SWATI SNACKS, Mumbai, India

SWATI SNACKS
248, Karai Estate
Opp. Bhatia Hospital
Tardeo Road
Mumbai – 400 007
Ph: 022- 65808405


Eating at places like Swati Snacks just plain old make my heart sing!

There is no replacement for this all vegetarian, regional food café which serves up some of the most lip-smacking, authentic Gujrati food you could ever have – anywhere (other than perhaps Gujarat –of course). Continue reading

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Pacific Asia, New Delhi, India

PACIFIC ASIA
Cascade Shopping Arcade
Netaji Subhash Place
Pitampura
, Delhi -110034
India



Hey Delhites..how many of you have been to Pitampura?

I for one had never even heard of it until two nights ago when honestly….what I saw there knocked my socks off.

Malls that are more modern than anything in South Delhi (what I’m used too) and gargantuan eateries that were packed with people at all odd hours of the night. Continue reading

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Xi’an Famous Foods, Flushing, NYC

 

Xi'an Famous Foods on Urbanspoon

 

Stall # 36 marks the spot for Xi’an Famous Foods which is housed in the basement of the Golden Mall in Queens. Here’s where you will find some really incredible hand pulled noodles. It’s best known for its Liang Pi “cold skin” noodles, Savory Cumin Lamb Burger and Lamb Face Salad. Continue reading

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Karim’s – Jama Masjid, New Delhi, India

KARIM’S
Jama Masjid
Delhi – 11006
Ph: 01191-23269880
http://www.karimhoteldelhi.com/restaurants.html



Chandini Chowk is truly India, as it should be experienced. I love every bit of it from the overfilled narrow streets that is equally shared by cars, people, animals, scooters, bicycles and so much more to the small stalls and street peddlers, selling everything from dinky little plastic toys, to mouthwatering food delights.

On one of these little streets is Karim’s, one of the best-known food spots in Chandini Chowk. Karim’s is run by the descendants of the royal chefs who prepared delicacies for the Imperial Kitchens of the Mughal Dynasty who ruled India in the 1700’s. Their recipes have been handed down for generations. Continue reading

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Khan Chacha, New Delhi, India

KHAN CHACHA
Flat 50, First Floor,
Middle Lane,
Khan Market
New Delhi, INDIA
Ph: +919810804114



Khan Chacha is a well-established institution in New Delhi’s enormously popular Khan Market. Housed in their new, modernized digs, here’s where you go to get your fix for the most delicious kabab rolls.

Khan Chacha has a winning formula that is so simple. They serve melt in your mouth kababs, both veg and non-veg and wrap it in a thin, delicate, roomali roti (Indian bread). Throw in a sprinkling of fresh onions, some seasonings and a hit of spicy mint chutney and viola – in minutes you are digging into a really satisfying and healthy quick bite. And all of this for about Rs. 100 ($2) a pop!!!! Continue reading

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Ilili – Brunch, Gramercy/ Flatiron, NYC

 

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Philippe Massoud has a story to tell at Ilili (which means tell me). Ilili is a high end, contemporary Lebanese restaurant, located in the Flatiron district.

Massoud’s culinary tales are woven into the nouveau Lebanese cuisine he’s created that draws on his beginnings in hospitality in Beirut and experiences that followed suit in the United States. Continue reading

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Vespa Cibobuono, Great Neck, NY

When you walk into the artsy lair of Vespa in Great Neck, you are warmly greeted by the immaculately suited owner, who fits right in with the vibrantly warm decor. This restaurant is rather an anomaly for a rather staid neighborhood. I think it really brings some much needed zing, to this neck of the woods.

I love the bright red vespa that is parked right outside the restaurant to announce ” We are here!!!” Continue reading

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Shiro – Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Novi, Michigan

SHIRO
43180 West 9 Mile Road
Novi, MI 48375-4125
(248) 348-1212
http://www.shiro-restaurant.com/





Shiro is set in the beautiful Rodgers mansion of Novi, Michigan. It is a real surprise to find a Japanese restaurant in this grand home that pays homage to Antebellum architecture. The interiors are adorned with early 20th century decor. It’s rather quaint to see a sushi bar with large lace valance! The place is very charming and has a lot of character.

The wait staff were very friendly and helpful though a bit disorganized. We ordered sashimi which never came and our waiter would sometimes disappear for long spells of time.

The food was decent (I cant compare it to New York Sushi) but considering where we were – I was pleasantly surprised.

