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The Halal Guys sets up shop at GSU

Halal Guys
The Halal Guys in the George Sherman Union at Boston University. The pop-up will remain in The Market until the end of the semester, as part of BU’s goal to diversify food options on campus. HUI-EN LIN/DFP STAFF

The Halal Guys, the iconic American halal restaurant chain, opened a new location in the George Sherman Union March 21.

Once on campus for a two-week pop-up in 2018, The Halal Guys came back this month due to its popularity, Lynn Cody, director of marketing at BU Dining Services, wrote in an email. 

“The Halal Guys will be at The Market in the GSU through the end of the spring semester,” Cody wrote. “At that time we will reevaluate for the fall semester.” 

The return of The Halal Guys aligns with BU’s goal to diversify food options on campus.

“BU Dining designs our menus to be inclusive and sustainable,” Cody wrote. “Through our own programs in the dining halls to The Halal Guys, we are always looking to expand our food offerings to meet the needs of the people we serve.” 

Saira Saeed, a sophomore in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Sister’s Social Chair of the Islamic Society of BU, said she believes the University is doing a good job providing halal options, but the school should do more to ensure the halal food they serve is not cross-contaminated at dining hall stations.

“There’s a lot of things that are in the halal dining hall food like wine vinegar or something related to alcoholic bases or enzymes that are not plant-based,” Saeed said. “But some of the foods, even though they may be labeled halal, have those ingredients which are not essentially halal.”

Cody wrote that BU has identified recipes as halal based on guidelines established by Sargent.

“We recently analyzed our Halal menu to ensure that items marked as Halal are appropriate,” Cody wrote.

Saeed said she thinks Muslim students will be turning to BU’s late-night dining hall options as Ramadan approaches and said she hopes BU could provide healthier halal food for suhur and iftar, the meals eaten before and after fasting. 

“A lot of the stuff at late-night dining is not halal,” Saeed said. “Especially with Ramadan coming up, we have to eat suhur so most of us would probably rely on late-night dining, and we do not want to eat something really heavy.”

Cody wrote BU Dining Services is working with ISBU to provide halal food throughout Ramadan.

“In addition to expanded offerings through our Rhetty to Go program, Dining Services is working with the ISBU and local restaurants to provide food Monday-Friday for iftar throughout Ramadan,” Cody wrote.

Waleed Khan, a senior in the College of Engineering and vice president of ISBU, said he appreciates BU’s willingness to listen about diversifying halal food options.

“We really appreciate BU lending us an ear and speaking with us and their hard work and time with us,” Khan said. 

Ananya Lamba, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she thinks The Halal Guys is the best place to eat at the GSU.

“Every other place is just sandwiches and the food isn’t made well, and it’s very similar to dining hall food,” Lamba said. “This is a nice change of pace.” 

Raheeq Ibrahim, a freshman in CAS, said she believes having halal options available for students is better for everyone including Muslim students.

“I am Muslim and Ramadan is coming, I think this week, so it’s very good that they have The Halal Guys right in time,” Ibrahim said. “Anybody can eat at The Halal Guys, I think a lot of people like it.”

Herawati Teapon, a senior in the Wheelock School of Education and Human Development, said she wishes The Halal Guys had opened earlier in her time at BU and hopes it becomes a permanent fixture on campus.  

“The sad thing is I’m about to graduate in two months,” Teapon said. “But I’m really grateful that it’s here, it’s really good for other Muslim students.” 

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