Chik-FIl-A claims to have invented the chicken sandwich. Proving that claim is beyond the scope of this blog, but we certainly can address whether their chicken is halal!
One of Chik-Fil-A’s known suppliers is Perdue Farms, which does offer a halal product. Unfortunately, even of Chik-Fil-A were using the halal product line, there’s no guarantee that it would be in use at any given time at any given location.
Perdue Farms is a national supplier of chicken, and has an entire product line dedicated to halal chicken. The chicken is certified by Halal Transactions of Omaha (see our Certifiers section), which certifies machine-cut chicken. Note that not all chicken from Perdue Farms is necessarily halal certified.
Fed only a 100% Vegetarian Diet with No Animal By-Products, PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® halal chicken is raised and slaughtered under strict halal law, which, among other restrictions, prohibits the use of any animal by-products.
Perdue offers a marketing PDF which lists all their halal products in a handy table:
Roll-em-up Taquitos is a multi-state franchise chain HQ-ed in Riverside CA, specializing in (as you may have guessed) taquitos. While most locations are not halal, the new location opening at the Irvine Spectrum Mall will have halal beef and chicken, as per the franchisee’s request:
Roll Em Up, the taquito-centric fast food chain headquartered in Riverside, is opening its newest location today, July 6 at the Irvine Spectrum. This is the company’s 14th restaurant, but its first to serve halal-certified options — specifically, citrus-marinated chicken or braised shredded beef.
“This was a request by our Irvine franchise owner,” says Roll Em Up CEO Sam Fonseca. “We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to try our taquitos. If we make adjustments by making some of our menu halal, then we can invite new customers into our restaurants.”
That’s a great attitude and a smart move by the franchise from a marketing perspective. So head over to the Spectrum and get your taquitos on!
Great segment on CBS Sunday Morning featuring the Blogfather Shahed Amanullah (of Zabihah.com fame) and the team at Muslim Foodies!
Halal meat is becoming a popular meat of choice at restaurants across the country – from Chinese, Italian, Korean and Mexican to Jewish delis and BBQ eateries, all dished up with a halal meat. Correspondent Jim Axelrod reports. #halal#halalmeat#muslimfoodies
First Light Farms is a New Zealand collective of farmers who raise Wagyu cattle, producing the highest-quality beef that is also certified halal. According to their FAQ, the certifying agency in New Zealand is the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).
The most well-known user of First Light beef is the incredible HiHo burger chain, which arguably makes the best burger in the world. We reviewed HiHo’s original Santa Monica location, but they have since added locations in Studio City, Mid-Wilshire, and Marina Del Rey.
Another First Light restaurant is Matu in Beverly Hills, which serves Wagyu steaks (and now has a lunch option for a Wagyu Philly cheesesteak).
First Light Beef is unparalleled in quality and healthy eating – at least, as much as red meat can be. In addition to being certified Halal, their beef is also certified humane and sustainably raised with no antibiotics, GMOs, or hormones. The grass-fed beef is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and the farmers use low-density rotational grazing to reduce the carbon footprint of the beef to practically zero. Farmers who want to join the collective have to and meet strict requirements.
In other words, this is the ultimate beef regardless of whether you are eating halal or not!
Matū is a steakhouse in Beverly Hills that exclusively serves First Light beef – the same halal beef used by HiHo burgers. They are now introducing a new Wagyu Philly Cheesesteak for lunch which sounds amazing:
Beginning Wednesday, November 9, Beverly Hills’ Wagyu restaurant Matu will finally be open for lunch. The lunch menu features just a single dish: Wagyu Philly cheesesteak with freshly fried potato chips.
In September, Matu did a trial run of this new lunch cheesesteak. The sandwich is made with grass-fed Wagyu from First Light Farms, melted Cooper Sharp Cheese, grilled onions, and roasted hot pepper on a bun baked in the kitchen. If walking into Matu during the early dinnertime hours, the cheesesteak is also available at the bar from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Starting Wednesday, Matu’s lunch is available for dine-in at the bar, or for pick-up via Postmates, with delivery available soon.
Matū is a Māori (Indigenous New Zealand) word that means “essence, the gist of the matter, richness” and is pronounced ‘mah-too’ (equal emphasis on both syllables and an elongated “u” at the end).
In a nod to Wagyu’s Japanese lineage, Matū offers a series of composed dinners that could be considered steak Omakase, with menus that showcase various cuts of beef in a variety of preparation methods.
While many guests choose one of our Wagyu Steak Dinners, many guests also simply order from our la carte menu.