We really went there to eat rolls only.The problem I found with the selection of rolls was that a lot of them had some deep fried element in it and I wanted to try more combinations of fish that were not fried or cooked. I thought that a lot of the sauces and dips accompanying the rolls were a little too sweet.

Here is some of what we ate:



EBI SHUMAI

 

 

This was pretty standard shumai but was served with honey mustard which was interesting.


SHRIMP & VEGETABLE TEMPURA

We tried an appetizer of the shrimp and vegetable tempura. I thought that the batter was a little too thick and the tempura was too crunchy. Really good tempura is a very delicate dish, where the shrimp and batter just melt in your mouth.


ATLANTIC ROLL

Their Atlantic roll had grilled tuna, scallion , cream cheese and was wrapped with avocado and topped with their house special BBQ sauce. I thought these were the best rolls I tried there. The combination of everything made for a really delicious roll.


KISS OF FIRE ROLL

This roll was made of crab meat, spicy tuna, jalapeno, avocado and topped with a hot sauce. This is one of the rolls that s touted as being spicy but it wasn’t. I thought it was a little too sweet but the combination was good. It could have done with more of a hit of spiciness.


CANCUN ROLL

 

This was a shrimp tempura roll topped with chopped jalapenos, mango and sweet and spicy sauce. For me, this roll was entirely too sweet though the extra crunchiness of the shrimp tempura worked well in this roll.


CALIFORNIA ROLL

I thought their California roll was really badly made. The rice was terribly uneven and it was just not appetizing to look at or eat.


SPICY TUNA ROLL

Their spicy tuna roll was sublty spiced  and tasty.


MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL

 

Food: ☆☆1/2

Ambiance: ☆☆☆1/2

Service: ☆☆1/2

 

Price: $$

Overall experience: ☆☆☆

 
I recommend: Atlantic Roll, Kiss of Fire Roll
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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Shiro Restaurant
* Overall
★★☆☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Japanese
* Street Address
43180 W 9 Mile Rd, Novi, MI 48375
* Phone
(248) 348-1212
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Shiro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Buttermilk Channel, Carroll Gardens, NYC

 

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MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL
 Food: ☆☆☆☆
 Service: ☆☆☆
 Ambiance: ☆☆☆
 Cost: $$
 I recommend: Country Ham and Foie Gras Terrine, Duck Meatloaf, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

 

 

A long time ago……so the story goes…… during low tide, farmers from Brooklyn could walk their cows across a mile long tidal strait from Brooklyn to Governors Island. It is said that the water currents in this channel were so strong, that it would churn milk into butter – hence the name “Buttermilk Channel.” Continue reading

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OSHA THAI, San Francisco, CA

OSHA THAI
149 2nd St
San Francisco, CA 94105
Ph: (415) 278-9991
www.oshathai.com



“Osha”  is the royal Thai word for delicious which is what I kept repeating after sampling the food at Osha Thai Restaurant on 2nd street.Osha! Osha! Osha!

Osha Thai is located in the up market SOMA area of San Francisco. The huge space is impressively modern , with many Thai decorative touches.

In 1996, Osha Thai was started as a tiny food spot on Geary by the combined efforts of two sisters, Wassana Korkhieola and Lalita Souksamlane. It has now morphed into an empire of hip-new age Thai cuisine with locations all over San Francisco city.

The food is stylized Thai cuisine. The dishes served at Osha, preserve the authenticity and essence of Thai food and yet focus on being inventive. They use local, seasonal greens and continue to change their menu offerings with new renditions of creative dishes.

In my book, at Osha Thai, they have perfectly blended traditional Thai with the progressive sensibilities of San Francisco. I did discover though that all Osha Thai’s are not equal. I tried the one in the Embacadero and found that the food there was not as good.

Here is some of what we ate:


TOM YUM SOUP

This traditional soup is a bit different at Osha. It tastes like a combination of a Tom Yum and a Tom Kha Kai, which gives it an interesting edge.


ANGRY PRAWNS

In this dish prawns are sautéed with curry paste and Kaffir lime leaf served over fried eggplant in hot plate. It is cooked with fresh Thai green peppercorns, which really adds great flavor to this dish.


LEMONGRASS CHICKEN

This sweet and sour stir-fried chicken dish was good but must be eaten spicy.


GRILLED SEA BASS

This was the best dish of all. The sea bass was flawlessly cooked to a silky tenderness and complemented with a tangy flavorful sauce that enhanced the dish perfectly.


