I wonder if the late night tourist circuit will keep them open late, or whether the lack of BART after midnight will limit their potential. More importantly, is it even legal to eat Halal Guys’ food when you’re not soused?
Beat me to it! I think they’ll do well, but I gotta say I didn’t get the benefit of Halal Guys in NYC… but I was sober…
Also noted that Salsipuede is having a celeb chef night. I like S and they’re doing interesting food, even if it doesn’t have quite the polish one might hope at their price point.
I went to the one on 53rd & 6th at around noon and it was a half hour wait. I thought it was okay but really salty. I was expecting something better.
Looking forward to it. I tried the Halal Guys cart in Manhattan and the Halal Cart over here in SF in the Financial District and while the Halal Cart here is pretty good it just wasn’t the same.
Interesting. For those of you not up on San Jose, this is Curtner and Monterey Hwy.
Its a somewhat curious choice of location…
When they opened in Houston a few months ago, there was a defcon level traffic jam with police called out and whatnot. They were handing out swag with the orders. I still haven’t been!
Probably extraordinarily cheap to get started, with good traffic flow, few decent lunch spots to compete with. Kinds of like their first locations in midtown NYC.
That’s a shame considering their midtown cart was no great shakes, if we’re being honest. It’s all about the location… and like bbulkow suggested, being soused helps some.
I was in NOLA last week and serendipitously hopped in an Uber with a fella who used to run my fave halal stall in Bklyn. He couldn’t make a go of it in New Orleans and was driving cabs because he told me that the tourists all come for their Creole-Cajun-Soul food fix and understandably have little interest in Middle Eastern street food. When the seasonal scourge of tourist lice flood Bourbon St. and the Quarter with the torrid stench of urine, vomit and cheap two-for-one pre-mixed glow-in-the-dark drinks, the abundance of cheap hot dog carts and dollar pizza slices makes it impossible to turn a profit since anyone with discerning taste will be eating in local establishments. He’s trying to get back East… I begged him to come to San Francisco!
6/3 SJ opening
This is an extreme example of marketing a name. The Halal Guys was just one of a jillion “chicken rice” carts in NY, generally of the same quality. I’m surprised nobody is franchising “Sammy’s Halal,” the name of the cart that won the 2006 Vendy Awards (“The Halal Guys” was merely a runner-up the previous year). Maybe it’s because The Halal Guys were in Manhattan and Sammy’s was (is) in Queens.
This place is terrible. I don’t understand why it’s become so popular!
I admittedly walked by the first week that it opened, took one look, and kept right on walking.
But you loved the one in Manhattan?
I never said that. If you scroll up the page, I specifically said that the success of the Midtown cart was entirely due to location and not quality. I’m not a big fan of street meat in North America, but I do have my favorites in NYC and The Halal Guys isn’t one of them.
My initial response, 04/13:
"That’s a shame considering their midtown cart was no great shakes, if we’re being honest. It’s all about the location… and like bbulkow suggested, being soused helps some. "
Yes, I did see that. I was referring to your initial post when you announced “Halal-elujah” that the Halal Guys were coming to SF. So I assumed that meant you were into them. Sorry if I misunderstood what seemed like enthusiasm.
Nope, just me being dopey; although I don’t see why it couldn’t have been good if done right. I’m originally from Montreal, which has a huge Lebanese community. Middle Eastern and Greek was the equivalent of our corner deli sandwich; ie. fast food. I miss good schwarma, so I was a bit hopeful, given the quality & higher standards that we often enjoy in SF.