Shake Shack is one of the most popular franchise burger chains in the world. There have been numerous sources that have stated that Shake Shack uses Creekstone beef. Unfortunately, Creekstone is not the sole supplier of beef to Shake Shack in the US, so there is no guarantee that your burger at Shake Shack is actually halal. Here’s the official response from the corporate Twitter account to multiple inquiries from Muslim foodies:
Saqib Shafi of the famed MuslimEater blog also has a couple of articles about Shake Shack, which includes direct emails from the company saying much the same thing. These articles are no longer available on MuslimEater.com, but we have provided Internet Archive links and PDF copies below for posterity.
Shake Shack Is Not Halal in the US, But Some Day Could It Be? (9 November 2014, Saqib Shafi) | Link | PDF
Shake Shack Says They Are Not Halal In Chicago Or The US, Here’s Why They Need To Be (26 December 2014, Saqib Shafi) | Link | PDF
The Cheesecake Factory is a national, well-known brand that does not serve halal meat (as far as anyone knows). However, some of the cheesecake flavors are made with halal beef gelatin. Below is an email from the Cheesecake Factory that is standard boilerplate regarding which flavors are halal. Note, some of these may change over time so the best practice is to call ahead to your local outlet and inquire if the flavor that you have your eye on from the below list is still made with the halal gelatin or not. Also, note the comment at the end about vanilla extract. As always, you have to make your own decision regarding what is acceptable and what is not.
Thank you for your interest in The Cheesecake Factory. As with most high end pastries and desserts, when needed, we use gelatin over a host of gums and artificial additives.
Below I have included a list for cheesecakes that “do” and “do not” contain animal gelatin for your convenience. For those that contain gelatin, it is Halalbeef gelatin. They are all delicious, and we hope you will find a flavor to enjoy!
Cheesecakes that DO NOT contain animal gelatin: Original Cheesecake Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake Reese’s® Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake Toasted Marshmallow S’Mores Galore Cheesecake Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Salted Caramel Cheesecake Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake Hershey’s® Chocolate Bar Cheesecake 30th Anniversary Chocolate Cake Cheesecake Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake Very Cherry Ghirardelli® Chocolate Cheesecake Cinnabon® Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake Tiramisu Cheesecake Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake Adams Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake Low-Licious Cheesecake Low-Licious Cheesecake with Strawberries Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Caramel Pecan Turtle Cheesecake Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake Celebration Cheesecake Chocolate Caramelicious Cheesecake Made with Snickers® Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pumpkin & Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecakes (seasonal)
Note: Our cheesecakes contain Vanilla Extract, which contains alcohol, yet it’s evaporated during the baking process. Thank you again for your inquiry. Should you have further questions, please feel free to contact us anytime. We appreciate your interest and look forward to serving you soon!
Irfan Rydhan and Abbas Mohamed are the brains behind The Artistic Foodies podcast, which is “a journey into life through the lens of food and art.” These two scruffy overachieving goofballs have scored interviews with Muslim artists such as Wajahat Ali, Kamran Pasha, and Zaki Hasan, to name just a few. They also did a two-part series on The Fiqh of Food which is worth highlighting. Check it out below!
Dave’s Hot Chicken is the biggest halal success story of our times. From a simple pop-up stand in North Hollywood to a nationwide and soon, global franchise, there’s a good chance there’s a Dave’s near you (and far too many locations to add to the Map).
According to the Zabihah.com entry, Dave’s has been certified halal by Halal Transactions of Omaha. The chicken used by Dave’s is machine-slaughter, not zabiha hand-slaughtered, however.
Dave’s Hot Chicken has sold halal chicken tenders since it launched as a pop-up in an East Hollywood parking lot in 2017. According to co-founder Arman Oganesyan, religious practice didn’t motivate the decision — to the four Dave’s founders, the halal tenders were simply a better product.
“We realized that any brand of halal was much better: Chicken would come out of the box much more tender, much more juicy,” Oganesyan said. “We had a brining process, and we had to do a lot less of our brining process because the chicken was so easy to work with.”
LA Times, https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2022-05-10/ihop-ramadan-halal-specials-become-permanent
The Halal Shack is a new concept chain restaurant that is targeting college campuses nationwide. The menu includes bowls, wraps, and fries, and you can choose your type of meat. The options include halal beef and halal chicken, though the menu also has vegetarian options like falafel and Impossible meats. There is a BBQ Chicken option on the menu but it is not explicitly labeled halal.
Check out their Locations page for more information on the closest one to you. Note, that not all locations have been added to The Map.
Raising Cane’s is a national chicken chain with an amazing restaurant and a near-cult following. There are several sources that imply that Raising Cane’s is halal. However, our analysis and inquiry was not able to confirm halal status.
The evidence for halal boiled down to a few sources:
An entry on Zabihah.com for a Gurnee, IL location whose staff verbally confirmed halal status (in August 2022)
However, this is not very authoritative. The Zabihah entry is only for one location and it is unclear whether that really appliest to all locations nationwide. There is also an article about Cane’s overseas expansion that goes out of its way to mention how the Middle East locations are securing halal status, but that doesn’t really imply anything about US suppliers.
