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Holy Cow opens in Elmont

The Holy burger at Holy Cow, a new

The Holy burger at Holy Cow, a new halal eatery in Elmont. Credit: Tahmid Bashir

This story about three pairs of business partners begins with a correction. As a non-New York native, I am continually amazed by how many ice cream lovers in this fine state are under the mistaken impression that Häagen-Dazs is the brainchild of some ancient, venerable European family and not a couple of Jews from the Bronx (Rose and Reuben Mattus, pair no. 1). To reiterate: Häagen-Dazs is named for no one and appears in no language. An homage by its founders to Denmark’s efforts to save Jews from the Holocaust in World War II, at least in part — the ancient, venerable European sound didn’t hurt — the name is only Danish-ish (the language contains no umlauts).

Which brings us to Van Leeuwen ice cream, which actually is named for its creators, or two of them anyway, American brothers of Dutch ancestry (Ben and Peter Van Leeuwen, pair no. 2), whose artisanal product was first sold from a food truck in Brooklyn 10 years ago and now has several of its own stores as well as a presence in many supermarkets on the Island and elsewhere. It is Van Leeuwen’s flavors — rich and creamy like other great ice creams but nowhere near as cloyingly sweet — that form the basis of the $7 shakes at Holy Cow, a Manhattan halal burger and more joint that’s just opened its second location in what appears to have been something called Jimmy’s Pizzeria in Elmont (if the present trash cans are to be believed). The shakes are deliciously smart.

Equally smart: the decision by Holy Cow, which despite its NYC beginnings was founded by pair no. 3, Merrick’s Tahmid Bashir and Valley Stream’s Adil Palwala, to bring its fast-casual concept home to an Island bursting at the seams with halal interest and, of late, eateries. Holy Cow’s burgers ($7 for the classic quarter-pounder and $11 for a Holy burger with a 6-oz “special blend” patty) are a combination of short rib, chuck and brisket meat. More to the point, they are sourced from Bashir’s and Palwala’s own wholesale company, Hal & Al Meat and Provisions in Hauppauge. Strict observers of halal will praise the meat’s 100% Zabihah certification, but everyone will appreciate the taste of quality beef, which this is.

In addition to burgers and shakes, Holy Cow’s menu also includes fried chicken sandwiches ($7), hot dogs ($3.50), fries ($3) … and that’s pretty much it. Which is just fine by its growing legion of fans who rave about the hand-rolled buns and Holy Sauce — a mustardy, ketchupy, mayonaisse-y condiment that’s a boon to every meat it’s slathered upon (and non-meat too — Holy Cow also serves the Impossible Burger).

That Holy Cow’s roundtrip journey has taken just two short years — from Hauppauge to the Flatiron District (where it originally opened upstairs from a mosque) to Elmont — is nothing short of a testament to its founders’ success at fulfilling diners’ desire for quality burgers that are tasty, ethically sourced and, as the website puts it, “literally blessed.”

Holy Cow is at 240-09 Linden Blvd. in Elmont, 516-636-5299, holycow.nyc. Opening hours are Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight.

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