Halal-apalooza: The Halal Guys Go Brick-and-Mortar

Sit down, Chamblee, Georgia, ’cause you’re not the only place in the country getting a brick-and-mortar Halal Guys.

The purveyors of falafel platters, baklava, and extremely hot hot sauce opened to huge lines today on O’Farrell Street near Union Square, with a red-and-yellow color scheme and a simple menu of things done well. There’s chicken, gyro, and falafel served (as either a platter or a sandwich) with rice, pita, lettuce, and tomatoes, plus crinkle-cut fries, hummus, and tahini. Throw in the baklava, and that’s that.

Just as fellow NYC institution Babu Ji’s plasters its mothership’s Avenue B address all over its staff’s uniforms at the new Valencia Street location, the Halal Guys prominently display their origins on 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue. Founded in 1990 as a cart providing observant Muslim cabbies a place to eat during their shifts, it caught on far and wide, spreading across the country and making its Bay Area debut via Caviar last spring. The chain soon opened a proper restaurant in San Jose, making this Tenderloin location (in the former Naan ’n’ Curry) the second in a planned expansion to 30 or so across the region.

Best of all, this Halal Guys spot will be open very late: until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends, causing quite a halal-abaloo as hungry club kids descend hoping to satiate themselves with generous portions of red sauce and white sauce all over those gyros.

The Halal Guys340 O’Farrell St.,, 725-696-3663 or thehalalguys.com

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