Food & Drink

The Halal Guys coming to Toronto!

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 14th, 2017 10:07 pm
Newbie
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Feb 9, 2011
32 posts
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Has anyone tried their location in Toronto? It recently opened up last Friday but haven't gone yet, as line ups are insane.

Thoughts? Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes

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Jul 29, 2005
5901 posts
807 upvotes
Mississauga
xblackrainbow wrote:
May 9th, 2017 9:39 pm
Maybe if you were more careful with the red sauce, you wouldnt have ruined the meal. I mean look at that. They already warn people who think they're tough foodies- surprised you didnt get the memo
Regardless of the hot sauce (and yes, I did try it without the red sauce), I still did not find it good. As mentioned the white sauce tasted like salad dressing and the meat was dry.

So, I guess if I 'got the memo', I'm supposed to find this food amazing? I mean... I'm not allowed to dislike a food that everyone else is going gaga over?
My food blog - Reggie The Food Critic.
Sr. Member
Jul 7, 2013
723 posts
276 upvotes
North York
Raggie wrote:
May 10th, 2017 2:35 pm
Regardless of the hot sauce (and yes, I did try it without the red sauce), I still did not find it good. As mentioned the white sauce tasted like salad dressing and the meat was dry.

So, I guess if I 'got the memo', I'm supposed to find this food amazing? I mean... I'm not allowed to dislike a food that everyone else is going gaga over?
I'm not here to tell you what you should like or dislike. But just don't go around calling other people sheeps when you have tried it at least 2 times yourself based on the hype lol.
Member
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Aug 26, 2007
251 posts
41 upvotes
Toronto
So I went to Halal Guys in Toronto yesterday before the Jays game, arrived at 4:50 pm and there was a line up. We waited no longer than 15 minutes to order and purchase the food.

I got the regular size combo platter, with no rice (I already had a big bowl of fried rice for lunch), extra veggies, with white sauce and a small line of hot sauce (I can't handle spicy food, but I'm trying my best to adopt more spicy food in my life). The price was $9.99 (not including taxes).

Overall, the food was average to me, I wouldn't say this is something I would highly recommend and not worth waiting in line for more than 15 minutes. The sauce was ok, nothing special to me. The hot sauce was extremely spicy to me, but then again I can't really handle spicy that well. My friend who loves spicy food even thought it was very spicy and she put a lot of hot sauce on hers. I enjoyed the gyro more than the chicken. The chicken was a bit dry. I won't be coming back anytime soon.

After we left around 5:30 there was an even longer line up, I'm sure the wait time would have been over a half an hour.
Sr. Member
Nov 7, 2012
527 posts
162 upvotes
TORONTO
Raggie wrote:
May 10th, 2017 2:35 pm
Regardless of the hot sauce (and yes, I did try it without the red sauce), I still did not find it good. As mentioned the white sauce tasted like salad dressing and the meat was dry.

So, I guess if I 'got the memo', I'm supposed to find this food amazing? I mean... I'm not allowed to dislike a food that everyone else is going gaga over?
Its basically a case of 'to each their own'.

You obviously are trying to create something with your own food blog. Your criticisms are based on your own 'tastes'. Which is totally fine. If you don't like something thats great, thats your opinion.

But critiquing other peoples tastes is dumb. Give your own opinion and thats it. If other people say they like it, then they like it, but to call them out for liking it... come on.

Yeah there's hype, so effing what? Are you jealous you didn't come up with the idea? So what if Apple has a bajillion 'sheep' buying their product. How does it affect your life? If it does by just sheer hype there's something wrong with your perception of life.

Are you highly critical of certain ethnicities if they eat a certain food that you many feel repulsed by?

Anyway, I don't even know why I bothered commenting towards you. Sorry...


Back to the original topic:

I had HG last Saturday. Same taste as my NYC experience. White sawse is the same(tasty), portions are smaller (albeit its not from a food cart), red sauce remains a bum hole firehazard, and lineups aren't too bad. IMO, it does deliver the same taste. But when/if the franchise owners decide to keep this open later at night it might eventually fail. HG chicken and rice isn't some exotic food. To me it's the perfect after club, i'm totally smashed but i'm so hungry street meal. If you've ever been to NYC and had a night of drinking, HG is the perfect spot. This is what the Toronto location needs to do. If they opened up near King W. or Queen W. until 3/4AM they would destroy it!

