Halal Guys is notorious for being one of the most famous street food vendors in New York. But like all good things in life somebody saw an opportunity to franchise it and that's exactly what they did. Good for them, and we hope it works out, but whether it's reasonable or not we feel different about a place knowing it'll end up being a large corporate chain instead of a simple food cart on the street.
While the Chicago version isn’t a food cart, it’s not much more. Halal Guys is a tiny little storefront and for the most part it’s a Serious Take-Out Operation. You’re coming for a cheap platter or pita sandwich with lamb, chicken, or falafel, and you’re going to cover it all in their famous "white" sauce.
We’ve got some news about the white sauce though, especially for our east coast Halal Guys crazed friends. This might feel a little like telling kids Santa Claus doesn’t exist, but that stuff is basically mayonnaise infused ranch. And here in the Midwest, drenching food in ranch is one of our favorite pastimes. We're not hating, because the white sauce is no doubt good, but it's not an innovative concept.
That said, the gyro meat is excellent and the chicken is good, and when you mix it all together with lettuce, rice, simple veggies, pita, and of course the white sauce, it’s a great, cheap meal.
Hala guys is also open until 4am on the weekends. And the only thing better than greasy meat loaded up with ranch-like dressing is greasy meat loaded with ranch-like dressing after a night of drinking on the town.
You have your choice of gyro meat, chicken, or falafel, which you get in either a platter or sandwich as described below. The gyro meat is excellent and by far the best. It's chopped up into smaller pieces opposed to the traditional long and thick sliced meat. The chicken is also really good and comes pulled. Falafel isn't great. We'd skip it unless you're a true vegetarian.
The platters are an overpacked tin bowl of rice, pita, lettuce, tomatoes, and your choice of chicken, gyro meat, or falafel. It's a ton of food, and for around $12 you'll be thoroughly satisfied. Don't be shy and douse the whole thing in the white sauce. Their hot sauce is extremely hot, so test it out a bit before you get carried away. Combo platter with gyro and chicken should be the default move.
Served in a pita with lettuce, tomatoes, plus onions and green peppers if you choose. Not as much food as the platters, but still plenty filling. Use all the white sauce.
Not bad and they go well with the sandwiches. Can be used as an extra conduit for funneling white sauce into your mouth.
We like to get a side of hummus for use on both the platters and sandwiches.