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Metro Halal Food Cart(s?), Halal Kabobs in Ballston, and Perhaps Clarendon and Rosslyn


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I saw a food cart tonight in Clarendon across the street from the Clarendon metro on the block with the bank (diagonally across from Hard Times Cafe). It's called Metro Halal food cart. It had chicken and lamb dishes and gyros. I had just come from dinner so didn't try it.

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I saw a food cart tonight in Clarendon across the street from the Clarendon metro on the block with the bank (diagonally across from Hard Times Cafe). It's called Metro Halal food cart. It had chicken and lamb dishes and gyros. I had just come from dinner so didn't try it.

Yep, I saw it coming out of Eventide a couple weeks ago (walking down the same side of the street towards Courthouse) - a very simple menu and probably worth a lunch stop.

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. There sure is a proliferation of Halal offerings in the past year or so.

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I saw a food cart tonight in Clarendon across the street from the Clarendon metro on the block with the bank (diagonally across from Hard Times Cafe). It's called Metro Halal food cart. It had chicken and lamb dishes and gyros. I had just come from dinner so didn't try it.

At the moment the Metro cart is sitting in Ballston across from the Bank of America. I got the combo platter (lamb, chicken, rice, and salad) and I have to say it is delicious. Meat is tender, the rice is pretty good, and the flavor is big. The portion is huge for the cost of six dollars.

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And during non-business hours, that cart is typically parked in front of La'Jawab in the Garden City shopping center on Lee Highway.

I've never eaten from the cart, but I've been curious to known what the relationship with La'Jawab is, since in my opinion they have the best kebabs in the area (and yes, I've had Ravi many times.)

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Today, there was a Metro Halal cart parked in Rosslyn, at Wilson Blvd. and N. Lynn St. I asked the gentleman if he's always in this location, and he said yes. In other words, there are multiple Metro Halal food cards in Arlington (in case anyone wants to confirm, the one in Rosslyn is cart #52.)

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Today, there was a Metro Halal cart parked in Rosslyn, at Wilson Blvd. and N. Lynn St.

Speaking only of this one, and from a single experience, it's not very good. So many great kabob traditions around the world, and this place doesn't really seem to aim for any of them. What I got was pretty undistinguished street-fair meat-on-a-stick tasting meat (can't remember if it was beef or lamb) with lettuce, tomato and some nondescript white sauce.

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Oh I SO hope they [Pupatella] try to make that fried calzone!

I wonder if the cart will stay when the restaurant opens..? Sounds like we have some time before it becomes an issue but I really hope it does for those of us who work around there. Looks a little too far to walk to over a lunch break..

And during non-business hours, that cart is typically parked in front of La'Jawab in the Garden City shopping center on Lee Highway.

I've never eaten from the cart, but I've been curious to known what the relationship with La'Jawab is, since in my opinion they have the best kebabs in the area (and yes, I've had Ravi many times.)

I believe I've solved some of the mystery behind the Metro Halal food carts.

This morning (a snowy Saturday, when everything was closed, and all the boats were docked), there were three Metro Halal carts parked in front of La Jawab - Arlington County stickers #6, #7, and either #52 (referenced in my post above) or #57 (what I vaguely remember seeing today).

So there are indeed three of these carts, and they are either owned and operated by:

1) the same folks that own La Jawab

2) a separate owner that contracts with La Jawab (buys their food, rents their parking spaces, etc.)

I'm inclined to suspect the former, which gives us hope regarding the quoted Pupatella post (above). It makes good sense for small mom-n-pop restaurants to increase their presence by distributing these food carts around town. They have their kitchen, and are paying only one restaurant's-worth of rent; with these carts, it's almost like opening multiple restaurants without having to actually do it.

Note that Naan & Kabob closed their cart, and is opening a restaurant next year - but if they actually own their cart (as opposed to having leased it), I suspect you'll see it back on the street at some point as well, using their restaurant as a source point.

The new food trend of 2010: Struggling mom-n-pop restaurants in low-rent, low-traffic strip malls purchasing food carts, and taking their wares directly to the population centers.

Eighteen months ago, I was worried about La Jawab; I'm not worried about them so much any more. Good for them, I say - shrewd, shrewd, and a win-win.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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A couple weeks ago I spotted the husband and wife team from La'Jawab working a food cart in Ballston.

Apparently they are now running a fleet of 3 weekday lunch food carts. One at Rosslyn on the corner by the News 7 building, one in Ballston on the corner across the street and south of the pizza cart, and one somewhere near Courthouse. The one in Ballston has a very good chicken biryani. The Rosslyn cart doesn't have biryani but has an ok chicken over rice dish. I haven't been to the Courthouse cart so I can't speak to that, but the other two are pretty good lunch options for people who work in the area.

I especially recommend the biryani from the Ballston cart.

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Can anyone say with certitude that there are three Metro Halal Food Carts? I'm pretty sure there used to be, but with the closure of La'Jawab, that may no longer be the case. I believe the Ballston cart is still up and running, but does anyone know about Rosslyn or Courthouse?

Food trucks and carts are wonderful for the (brick-and-mortar) community fabric, but they are the bane of my existence when it comes to organizing this (bits-and-pixels) community.

"Brick and mortar" vs. "Bits and pixels" - I like that. :)

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