When I was visiting New York City, I had the opportunity to eat at a halal cart. It was pretty amazing. The Halal Guys are the most popular of the halal carts. Three partners opened up a hot dog cart on West 53rd & 6th Avenue in New York City in 1990 and then switched over to Mediterranean food to cater to Muslim cab drivers. That’s how Halal Guys were formed. They are pretty well known all over Manhattan and have expanded outside the Big Apple. Now they are here in the Valley of the Sun with a few locations planned. I had a chance to visit their Tempe location which is in the perfect spot because nearby Muslim community. The menu consist of platters (with salad and rice) and sandwiches. You can either get chicken, beef gyro, a combination of both or falafel. I got the beef gyro sandwich and really enjoyed it. The white and red sauce are a must and really add some spice and flavor to your meal. I’m excited to made a return visit!
I just took a red-eye into New York City and was looking for quick bite. Everyone raves about the Halal food carts in NYC and I had to give one a shot. To me, food carts are what make NYC because people are always on the go and need a quick bite. Halal carts have only been on the scene for a few decades. But today halal carts are pretty native to NYC and found everywhere. The Halal Guys carts are the most popular ones in NYC and are expanding to other states. Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, defined in the Koran. The key is to find a Halal cart that is authentic as there are some that are not. New York City halal usually consists of a combination of rice, greens, halal meat in a bowl or in a pita. They top it off with they famous spicy red or white sauce. The red sauce is an offshoot of Egyptian harissa sauce where the white one is an offshoot of zabadi sauce. I ordered the Chicken over Rice and drowned it with both their red and white sauces. Wow – it was super spicy and super delicious! What a great way to start off my trip to the Big Apple.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been this excited about a movie. But after seeing the trailer to Jon Favreau’s new movie CHEF, I was hooked on seeing it. One reason – food porn. I seriously was salivating as I saw the previews. Plus I was a cook for ten years in the restaurant business and I understand life in the kitchen. Cooking for me has always been both therapeutic and a passion. This is the story of Carl Casper, a cook in L.A. who is trying to rediscover his passion for cooking. He ends up going on road trip in a food truck with his son to get his passion to make amazing food back. The film ended up being a great movie and easily one of my favorite ones of the year. In addition to having a great cast, CHEF also has a great soundtrack. I ended up going with my favorite foodie friends that I love to eat out with. My friend Kim is a personal chef and my other friend Pete is (in my opinion) the top restaurant reviewer in Arizona. He and his wife Monica eat out at different restaurants all over the valley. We had a blast and I look forward to seeing it again!
Tonight I went down to downtown Phoenix for the First Friday Artwalk. Now the weather is cooling off, it’s the perfect time to go. I stopped at the Phoenix Art Museum first to check out a photo exhibit. Then I stopped at one of my favorite Starbucks locations to get a hot Pumpkin Spice Latte – one of my favorite Fall drinks. With my hot drink in hand, I headed down to Roosevelt Row to look at some art. Then it was on to New City Studio with my friends Juliana and Marco to see some artwork by Isaac Caruso and Noelle Martinez. I also ran into some old friends of mine – Kenisa, Amy and Jenna and spent time catching up with them. But the real treat was seeing my good buddy Mat Weddle play some of his folk tunes. I had a blast chatting with him and listening to his sweet tunes.
Gourmet food trucks have become this crazy phenomenon across the U.S. Even Food Network has a show called The Great Food TruckRace that is inspired by these creative trucks. These trucks are not only creative in the way they design their trucks, but also with their food. Here in Phoenix, these trucks drive around to different locations and events to serve up some great food. Phoenix Street Food Coalition is a website that keeps track of where some of the best street food is served up here in the valley. I got a chance to stop by Phoenix Public Market and partake in Food Truck Friday. For lunch I got the Koreadilla (Bulgogi Skirt Steak with red cabbage, jalapeño, and red onion on a warm tortilla with cotija cheese) from Luncha Libre – a food truck with a Lunchador theme that serves a combination of Mexican and Asian food. My sandwich was super good and I had a fun day doing my first food truck experience!