Curious about halal restaurants? From March 17 to 31, more than two dozen of them in Nassau and Suffolk are offering special deals and menus for the first Halal Restaurant Week. (Another 40 spots in New York’s five boroughs will also be participating.)
The promotion was organized by the Halal Restaurant Guide, a Facebook group with more than 20,000 members that has evolved into an online community that helps connect its members with great things to eat, do and buy. Raza Dastgir, one of its founders, said that "Halal restaurants have exploded in the last five years all over the metropolitan area."
For many Long Islanders, "halal" has become synonymous with a fast-casual restaurant that serves chicken or lamb over rice or in a pita. But Shah’s Halal, Halal Guys and their ilk actually represent a born-in-New York cuisine pioneered by street vendors, many of them from the Middle East or South Asia, who had only a rudimentary kitchen and a flat-top griddle at their disposal.
"Halal" is, rather, a set of dietary restrictions followed by observant Muslims, many of which have to do with the way in which animals are slaughtered. Any cuisine can be rendered in a halal fashion, which is why you'll find Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Latin-fusion on this list.
Restaurants offering special deals include Peri-Peri Guys (spicy African chicken) in Hicksville, Kabul Kabab House in Westbury, The Theo Thai Bistro in Bethpage, Teng’s (Hakka-Chinese) in Levittown, Kick’n Chicken (Nashville hot chicken) in Farmingdale, PYO Chai (bubble tea) in Stewart Manor, Blu Mediterranean (Turkish) in West Babylon, Clay Oven (Indian-Pakistani) in Hauppauge, Zaza Japan in East Northport, La Estacion (Latin fusion) in Brentwood and Mariam’s Cafe (Moroccan fusion) in Farmingdale.
For a complete list of participating restaurants and their offers, go to facebook.com/TheHalalGuide.