When it comes to Halal food, it’s not just a food label or the Certification of procedure adopted for Islamic Slaughtering but these days here in America it’s becoming one of the cuisine choices in an American lifestyle. Where there is Chinese food, Italian Cuisine, Japanese Hibachi, and Mexican, Indian or a Pakistani Restaurant, there is another choice called the Halal Food. When we go out for lunch at work and my colleagues ask me if we could do Halal food for lunch, its a choice of food that they are making out of various other options available near our Wall Street Office in New York.
Halal food has evolved and become popular over the last 20 years, originally it started with cart food in New York serving chicken or lamb over rice with white or hot sauces and lettuce salad on top of it in a disposable to-go container served with knife and fork. Even today for $6 to $7, you can get a good portion of the food along with a free can of soda. The food has its own unique taste and with a low cost, it has become a popular staple lunch choice for many working in Manhattan. I know friends who would also do takeout for dinner at home while going back from work.
In the past 3 years, the cart food business has now moved to New Jersey suburbs. In 2016 one of the popular cart food owner ” The Halal Guys” from New York opened a fast food restaurant in East Brunswick New Jersey. On the day of its grand opening, people were lined up since morning. There were big lines with a wait time of around 2 hours. My family also wanted to try it out but decided to wait until the initial craze would subside but even after two months of its opening, there were long queues with a wait time over 30 minutes. Today almost two and half years after it’s the grand opening, the restaurant is still thriving and if you pass by, there would always be many seen waiting for their turn.
In the past one year, motivated by the success of Halal Guys, new Muslim owners have jumped into this business and you can see them all around Muslim populated central Jersey towns like Old Bridge and South Brunswick. Halal Food these days is equally popular in all races like Asians, Whites, African Americans, Indians, and Hispanic. Like they say culture and food have no boundaries and if you want to taste food from different cultures then New York is the place.