FEATURED RESTAURANT: HOLY COW
When they first opened up, everyone was intrigued by the name HOLY COW and their incredibly delicious burgers and chicken sandwiches. We consider them one of the pioneers of American Halal cuisine. Located in the Lower East Side and Elmont, Long Island they are a new burger place with high hopes to find a niche amongst the many burger joints all over New York. We, fortunately, had the opportunity to interview the franchise owner Kaveh for this month's featured Hal&Al restaurant.
How did you come about starting your brand?
It feels like today there are more and more restaurants that are Halal in practice and not "Halal" as in cuisine. A lot of New Yorkers, when they hear Halal, they think of chicken over rice and don't understand that it's not limited to certain flavors, spices, or regional dishes.
What is your restaurant's purpose in the halal restaurant industry?
Any restaurant can follow Halal standards and serve the best version of whatever dish, if that's American or French or Japanese or anything, really. I think before Holy Cow there wasn't that understanding in New York, and I like to think we led the way in breaking down the walls around Halal.
What's the most popular item at your restaurant, and why do you think it is so popular?
The Holy Chicken and the Chicken Sliders are the stars now, I think. The way we marinade the chicken, the breading, really every step of the chicken process is so important to flavor and texture - tested and perfected, down to the frying oil. My personal favorite is a spicy chicken slider, I can't get enough of the heat.
Why do you think people choose to come to your restaurant over other competitors? (What differentiates you from other restaurants)
Holy Cow puts a lot of effort into food preparation - we get a lot of complaints when it's super busy about wait times, which I understand, but we're only a fast food joint in appearance. Behind the scenes everything is cooked to order, everything comes in fresh and raw (I think hot dogs being the only exception) we cut our veggies fresh every morning and afternoon, our bread comes in fresh daily, and needless to say our meat is all hand prepared, each burger is smashed on the grill, each chicken breast is hand breaded moments before it goes in the fryer. I think once people try food like that, they understand it's not the typical fast food they're used to - processed and pre-formed, pre-cooked with stabilizers and preservatives, etc. etc. Hopefully it's worth the wait, I personally think it makes a world of difference.
What is your day to day goal in the halal restaurant industry?
If you had asked me when we started Holy Cow the answer would have been the same as today - we want to serve food at a quality level above and beyond what people are used to, regardless of whether they eat exclusively Halal, Zabiha Halal, whatever. Being Halal isn't enough - it's about consistent quality and that requires constant attention to detail. So to answer your question our goal has always been to keep our focus on our quality, always.
Why do you choose Hal&Al as your supplier?
This ties into the previous question in a big way. Holy Cow and other restaurants that are expanding peoples' understanding of what Halal can be need to be concerned with their recipes, the quality of their ingredients, and dedicated to what's going on inside their kitchens to be innovative and competitive. If I had to worry about if I could consistently get Zabiha Halal meat products, or if I had to limit my menu based on only having access to a couple of different types of Halal meat at different quality levels - I wouldn't be able to keep Holy Cow open. With Hal&Al I have a wide selection of products to try new things, I have an incredibly high standard of quality that always meets our customer's needs, and most importantly I have never had to worry about being cheated or receiving non-Halal product, which I'm sad to say has been the case with other Halal distributors. Hal&Al is a major part of Holy Cow's success, and I think the main driver of the explosion in the number of innovative Halal restaurants in New York. I'm thankful for that. Oh and any company that supplies rib-eye steaks like Hal&Al will always have my business, so there's that.
For a limited time only send us your purchase receipts from Holy Cow and receive a 10% OFF CODE for HALANDALMEATS.COM.
Send us your receipts here!
This offer expires March 30th, 2022.