Again, HG is not some culinary wonder.... it's drunk food/street food.... I'd take this over going to Georges Chicken in a heartbeat.... damn.... I'm getting a hankering for some chicken and ribs
Sr. Member
Apr 29, 2014
554 posts
90 upvotes
Pickering, ON
I was wondering if it compares to the New York location?
Deal Fanatic
Jul 10, 2003
6647 posts
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No, the line is too long. Also, there's already a huge Halal Guys thread.
Deal Addict
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Nov 13, 2010
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Scarborough
what cheap rice are they using? Must be that fat and small grains just like those shawarma places.

Can't pay that much for rice and lettuce with few shreds of meat.

Not worth it, all these shawarma places are a ripoff. Even the doner kebabs in Germany/Austria are much better any day!
Deal Fanatic
Jul 10, 2003
6647 posts
1002 upvotes
My parents just pointed out that Ramadan is in 12 days, so the place will probably die down during the day starting on the 26th. Just walked by and still a huge line.
Jr. Member
Apr 14, 2017
178 posts
58 upvotes
DT Calgary
Had this voodoo meat with rice the other day, pretty standard food. Can't imagine why you'd line up for this, but then again, people line up for Tim Hortons coffee.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 24, 2005
5038 posts
656 upvotes
LNahid2000 wrote:
May 14th, 2017 5:43 pm
My parents just pointed out that Ramadan is in 12 days, so the place will probably die down during the day starting on the 26th. Just walked by and still a huge line.
their customer base doesn't seem to be one that cares about that stuff. they're not in an ethnic enclave.
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Aug 3, 2006
3628 posts
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I was there at lunch today. $13 for a plate. Inside, half the seats were empty. But there was still a line out the door. Okay then, a lot of people get takeout. Yes, but also the service is really slow which is the real reason for the ongoing lines.
Newbie
Jun 7, 2009
94 posts
13 upvotes
Toronto
Raggie wrote:
May 8th, 2017 6:57 am
Why and how is the fake cart 'fake'? Are these vendors passing themselves off and calling themselves as 'Halal Guys'? Or are they just selling the same type of food? You're not able to identify the real from the 'fake'?
They wear the same color shirts, have similarly shaped banners, and are very clever with their advertising. They'll have signs like "Halal Express Line" in a very close yellow and red that resembles the halal guys colors and fonts.

They sell the same type of halal food, since halal food has replaced the hot dog in NY as the street cuisine of choice for most residents.

If you know, you're able to easily identify them, but if you're a tourist, you can easily be misled.

Just know that the one diagonally across from the Hilton is always the real deal, as is the cart on 53rd and 7th. The Halal guys operate 4 carts in a 2 block radius around 53rd St and 6th Ave. The famous location is only the real deal when they set up shop post 7:30 PM until 4:30 AM.
Newbie
Jun 7, 2009
94 posts
13 upvotes
Toronto
Raggie wrote:
May 8th, 2017 10:09 am
But why is Halal Guys the only shawarma place? Now that they have one location in Toronto, they are now considered the only legit place? Are they the originators of this type of food? Can I say that I attest that Halal Guys is nothing special, and there are many shawarma places here that are much better?

Halal Guys sure know how to market!
Halal Guys is not known for shawarma (for Toronto purposes) or NY Halal Cuisine in general.

First off, NY Halal and Toronto shawarma are made for two different palates.

Secondly, Halal Guys is a specific example of NY Halal that became famous through word-of-mouth before they expanded via franchising. Halal Guys is famous for their specific rendition of NY Halal.

Comparing Halal Guys to Toronto shawarma is obviously allowed (who are we to tell you otherwise), but it's like comparing an asian pear to a bosch pear. Sure, they're both pears (read: middle eastern food), but they have very distinctive taste profiles and textures, and are considered two different sub-genres (Toronto Shawarma vs. NY Halal) which should be recognized for their differences, instead of cross-comparing as the same type of food. All chinese food tastes the same, amirite?

However, judging by your picture of your wasted halal plate, I believe you went to the legit one, and you're more than entitled to your own opinion of Halal Guys.

Advice for people visiting NY and trying Halal Guys: Get 1 mix plate for 2 people. It is a lot of food.
Newbie
Jun 7, 2009
94 posts
13 upvotes
Toronto
ar2020 wrote:
May 9th, 2017 11:17 pm
True that's wayyyy too much hot sauce and I eat spicy. You only need a drop or two of theirs and you will still be sweating.
Lol....if you guys have only been to NY recently, you guys missed out on the original owner's red sauce........At least twice the strength of the current version.

I used to drown my plate in it......and hate my life immediately afterwards. Masochistic streak.

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