When I lie awake at night looking at the ceiling, I’m constantly thinking about food. Sometimes it’s the tacos from the gas station from my hometown, other times it’s a steak perfectly cooked to a juicy medium rare. Nowadays, I dream of a platter of rice topped with street meat smothered in sauce. That's right, these days I dream of the Halal Guys.

Alex Vu

The iconic food cart has been making the rounds as of late. From opening numerous locations outside The Big Apple, to even crossing the border and opening up a location in Montreal, the Halal Guys are going global, ensuring that everyone has their fill of arguably NYC’s most popular street food. Lucky for us, they have finally opened up their first brick and mortar spot in the DC area.

Alex Vu

When I got there for the grand opening, I was expecting lines, but I wasn’t expecting lines that snaked around the corner. It was definitely a little daunting, and for a brief second I even thought about going home, but clearly that didn’t happen. When you finally pass through the doorway, you’re immediately hit with the intoxicating smell of sizzling meat, steamy rice, and pitas being prepared on the flat top. Relief falls over you knowing now that you know you made the right decision.

To combo or not to combo: that's the big question every customer faces once they walk through the doors. For me, it was a no brainer—give me the combo. I wanted to get the full experience of their signature street meat of chicken and gyro. But I couldn’t just stop there, I needed to add on some falafel because why the heck not? Protein for dayz.

burrito, chicken, rice, sauce, salsa, tacos, beef, chili
Alex Vu

The assembly line system they have in place felt all too familiar. It was similar to the many fast casual spots we have in the area, but in the best way possible. Definitely no complaints on my end. In all honesty, I was very impressed by how efficient they were, considering it was their grand opening.

Alex Vu

One of the final decisions you make is how much sauce you want added to your entrée. You cannot under any circumstances leave your platter naked, deprived of the magical sauce that every Halal Guys fanatic is addicted to.

Being the chilihead that I am, I obviously asked for some. The mistake I made was asking for extra hot sauce after seeing that my bowl only had a small splatter atop my combo. The hot sauce was indeed spicy to the point that it had me fearing the aftermath that would befall me in the coming hours. Lesson learned, I will not be asking for extra red during my next visit

cream, burrito, ice
Alex Vu

With plans to open up a total of four locations in the area, getting my fix of a combo over rice has never been easier. After years of serving the hungry bellies of New York cabbies, the Halal Guys have grown from humble beginnings as a simple food cart to opening up locations all across the world. They're all in and are looking to expand even further.

No longer will I be forced to wait for my next visit to NYC because their plan for world domination via rice and meat is just beginning.