In order to get a definitive answer, we used the contact form on Raising Cane’s website and directly asked whether the food is halal. The exchange can be viewed online and is also saved below for posterity.
Company reply (9/16/2022 12:42:23 PM Central ST) Dear Aziz, Hello, thank you for contacting Raising Cane’s®.In response to your inquiry, our Restaurants and quality Chicken Finger meals are not certified Halal or Kosher. Thank you for your interest in Raising Cane’s! ONE LOVE™Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers® Customer Relations
Your message (9/16/2022 6:54:26 PM Central ST) Hello, is it possible to know your chicken supplier? even if the chicken is not certified halal, I am curious if it may still be from a halal source. Thank you 🙂
Company reply (9/16/2022 7:30:31 PM Central ST) Dear Aziz Poonawalla, Hello, thank you for contacting Raising Cane’s®. Raising Cane’s® purchases chicken from multiple sources across the country, to ensure we only serve the highest quality, always fresh chicken. All of our poultry is raised and processed in USDA inspected plants, in accordance with the processing guidelines established by the USDA’s Humane Slaughter Act, and the National Chicken Council. However we currently don’t have any Halal on our selections yet. Thank you for allowing us to serve you, and we look forward to serving you again. ONE LOVE Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers® Customer Relations
Based on the above, it seems possible that Cane’s chicken may sometimes be halal, but also likely to sometimes not be halal. There is no way to verify halal in a systematic and consistent manner. As always, it boils down to your personal comfort level.
UPDATE 2 (8/5/2020): Crescent Foods has provided the following clarification:
Crescent Foods is the exclusive supplier of hand-slaughtered products from Wayne. Wayne Farms produces Mechanically Slaughtered halal products that are not associated with any Crescent Foods Hand Slaughtered branded products.
In other words, if a restaurant has Wayne Farms halal, then that isn’t a guarantee it is hand-slaughtered halal. However, if the restaurant uses Crescent Foods, then that is hand-slaughtered. Wayne Farms produces both types of halal chicken, and Crescent is the exclusive supplier for their hand-slaughter product.
UPDATE (7/27/20): Crescent Foods has reached out to me to indicate that the information below is not accurate. I have asked for clarification and will update the post accordingly. The original post was based off of their joint press release, which is quoted below, but may not be on their websites any longer.
Crescent Foods has entered into a partnership with Wayne Farms, to take over the slaughter process for chicken. The impact of this is that Halal restaurants that use Wayne Farms will soon have 100% hand-slaughtered halal chicken instead of mechanically-slaughtered halal chicken. For example, Dave’s Hot Chicken here in SoCal will soon be hand-slaughtered. This is pretty amazing news no matter where you fall on the zabiha fiqh spectrum.
Atlanta, Georgia-based chicken producer Wayne Farms LLC announced an expansion of Halal-compliant, frozen chicken product offerings for foodservice, deli, retail and club customers in conjunction with Crescent Foods, a known leader in the Halal market segment. The product offerings include a boneless skinless chicken breast fillet, which is immediately available at east coast Costco Wholesale stores and becoming available in Midwest Costco Wholesale stores in October, as well as other fully cooked and par fried items. The Crescent Foods brand means the products are produced in accordance with the highest Halal standards through practices and attributes that go above-and-beyond requirements for conventional Halal offerings.
Many conventional Halal products permit mechanical slaughter of chickens; the inclusion of animal by-products in feed; antibiotic use; and do not require animal welfare certification.
Instead, premium Crescent Foods chicken products feature practices which expand standards to include:
Skewers Halal is run by the same owner as Raz’s Italian in West Hills. Their chicken and rice is as at least as good – and arguably better – than Halal Guys, and their halal pizza is great Saturday night dinner solution. The menu also has other great Afghani dishes like chapli kabaob and bolani bread.
They are also experimenting with other dishes, like the new Nashville-style chicken sandwich. Unlike other “Nashville” style chicken sandwiches, this uses hamburger buns, and is not a chicken tender, but rather a chicken breast that has been lightly breaded and fried. The batter is spiced but not spicy. Therefore, it isn’t really a direct analogue to the other types you find elsewhere, but stands on its own as a great, tasty sandwich that is a lot easier to obtain and cheaper to boot. It’s worth asking to skip the cheese however.
The owner, Raz, is always behind the counter and eager to make sure you leave happy.
This is an unassuming Lebanese spot in a strip mall off of Balboa road. They specialize in mana’ish (flatbreads) and mediterranean cuisine – in particular, the chicken shawarma is absolutely excellent. They also have other unique dishes, such as Adjarski, which is a boat-shaped bread full of cheese and sunny side up eggs. Almost every dish is big enough to share.
