World Halal Day is on November 1st this year, which also happens to be a Tueday. That’s perfect for El Halal Amigos in San Jose–the Mexican cuisine restaurant is celebrating the day by combining it with Taco Tuesday for a special event featuring Halal Mexican dishes. On that day, El Halal Amigos will donate 20% of the funds from taco sales to Islamic Relief USA.
Hisham celebrates his heritage and love for Mexican cuisine at his restaurant, El Halal Amigos. The concept combines Arabic flavors with authentic Mexican dishes, and is 100% Halal-friendly. Hisham started with a food truck operation in 2020, and now has a brick-and-mortar location in the Willow Glen district of San Jose.
El Halal Amigos features traditional dishes such as street tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Fan-favorites include the Pescado Frito, which is a fried tilapia, as well as the Slow-Cooked Barbacoa Costillas, cooked in banana leaves and then falling right off the bone.
This concept can be enjoyed by the diverse Bay Area community, especially those of Islamic heritage who eat Halal by the elimination of pork in the restaurant’s recipes. Guided from inspiration from the farm lands of Zitacuaro Michoacan to the street-style cooking techniques of Mexico City, Hisham is able to cater to those who don’t eat pork while also highlighting the authenticity of traditional Mexican dishes.
According to the El Halal Amigos website, Hisham Abdelfattah’s love for cooking started when he was young, inspired by his Latin friends. Hisham, who is from the South Bay Area and has Filipino and Palestinian heritage, found his passion for Culinary Arts at a young age by helping his mom cook at home.
When Hisham was 15, he worked as a dishwasher/ prep cook. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Culinary Academy in San Francisco. By 18, Hisham had already gained a lot of experience working in various restaurants, including roles such as busser, waiter, line cook, and prep cook.
When Hisham turned 20, he was already managing restaurants. Chef Hisham’s travels to Mexico throughout his high school years led to his deep appreciation for Mexican cuisine. He has been to Mexico multiple times and loves the food and culture.
Check out the San Jose restaurant on November 1.