This post has been updated.
The Halal Guys, founded by Muhammed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka and Abdelbaset Elsayed, started as a hot dog cart in Manhattan in 1990. Now the brand has not only expanded into a family of carts that consistently draw long lines, but it also has additional bricks-and-mortar locations in New York and franchises around the world, including outposts in Springfield and Fairfax (near Dunn Loring) that are opening Friday.
Meal format options include a platter or sandwich (a pita wrap, basically); both come with your choice of falafel or halal meats (chicken or gyro). In the platter, you can request a mixture of two proteins.
Dishes can be further customized with the company's hot or white sauces, the latter being a particular favorite that has inspired much speculation as to its ingredients and attempts to re-create it at home. Fries, hummus and baklava are on the menu, as well.
The Halal Guys expansion into franchising is being facilitated by Fransmart, which has helped grow brands you may have heard of, including Five Guys and Qdoba. Additional D.C. area locations coming soon include H Street NE and another Fairfax location near George Mason University.
The Halal Guys, 6304 Springfield Plaza (in Springfield Tower Shopping Center), Springfield; 2670 Avenir Place, Fairfax. Opens Friday for lunch and dinner until 1 a.m. daily.