CRAB FRIED RICE

This fried rice was made with egg, onion and green onion with fresh crabmeat. It was really “osha”!!


DESSERTS

Both the desserts were disappointing. Really not worth wasting the calories on – I’d just order more food next time.


Vanilla Sky

This had a crispy roti that was served with vanilla ice cream. The roti was not crispy – it was kind of soggy and too oily.


Chocolate Soufflé

This was a warm chocolate cake, which was meant to have with a heart of creamy ‘A’ grade chocolate. It was over-baked and there was no creamy center.


MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL

Food: ☆☆☆1/2

Service: ☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆☆

Cost: $$$

I recommend: Lemongrass Chicken, Grilled Sea Bass, Crab Fried Rice

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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Osha Thai
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Asian Fusion
* Street Address
149 2nd St ((between Natoma St & Minna St) ), San Francisco, CA 94105
* Phone
(415) 278-9991
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Osha Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Java Girl Inc., Upper East Side, NYC

 

Java Girl on Urbanspoon

 

I’m sitting in the cutest coffee shop on the Upper East Side as I write this. Everything in this place spells comfort – from the fabulous aromas of fresh Java to the woodsy, country, rustic look of the Café that makes it feel like home. Continue reading

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Chiles & Chocolate: Oaxacan Kitchen, Park Slope, NYC

 

I was intrigued by this little restaurant that was dedicated to my two favorite foods of all time – chilies and chocolate.

So of-course I had to trek over to Park Slope to check out this charming joint, that has carved out a niche of its own. This tiny restaurant can only seat about 16 people at a time. Its very informal and the server was very friendly. Continue reading

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Naya – Mezze & Grill, Midtown East, NYC

NAYA – MEZZE & GRILL
686 3rd Ave
(between 43rd St & 44th St)
New York, NY 10017
(212) 557-0007
http://www.nayarestaurants.com/



At Naya, traditional Lebanese cuisine meets designer chic!

The sleek, modern space consists of a narrow passageway lined with cool glass and white leather cubicles. It opens up to a bright back room which is suitable for group seating.



The food at Naya is outstanding and so well priced. You could just eat their Mezze and be full! Continue reading

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Chez Panisse Cafe, Berkeley, CA

CHEZ PANISSE CAFE
1517 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709-1516
(510) 548-5049
http://www.chezpanisse.com



Hidden amongst a grove of green, the understated Chez Panisse gently reveals itself in all its glory.

It’s famed owner, Alice Waters is one of the pioneers of California cuisine. She is the original advocate of sourcing fresh, organic, seasonal produce from farm and bringing it to the table. Alice Waters also created the now famous Slow Food Movement and the Edible School Yard concept.

Influenced greatly by French countryside cooking, the menu at Chez Panisse Café changes daily depending on locally available, fresh produce. Many of the dishes on the menu are named after the local farms or suppliers of their fresh meats or cheeses – such as Baked Andante Dairy Goat Cheese or Riverdog Farm Artichoke salad or Soul Food Farm Chicken and so on.

Chez Panisse has an upstairs café area, which is more informal and less expensive, which serves lunch and dinner. The more formal and expensive downstairs section serves a prefix dinner only.

Eating at Chez Panisse Café is truly a delight. Its art is in the simplicity of the dishes. The emphasis is really on the freshness and flavor of the ingredients themselves. You wont find very complex sauces or crazy gourmet dishes here. Everything is simple simple simple. That is the charm of their food.

Here is some of what we ate:


 

LITTLE GEMS LETTUCE SALAD

This crispy lettuce leaves were lightly flavored with anchovy, garlic and egg.


 

CITRUS AND AVOCADO SALAD

The combination of different kinds of citrus fruits with ripened avocado in this salad, topped with a ginger vingeratte was just fantastic. There was a burst of tangy flavor with every bite.


 

RIVERDOG FARM ARTICHOKE SALAD

These tender artichokes were paired with crisp arugala with lemon, crunch black pepper and thinly sliced pecorino. Delicious!


 

HAND CUT GREEN NOODLES

These fresh green noodles came with morel mushrooms, crème fraiche, thyme and peas. I loved how the emphasis was on the vegetables and the noodles, though fabulous, only provided the backdrop for the dish as the vegetables were the stars.


