Now that it’s a reality, you wonder how it took so long for someone to combine the halal over-rice menu with Chipotle-style DIY counter service. But that’s the concept at The Halal Chicken & Rice Company in Westbury.
This is the second location of the Hicksville restaurant that opened in 2018. But it was the configuration of the Westbury store that first lent itself to customer-driven counter service. (The Hicksville location has since “converted” as well.)
Your first decision at Chicken & Rice is to decide whether you’d like a basmati rice platter, a salad platter or a gyro sandwich. Next, choose your protein: original or spicy chicken, chicken kofta, gyro-style lamb, shrimp, fried fish or vegetarian falafel. Then, black beans or chickpeas and would you like onion, or cucumber or jalapeño peppers? Finally, it’s sauce time: traditional halal-street-cart white, creamy green (white sauce with mint), hot, BBQ, “fire” (chipotle spice) and chutney (traditional Afghan spicy cilantro-jalpeno sauce). Gyros are $5.99; platters range from $6.99 to $9.99 (for the “monster”) but, for the month of January, chicken-and-rice platters are just $5.
Also on the menu: burgers, wings, nachos and cheesesteaks. No sandwich is more than $10.
Roy Chetal, who partnered with the owners of the Hicksville location to open Westbury, is a hospitality veteran who spent more than a decade working for the Scotto Brothers at Chateau Briand in Carle Place and Fox Hollow in Woodbury. When he saw the vacancy in the shopping center on Old Country Road just west of Post Avenue (in between Azerbaijan Grill and Canz Bar & Grill), he decided it was time to do something on his own. “It’s such a busy road,” he said. “There are 40- to 50,000 cars that go by the store every day.”
The bright and cheery restaurant has about a dozen seats, fountain and bottled sodas and a state-of-the-art self-serve Lavazza espresso machine. Delivery is available through DoorDash, GrubHub, Seamless and DoorDash.
The Halal Chicken & Rice Company is at 1610 Old Country Rd., Westbury, 516-416-4451 and 8 Jerusalem Ave., Hicksville, 516-433-9700, thehalalny.com.