No! It’s not a dream. If anything, it’s a dream come true. The Halal Guys team is expanding worldwide, and may be coming to a location near you. As for me, I am simply ecstatic that they have opened up for business in New Haven, Connecticut!
Many of you must already know about the legendary Halal Guys food cart on West 53rd and 6th Ave in New York city. It’s hard to miss – as there is always a LONG line leading up to the cart. The food doesn’t look like much – but the flavors are dynamite! Over the years many futile speculations have been made regarding the recipe for the very special meats as well as the hot and white sauces that top the platters at the Halal Guys.
The Chapel Street, New Haven location celebrated its official opening on September 9th. Menu is simple – just like that at the cart in New York. It was quite a thrill to visit the New Haven location as there were NO LINES! The place is also nice and big with plenty of seating. Ahhh! Now I can enjoy this food in a much more civilized way – instead of looking for a ledge or a bench along the sidewalks of New York city – to settle down to eat.
Since these new locations are franchises – there are bound to be some subtle differences. The hot and white sauces are handed to you in sealed pouches with your order, for one. The white sauce didn’t taste quite as good as I remember from the NYC street cart. The rice was spot on though. And meats (chicken and gyro meat) were delicious…. but I kept getting a nagging feeling that its not exactly like the Halal Guys food cart on West 53rd and 6th. Perhaps it has to do with the whole experience of it all – the wait in the long line, the building anticipation from all the aromas as the guys at the cart toss and turn the meats every few minutes… and finally the intense climax at the end of a long wait (don’t worry. I am still talking about food!). Yeah, for someone like me – my experience is totally effected by any or all of those factors. There is a certain thrill in it all. The memories and stories I come back home with….
It’s funny that I have never noticed any other items on the menu at the Halal Guys food cart. To me it was all about the “Chicken and Rice”! But I can tell you that the New Haven location also offers Gyro, Baba Ghanouj, Hummus, Falafel sandwich, Falafel platter as well as Baklava!
Hope you get to visit the New Haven location very soon – and tell me what you think.