 

KING SALMON COOKED IN A FIG LEAF

This is one of the most delicious salmons I have ever had. It was cooked to perfection – so delicate – it melted in my mouth. It was served with asparagus, chervil and beet relish.


 

SOUL FOOD FARM CHICKEN A LA MILANESE

This tender chicken was cooked to a crisp and served with rocket and fennel salad and lemon.


 

MONTEREY BAY SQUID AND CLAMS

These tiny clams just melted in my mouth. The squid and clams were just divine. It was served on a bed of chickpeas, leeks and aioli. I didn’t care much for the flavor or the chickpeas but the seafood was just pure bliss.


 

MAGRUDER RANCH PORK LEG

This perfectly cooked pork was topped of with a fresh tapenade and served with airy fried spring onions and delicious wilted greens.


 

DESSERTS AND TEA

The desserts were all exquisite. You could really taste the freshness of the ingredients. I loved the both the tarts. The crusts for both were fresh and made all the difference to the tarts.


 

CRIMSON RHUBARB TART

This tart was served with a vanilla bean ice-cream.


 

BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE TART

This tart was served with fresh caramel cream and hazelnuts.


 

STRAWBERRY SHERBET

This was served with vanilla ice-cream and a coconut tuille.


MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL

Food: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2

Service: ☆☆☆ 1/2

Ambiance: ☆☆☆

Cost: $$$

I recommend: Everything!

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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Chez Panisse Cafe
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
American New / French
* Street Address
1517 Shattuck Ave ((between Cedar St & Vine St) ), Berkeley, CA 94709
* Phone
(510) 548-5049
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Sushi Ran, San Francisco, CA

SUSHI RAN
107 Caledonia St
Sausalito, CA 94965
Ph: (415) 332-3620
www.sushiran.com


Just a few minutes away from San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, lies the picturesque waterfront community of Sausalito. It’s in this charming area that Yoshi Tome opened his highly acclaimed Sushi Ran.

Having received a prestigious Michelin star, the chefs at Sushi Ran work hard at the ever-changing menu that combines traditional Japanese and Pacific cuisine.

The fish here is very fresh and the cuisine is inventive. The service was friendly and efficient.

The restaurant has a sushi bar and main dinning room and an adjacent sake bar too.


Here is some of what we ate:


CALIFORNIA SALAD

This was a true California cuisine salad. It had fresh crab, cucumbers, avocado, tofu and crisp mixed greens with delicious sesame dressing. Everything was just fresh fresh fresh! Outstanding!


CRUNCH ROLL

This roll was highly recommended by our server and he was right on the money with this one. It was the best roll we had. The eel, spicy crab, shrimp and avocado melded beautifully with each other while the tempura flakes added a perfect bite of crunch to it.


SALMON & AVOCADO ROLLS

These were very good. The salmon was fresh and melted with the avocado in this roll.


NEGITORO

These rolls made with fatty tuna, grilled green onions and fresh scallions were really interesting. I loved the play of the grilled and fresh scallions with the fish.


SPICY TUNA ROLL

This was a different take on the traditional spicy tuna roll. Served with chunks of tuna, miso aioli and togarashi – it was rather unique – not exquisite but interesting.


SOFT SHELL CRAB ROLL & EBI TEMPURA ROLLS

I wasn’t very impressed with their soft shell crab and tempura roll.


SALMON & TUNA SUSHI

Their sushi was not as impressive as their rolls.


MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL

Food: ☆☆☆ ½

Service: ☆☆☆ ½

Ambiance: ☆☆ ½

Cost: $$$

I recommend: California Salad, Crunch Roll, Salmon and Avocado Rolls


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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Sushi Ran
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Japanese
* Street Address
107 Caledonia St , Sausalito, CA 94965
* Phone
(415) 332-3620
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Academy Cafe, San Francisco, CA

Academy Cafe
The California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 876-6124
www.calacademy.org

I hate going hungry to any kind of museums, zoos or theme parks because I just cant stand the standard pizza, hot dog, chicken nuggets fare that is served up, all across America.

So imagine my surprise when I walked into this:


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Asmara – Eritrean/Ethiopian Cuisine, Oakland, CA

ASMARA
5020 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94609
Ph: (510) 547-5100
www.asmararestaurant.com/



Asmara, (named after the capital of Eritrea) has been serving up Eritrean/ Ethiopian delights in North Oakland since 1985.

What begins with a rather mediocre facade opens into a roomy, inviting space with cute touches of ethnic décor.


