Sunday, January 31, 2016

FIRST LOOK: The Halal Guys- A Halal Icon in H-town

Restaurant: The Halal Guys
Address: 3821 Farnham Street, Houston, Texas
Date of visit: 1/22/16

DISCLAIMER: I was not paid for statements I said. At the time of the visit, I was invited to a media event where other food bloggers came. I am also aware that UberEats delivered some platters to various locations in town

Photo Credit:

Salam/hey guys! Today I will be one of the first people to review a highly anticipated restaurant: The Halal Guys. Wait, the food cart with the hour long waiting line at 53rd and 6th in Manhattan? Yup, THAT one. Now why would I review this place in Southeast Texas? Well, because they are expanding nationwide. They now have locations (from what I know), in Southern California, New Jersey and Chicago. There are plans to open up 15 stores all over Texas. Their Grand Opening is on the 30th, but I got a chance to try them out before the Grand Opening. I'll admit, I really got excited about trying it because I have heard nothing but praise about the original food cart in Manhattan. I have always wanted to try the one thing that inspired so many knockoff versions like Gyro King and Jones. It was a great feeling as I no longer had to wait to fly to New York City (haven't been there in 12 years and counting) just to try the place. I remember a lot of people telling me to try it to see how real NY Style cart food should be like, and how it was superior to other knockoff places here in Houston. So after being at UH for a few hours, I went to the restaurant.

Let The Experience Begin!
The first Halal Guys in Houston is located across from Amy's Ice Cream on Farnham road. It is located near US 59 and in between Greenbriar and Jones. There was outdoor seating and indoor seating as well. It was like Jones but smaller and much cleaner. I was welcomed by the owner and met a couple of people that are also food bloggers and food writers. The ambiance was really niceAfter talking, it was time to eat!

Let's Eat!
I went with the usual mix chicken and beef/lamb over rice with both sauces, fries, and some extra sauces. They ask if you want everything and you can also request whether you want both sauces or not. Since it was a media event, I didn't pay anything. The prices are listed below. I got Coke to drink. There is literally no waiting time as you get the food as you walk down the line. I got one to go for my dad with both sauces as well.

Menu: Really good prices. I do not know what the original prices are in Manhattan. You also have the option of a sandwich and also sides like fries, hummus, falafel, and olives. You also have an option of getting baklava for dessert. The portion looks more or less the same as Jones to be honest. It isn't as expansive as Jones, but still serves authentic New York style cart food.

Menu: Photo Credit:

The Mix Over Rice


The Verdict:
So, the million dollar question: Does it live up to the hype? The answer is yes and no. No because the salad wasn't fresh at all, the pita was ok, and when you have the red sauce, be sure to have a little because it can get really hot. Yes because everything else was great. Both meats were good, and yes, the white sauce had an amazing taste. I actually used up a whole packet of white sauce in the platter I had. My dad, who is very picky, really loved the sauces, rice, and the meats. He did leave out the salad part as he said that it didn't look fresh. Overall, one thumb up and one side thumb.
The people were nice, and so was the owner. No complaints there.

What's obvious after trying the Halal Guys is that it's definitely better and much more cleaner than Jones. You can actually eat some of the red sauce here, while a little sample of the red sauce at Jones and your mouth starts burning. Plus the quality of the meats were better. But overall, it honestly needs to fix the salad. Because of that and the red sauce burning, Gyro King takes the edge as best NY style in Houston. They have a red sauce with the right amount of hotness, and a better salad! Since they just opened up, I will be nice in my grading and will do a followup review on the next time I visit. I will also grade the service. 

Food: 8.5/10

Restaurant Information
The Halal Guys
3821 Farnham Street, Houston, Texas 
Phone: (713) 681-5465
Instagram: thehalalguyshouston

Timings: Mon-Sun: 11 AM - 11 PM
Caters: yes

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

Zain Mohammed

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