Being raised by an incredibly clean mother who regularly feeds the masses AND miraculously keeps a spotless kitchen, it was only to be expected that I would be incredibly dubious about all halal carts when I first moved to NYC.

(Regarding shifty Trini cell phone vendors named “Mack” who offer “special discounts” if I would only pay $300 in cash – not so much.)

My suspicion of food trucks, however, quickly changed when one day, one of the homeless guys in my new neighborhood noticed me taking a long, suspicious look at a halal cart. As I stood there next to him examining the menu, he recommended, “You gotta try the chicken and rice. It’s good – especially with white sauce and hot sauce.” I’ve followed his recommendation ever since (after a quick inspection and usually with a preference for lamb). I even have a favorite cart.

So although I feel wildly competitive on behalf of Hoda’s Halal after reading “The Halal Guys cashing in on street cred” in The New York Times  , I salute you, Halal Guys. You’re probably horrifying some Islamophobe right now, and truly, I love overhearing, “Yo, let’s go hit up some Halal.” 

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