The food is pretty good overall though in certain dishes I felt like there was something missing – perhaps something in the spices they use. Their injeras were very good and we were given plenty of them.

The service is a little slow but overwhelmingly warm and friendly.

All in all – Asmara is a really good bet!


Here is some of what we ate:


POTATOES & CARROTS AND SALAD

The potato and carrots combo and salad are usually served on the shared plate with an injera at the bottom. I thought the potato dish was very bland and devoid of spice and flavor. The salad was nice and crunchy and went very well with the rest of the meal.


TEMTMO/ YEMISSIR

This red lentil stew marinated in berbere sauce was very good. It really had great depth of spices and flavor.


DORO AND GOMEN

This boneless chicken cooked with mustard greens was outstanding. The chicken was cooked down to a perfect tenderness, which melded really well with the cooked greens.


SHIRO

This roasted grounds peas cooked in berbere sauce is one of my favorite Ethiopian dishes. I found Asmara’s shiro very lacking. It was disappointing.


TEBSY

This dish had pan-roasted strips of beef, simmered with onion, butter, and mild spices.


MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL

Food: ☆☆☆

Service: ☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆

Cost: $$

I recommend: Temtmo/ Yemissir, Doro and Gomen


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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
Asmara Restaurant
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Ethiopian
* Street Address
5020 Telegraph Ave ((between 49th St & 51st St) ), Oakland, CA 94609
* Phone
(510) 547-5100
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Miette – Patisserie and Confiserie, San Francisco, CA

MIETTE
Ferry Building Marketplace
Shop 10
San Francisco, CA 94111
ph # 415 – 837-0300
http://www.miettecakes.com/


Miette


Miette is french for “little crumbs”. What a perfect little name for a perfect little place. Housed in the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Miette is just as adorable as it sounds. Continue reading

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Panorama of My Silent Heart Cafe, Jamaica, NYC

 

 

The Panorama of My Silence-Heart Cafe on Urbanspoon

 

This is my new favorite “hang out with your best buddy”, local spot.

Panorama Café is the most unlikely find, in this neck of the woods. It’s an artsy, warm café with a whole lot of soul.

Continue reading

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Lucky Rice Festival: Night Market 2010

DUMBO was alive with the festive smells and tastes of Asia, as the Lucky Rice Festival 2010 held it’s Night-Market event under the archway of the Manhattan bridge.



There were Asian food vendors galore, dishing out yummy samples of their tasty treats to foodies who flooded the event. A lot of the samplings were of street foods that are available at the popular night markets in Asia.

I really enjoyed this event. It was well organized and intimate. Continue reading

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53rd and 6th – Halal Cart, Midtown West,NYC

 

 

MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL

 

Food: ☆☆☆☆

 

Service: ☆☆

 

Cost: $

 

53rd and 6th Halal Cart on Urbanspoon

 


“The Best Halal. Delicious Chicken and Gyro  – We are different!” scream the yellow shirts worn by “The Gyros Guys” on 53rd and 6th avenue.

They have no official name and are known as anything from  the Halal Cart to Chicken and Rice to Platter!


There are many Halal Carts around that block but this one in particular is in a class by itself. They are known by their distinctive yellow sweatshirts and plastic bags that read ” The Best Halal……….”

They are only open at night from 7:30 PM to 4:00 AM. It doesn’t matter what time of night you go  – they always have a long line of eager night owls waiting to get their fix.

This was the line we found when we got there at 2:30 AM on a Saturday night!!



But here’s the BIG secret. They usually charge $6 for a chicken rice platter but for $10 – you get to cut the line!!!

So, if you dont want to wait and are willing to pull out the big bucks……. all you have to do is go up to the guys directly and tell them that you want the ten dollar deal!!



Needless to say their food is fabulous. There is no better way to wind down the New York night scene.

They have two options on their menu – the chicken and rice platter or the chicken gyro sandwich. Their sauces are to die for!

Apparently the recipe for their white sauce is top secret – that’s where all the flavor is and they have a kick-ass hot sauce. I’m a spice hound but you really have to take it easy on this one – its is SMOKING hot!

So delicious!!


So if you ever get those late night munchies and need a hit of something cheap and fabulous……53rd and 6th is the place to go!



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Restaurant Information


* Restaurant Name
The Halal Guys
* Overall
★★★☆☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Brooklyn / Middle Eastern other
* Street Address
6th Ave & W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
* Phone
(347) 527-1505
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