many like that). You can even take friends that are vegetarian here and enjoy the food!



Grading:
Service: 7/10
Food: 8/10
Total: 15/20 = 75% (C)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information:
Taz Indian Cuisine
2416 South Texas Avenue, College Station, Texas 77840
Phone: (979) 696-6560
Website: http://www.tazcuisine.com/collegestation_tx/index.html (They also have a location in Beaumont)
Timings: Lunch --> Mon-Sun 11 AM - 3 PM; Dinner --> Sun-Thu 5 PM - 9:30 PM & Fri-Sat: 5 PM - 10 PM
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below, send me a message on Facebook, or send me an email!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bullritos- Halal Chipotle at UH

Restaurant: Bullritos
Address: 4701 Calhoun Road, Houston, Texas 77004 (University of Houston)
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 8/27/15



Background:
Salam/hey guys! Welcome to my latest review! Today, I am reviewing something that I had been waiting for a really long time: a halal alternative to Chipotle. Think of it this way. Elevation Burger is like the halal version of In-N-Out, and this is a halal alternative to Chipotle. Chipotle's meat is not halal, nor do they plan on providing halal meat at any time in the future. I would always want to try a halal version of Chipotle, since I have heard so many good things about that place. I found out about it while they were still in construction. I emailed the manager after seeing the email on the door about providing halal. And they did say yes! And they also said that they would cook separately! I went earlier in the summer, but they actually started at the start of Fall semester. I had to wait until I visited UH on the date since I got off early from my class at Prairie View A&M. I came with my best friend to the place. After going to a university event, we arrived at the place.



Let The Experience Begin!
Bullritos at UH is located in the same place as Jimmy John's, the Nook Cafe, Cafe 101, and Pink's Pizza. I was familiar with this place, since I would come to Pink's for their cheese pizza or the Nook cafe for some macarons and Mexican coke. The setting was really nice. You had a lot of places to sit and watch TV. After waiting in the line for a bit and asking about the halal food, we ordered.



Let's Eat!
My best friend and I ordered burrito bowls. The reason being that burrito bowls are really popular in Chipotle. I would see my friends always order the stuff. And I knew it would be a chance to try that thing but a halal version of it! I also had burritos and tacos and quesadillas during my M&M Grill days. We paid $7.99 each (tax NOT included). It was a lot like subway, where you could customize the items and they make it as you tell what you want. It was unlimited vegetables, but they charge for extra cheese and guacamole (bummer). We got the burrito bowl with the halal chicken, spanish rice, pico de gallo, cilantro, refried beans, and queso cheese



Menu: Bull bagTex-Mex plates
This place does serve both pork and alcohol, but the halal chicken is cooked separately. I even saw them cook separately with my own eyes. All the beans are vegetarian, and so are the rice options. They have all the Tex-Mex favorites like tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and the basic burrito! It's really nice!



The Burrito Bowl


The Verdict:
The burrito was really awesome! There was a lot of flavor in the bowl. The chicken was cooked perfectly, and everything was fresh. The queso was incredibly delicious. My friend also really liked it as well. Overall, two thumbs up.
The service was also great. The people were very nice and helpful about the halal chicken. I also saw them keep their word about cooking the halal chicken separately.



Conclusion:
Well, the closest we have to halal Chipotle turns out to be a wonderful gem that has been added to the ever growing halal scene here in Houston. I hope to try out the other stuff as well. I also recommend you guys to give this place a try. Wonderful to see that there's a halal burrito bowl and other Tex-Mex items that many halal eaters can enjoy.



Grading:
Service: 9/10
Food: 9/10
Total: 18/20 = 90% (A)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information
Bullritos
4701 Calhoun Road, Houston, Texas 77004 (University of Houston)
Phone: (832) 831-0940
Website: http://www.bullritos.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bullritosUH
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11 AM - 9 PM
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below, send an email, or message me on Facebook.

