Halal Shack opens at the HUB

UC Riverside has a new dining possibility at the HUB with the grand opening of the Halal Shack.

The cafe, which opened on campus Thursday, Jan. 12, is the initially campus venue to element an completely halal menu. Influenced by New York City street meals, the cafe presents Center Jap and Mediterranean flavors and spices with American-model fusion.

The Halal Shack opened in the HUB on Thursday, January 12, 2023, at UC Riverside. (UCR/Stan Lim)

The addition of Halal Shack raises the variety of meals choices on campus and responds to requests for amplified halal food items alternatives for Muslim students, mentioned Kourtney Gilbert, advertising and communications coordinator for Eating and Hospitality Companies.

“Everyone’s seriously energized to have a little something new on campus,” she mentioned. “It presents a diverse eating selection with a lot more vegetarian and wholesome possibilities.”

Halal Shack characteristics a make-your-have meal strategy exactly where diners can decide on from rice, salad, zucchini noodles, or french fries to make a bowl. Diners can add chicken, beef, falafel, chickpea korma (an Afghan dish), or the plant-primarily based Unachievable meat substitution. A selection of distinctive sauces top off the bowl.

Halal Shack

An staff at the the Halal Shack prepares a bowl for a customer Thursday, January 12, 2023, at UC Riverside. (UCR/Stan Lim)

Gilbert claimed the new cafe provides to the range at the HUB, which by now features eateries that serve Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican food, along with places to eat supplying sandwiches and burgers. 

In current a long time, Dining Solutions has additional halal foods options at the Glasgow Residential Restaurant and the Barn.

Omar Aziz, director of the Middle Japanese College student Centre, stated the team has been advocating for more inclusive eating alternatives and a lot more halal food selections. A major amount of its users are Muslim and select to only eat halal meals, he mentioned.

Halal refers to meats and food items sourced and ready adhering to Islamic nutritional recommendations and is comparable to how kosher food items follows Jewish dietary regulations.

Though the campus has some halal alternatives, Aziz said it suggests a good deal to learners to know they can buy just about anything off the menu at the Halal Shack.

“It’s actually essential and excellent for our local community and our pupils that they can go ideal in, no thoughts asked, and know the foodstuff is going to be accommodating and provide them,” he mentioned.

Halal Shack

The Halal Shack opened in the HUB on Thursday, January 12, 2023, at UC Riverside. (UCR/Stan Lim)

The concept to bring Halal Shack to campus started out as early as 2018 when members of the Middle Japanese Student Heart achieved Halal Shack CEO Jamal Rasoully at a New York convention and place him in touch with Dining Services, Aziz claimed.

Those conversations ended up delayed thanks to the pandemic when the chain experienced to quickly shut down its restaurants as quite a few campuses closed and shifted to distant mastering, Rasoully mentioned. But he stated he’s glad to be at UCR now and appears to be like forward to becoming section of the neighborhood.

Rasoully opened his to start with Halal Shack at his alma mater SUNY Albany in 2017 and now has much more than a dozen places open at higher education campuses throughout the country. He expects to have 40 open up by the end of this calendar year.

The idea grew from wanting to offer speedy, healthier food solutions that reflect a motivation for a range of cuisines on higher education campuses, Rasoully stated. An Afghan American born of immigrant mom and dad, he reported he instantly felt at home with UCR’s varied campus.

“I felt an affinity to the university,” he mentioned. “I fell in like the very first time I arrived.”

Halal Shack is open up Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Obtain out far more about the restaurant and other campus eating possibilities at the Dining Services web site.
 

Trisha Anderson

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