Halal Hot Spots

Addy's BBQ

Over the past half-decade or so, a revolution of sorts has taken place in the back kitchens and front offices of culinary America. With a wave of economics and growing American tastes converging together, many high end gourmands have begun to take their skills, artistry, and expertise from the gourmet kitchens of New York and Paris to fast-casual chains, food trucks, and local joints.

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Sameer Sarmast
Kabab Paradise

Of all the restaurants, in all of the garden state I had to walk into this one. Of course when I am not roleplaying Rick from Casablanca, I have taken you all on my magical mystery tour of Halal eats from around the country. Today though, I want to take a trip down memory lane to my absolute favorite restaurant in New Jersey—and the first place I profiled on my show, Sameer’s Eats— Kabab Paradise.

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Sameer SarmastKabab Paradise
Subz N Stuff Gourmet Deli

Grinders, hoagies, heroes and subs; no matter what your part of the country might call it, these delectable names can only mean one thing to everyone; sandwiches. The original food to go option comes with a delectable selection of meats, cheese, veggies, and sauces all stuffed between two large pieces of bread of your choice.

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Sameer Sarmast
Bonsai Fusion Japanese Steakhouse

Spending time in Texas as a foodie there are a few things you need to try to ensure that you had the best taste of the state. BBQ Brisket, Texas Toast, and almost anything fried comes to mind. Yet when a halal foodie like myself stumbles upon halal hibachi, you know you got to trade in a portion of Texas BBQ for that Asian style grill.

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Sameer Sarmast
Barn Rau Thai

Thai food; the more exotic cousin of Chinese food that in the minds of many Americans is limited to pad thai takeout. Yet if looking beyond the stand-in mascot for this varied and often overlooked cuisine, you are bound to find new foods that challenge old perceptions and happily dance across all five taste centers of your tongue. I made such a discovery on my latest trip to California.

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Sameer Sarmast
Fatima's Halal Kitchen

Queens; that far away borough filled with Mets fans, every type of Asian cuisine imaginable, and the site of my latest culinary journey. Though you might be thinking I have made the trek for some far flung food such as Nepali momos or a plate of Burmese pickled tea leaf salad, I actually have come to introduce you all to my favorite American Chinese food joint across the entire Tri-State area.

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Sameer Sarmast
Saad's Halal Restaurant

It all started with a small food truck in Philadelphia. On the corner of 38th and Spruce Street, Saad had a mission. He wanted to bring halal food to a city with a huge Muslim population and limited options. Twenty-seven years later, Saad’s Halal Restaurant is very busy.

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Sameer Sarmast
The Soul Spot

I was sick and I was hungry. I was in the kind of mood that keeps you in bed with Netflix running on all night and ordering food through seamless. Not me though. I needed some soul....soul food..
I escaped the January cold and entered a hole-in-the-wall joint on Atlantic Ave. The Soul Spot was small but very cozy.

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Sameer Sarmast
Mr. Broast

After a long day taking in the sights of Chicago and walking around the city in somewhat chilly Midwestern weather, I drove towards my sister’s home in Lombard, IL. Before I could settle in for the night, I had to grab something nearby to eat. As people who are familiar with me know, I am not one to simply follow the flock and head off to a place on name alone.

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Sameer Sarmast
Nur Thai

A new Asian restaurant opening in Queens is like a new coffee shop opening across the East River in Manhattan: an expected occurrence that will soon blend into the neighborhood background. It is only a few months later when lines to get into these places still exist that you begin to take notice, ring up your spouse and say “hmmm...honey let’s try this place”. That’s my thoughts on today’s sensation: Nur Thai.

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Sameer Sarmast
Ellie's Desi Kitchen

Two feet of snow, catching up with Making a Murderer on Netflix and dreaming about beach season; these are the things that I can imagine went through most New Yorkers minds this weekend. Yet while everyone else was locked inside their dwellings and had nowhere to go, I was soaking up the sun in Southern Florida and contemplating going to the beach; a mere 5 minute drive from my hotel without any traffic.

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Sameer Sarmast
Le Bon Choix

It’s often been said that the three hardest ingredients to be creative with in French cooking are chicken, potatoes and onions. While using strictly French techniques might limit the application of these three ingredients in dishes, if you were to infuse another culinary point of view—say the American South—into your cooking, then a whole new avenue of culinary combinations opens up to you.

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Sameer Sarmast