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sayad Mediterranean Grill - Best Arab Restaurant in Houston So Far

Restaurant: Sayad Medierranean Grill
Address: 12225 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 77077
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte:
Date of visit: 8/19/15



Photo Credit: http://s3-media1.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/2w-0mE9E6fbCfVPTmsl-rg/o.jpg


UPDATE 12/29/15:
I made a visit one day and tried their special dish called mandi. Mandi is a rice and lamb dish originally from Yemen. I used to really enjoy it when I used to live in Saudi. Here, the mandi was top notch. The lamb was very tender and tasty. The rice was cooked perfectly. It felt nice eating it after 10 years! The price is at least $16 (without tax)
One more thing, the mansaf special is only on Fridays and is the same price as the Mandi


Background:
Salam/hey guys! Today I will be reviewing a pretty well known Arab restaurant in Houston: Sayad Mediterranean Grill. It is located right across from Adam's Supermarket. I have always wanted to try this place, but I never got the chance to. I tried many times to convince my dad to meet up there for lunch and tried to convince my family to eat there for dinner. None were successful. Now when we would eat outside food, we would for the most part either get food from Khan BBQ & Grill or Saravanaa Bhavan. I got to go here on my last day of my internship with a good friend of mine. We had planned a day earlier for this so that I could gather my money for the trip. The next day, I told my boss that I was going out for lunch, and then I drove there and met my friend up. 



Let the Experience Begin!
Out of all the halal restaurants that I have been to, Sayad's takes the title of the best interior look and best ambiance. Ever since coming from Saudi, I have never seen a restaurant look so nice on the inside. We were greeted at the front by a very nice waiter. He escorted us to the table. We were then given the menus.



Let's Eat!
My friend advised me to get the mixed shawarma plate, which I did. I trusted him since I know that he knows what the good items are in town. The mixed shawarma is basicaly shawarma meat with biryani rice (from taste it was bukhari rice), pita bread, pickles, onions, tomatoes, and a side of fries. My friend ordered the same thing but got the hummus as a side. To drink, I had a nice glass of Mexican Coke. My friend paid, as he also got takeout for his colleagues at work. The waiting time was not bad at all, as we both got our lunches under 20 minutes. After that, we went next door to Shipley's and had some tasty beignets.




A bit pricey for a Mediterranean place, but not as pricey as Fadi's. This was the main complaint that my parents had about this place believe it or not. Out of all the Mediterranean places I have been to in this blog, this has the most seafood options. They have the normal options like kababs, shawarmas, and hummus.



Mix Shawarma Platter


The Verdict:
The last time I had a mix shawarma platter was at Afrah's in Dallas back in May. It was actually very bad. But here, it was a complete 180. The biryani (aka Bukhari) rice, was absolutely amazing. The meat were perfectly cooked. The garlic sauce didn't leave a nasty odor or seem as if your tongue got pierced. It was perfect with the fries. The other white sauce tasted were very good, and so were the vegetables. My friend enjoyed his food like he did at the other times he visited the place. Overall, two thumbs up.
Service was great also. The waiter was really friendly.



Conclusion:
Move over Aladdin's, Sayad is now my top Mediterranean restaurant in Houston. I hope to go back and eat here on many occasions. From what I have heard, they serve Mansaf on Saturdays. I would definitely recommend this place for anyone visiting Houston. A nice change from the disappointing experience at Yaal Tiffins.



Grading:
Service: 9/10
Food: 10/10
Total: 19/20 = 95% (A)
Pricing: $$ out of $$$$



Restaurant Information:
Sayad Medierranean Grill
12225 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 77077
Phone: (281) 293-9090
Website: http://www.sayadgrill.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SayadMediterraneanGrill
Timings: Mon-Thu & Sun: 11 AM - 10 PM; Fri-Sat: 11 AM - 11 PM
Caters: Yes
Gift Cards available for purchase

Feel free to comment below, send me an email, or message me on Facebook!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed