★★★★ | The Halal Guys, London
The restaurants in and around Leicester Square are there mostly to feed people on the way to the theatre, movies, clubs, or whatever. But there is a new guy in town that will make your journey on to somewhere else quicker, friendlier, faster and more delicious.
The Halal Guys have arrived. Taking up a spot at 14 Irving Street (the street which shoots off Leicester Square that leads to Charing Cross and to the National Portrait Gallery) is where the yellow and multi-colored The Halal Guys is located. You can’t miss it – it sits next to the usual dull and unexciting restaurants that pollute this street. The Halal Guys bring something new to this area – it’s original and tasty and great value for your money – and you can be in and out in 30 minutes.
It’s simple how it works. Just chose whether you want a gyro sandwich or platter (choices of chicken, beef gyro, combo Chicken & gyro – or the vegetarian – falafel). Me and a friend were on our way to the theatre and dropped in, and we both had to have the Combo platter – how could you not! It looked like it had the best of everything – and it did! A ‘special’ yellow rice came with the dish, along with the assorted salad condiments, and the icing on the cake was the choice of sauces – we both had a bit of hummus, baba ghanoush and BBQ sauces, with plenty of pita bread. We also nipped a side of fries (purely just for sampling purposes!) and luckily found a table to eat. It all looked so much and too much and very good, however, after eating we both agreed that it was delicious! It gives a new name for fast food – but this is not fast food – The Halal Guys are street food – street food served quick, street food served very tasty, and street food that I want to definitely go back and try again.
It’s a very simple process, and you can add unlimited beverages, and Baklava for dessert.
From humble beginnings as a New York City hot dog cart to a world-renowned international restaurant chain, The Halal Guys story is the quintessential American Dream. The Halal Guys is defining a new, thriving segment for the restaurant industry: American Halal Food! The Halal Guys legend began in 1990, when the three founding partners opened up a hot dog cart on West 53rd & 6th Avenue in New York City. As the business grew, they recognized a huge demand from Muslim cab drivers looking for a halal food quick and cheap meal. That is when the famous platter of chicken and gyro over rice was born. And let’s not forget about the famous sauces! Fast-forward 25 years, five carts, two New York City restaurants, and millions of diverse customers served, The Halal Guys is growing yet again. Fans no longer have to be in NYC to experience The Halal Guys as they look to share American Halal Food all over the country and the world.
The Halal Guys are now expanding globally and can now be found, besides in their home base in NYC and all over America, but also in South Korea, The Philippines, and Indonesia. But London is lucky enough to have its first European shop – and I urge you to give it a try. The night my friend and I were there everyone looked so happy eating away, with the staff all very friendly and wanting to give you more sauce (I took more!). It’s perhaps one of the best places to eat at near Leicester Square, whether you are on your way somewhere or just want to have dinner before heading home – The Halal Guys will satisfy (and more) your hunger.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.