Pavilions Supermarkets carry a line of halal ground beef, ground lamb, and steaks at most of their locations. There are two brands, Open Nature and O Organics, both of which advertise as grass-fed, no antibiotics “ever”, and no hormones (in practice, this actually means no added antibiotics or hormones). The items in stock all had a prominent halal seal on the reverse of the packaging. Sometimes the seal on a package is obscured by secondary layers of stickers. Pavilions is part of the same Albertson’s family of supermarkets that includes Safeway, Randall’s, Vons, Jewel/Osco, and others, all of which are likely to carry one or both of these in-store brands.
Dave’s Hot Chicken started out as a pop-up on the streets of LA and rapidly expanded to multiple locations. This is Nashville-style fried chicken, marinated in buttermilk and intended to be spicy. Around mealtimes, the lines are out the door, but move quickly. Finding a place to sit around then is going to take even more time, and parking is probably impossible. However, they are open till 1 AM.
Dave’s has a simple menu: Combo of fries and chicken sliders, or combo of fries and chicken tenders. You can add an additional tender or slider to any combo. Select your spicy level from “none” to “reaper” (I went with the middle option, “medium” and it was flavorful but not spicy. For kick, start with “Hot.”)
The line was long, but moved quickly. Waited about 30 minutes on a weekday at 7:30 PM.
The bottom line: Based on direct emails from Creekstone itself, we have a best-of-both-worlds confirmation that all Creekstone beef is both slaughtered and certified halal. See Update 2 below for more detail.
In 2022, the MuslimEater blog retired, so the original articles are no longer directly available for reference. However, the Web Archive links are currently active, and we have reproduced the original articles in PDF below for posterity. Below are these archive links and PDF downloads.
Creekstone Beef Served in Top Restaurants Around America Is Halal (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2014) | Link | PDF
The Ultimate List of Restaurants that Carry Creekstone Farms Beef (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2014) | Link | PDF
How to Order Creekstone Farms Beef at a Restaurant in a Halal Manner (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2014) | Link | PDF
The Story of How Creekstone Farms Held Their Ground Against Islamophobia (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2014) | Link | PDF
Everything You Need To Know About Creekstone Farms Beef Being Halal (Saqib Shafi, 9 June 2015) | Link | PDF
How People Reacted to the News that Creekstone is Halal (Saqib Shafi, 3 September 2014) | Link | PDF
Is My Meal Really Halal When I Order Creekstone Beef? (Saqib Shafi, 3 September 2014) | Link | PDF
In addition, there is some debate on the Creekstone Farms slaughter method. Links to the debate are provided here:
Multiple Scholars Agree Creekstone Farms Slaughter Method is Halal (Saqib Shafi, 3 September 2014) | Link | PDF
Creekstone Halal Controversy (Anonymous, 5 September 2014) | Link | PDF
Is Creekstone Farms Beef Slaughtered Using the Vertical Cut? (Saqib Shafi, 15 September 2014) | Link | PDF
Creekstone Farms Beef update and proof of the Halal standards of HTO (Halal Transactions of Omaha, 12 September 2014) | Link | PDF
Creekstone Farms Beef update and proof of the Halal standards of HTO (Halal Transactions of Omaha, 7 May 2020) | Link | PDF
My personal opinion is that the allegations made in the anonymous blog have no merit, since they are exhaustively refuted by both Saqib’s posts and the posts by HTO. A more recent controversy arose on Whatsapp in early 2021, which was also refuted (see Update 1 below for more details).
UPDATE 2 (NOV 2021)
This update shares additional messages directly from Creekstone that unequivocally state that all their beef products are indeed slaughtered and certified halal. Scroll down below for the original post from Jan 2020 and the update from May 2021.
We have a response from Creekstone! Thanks to Mairaj from the Halal.ist WhatsApp group – see these screenshots of emails from Courtney Capps, the Ecommerce support specialist at Creekstone.
Email 1Email 2Email 3Emails from Creekstone Beef, November 2021, that verify that all beef products are halal slaughter and are also certified.
Email 1 asks the question – even if some meat is not certified halal, was all meat slaughtered halal? Email 2 includes a first reply that says, all Creekstone beef is slaughtered halal. The follow-up question is also asked, is all beef certified halal? Email 3 has the second reply from Creekstone, which verifies that all Creekstone beef is also certified halal.
All of our beef products are slaughtered to Halal standards. […] All of our beef products are certified Halal.
Courtney Capps, Ecommerce Support Specialist, Creekstone Farms
Remember – certification is a process by which a third party inspects to verify that beef is actually being slaughtered in halal fashion, according to some authority on fiqh. You can certainly disagree with that authority, in which case you would not trust that certification. Certification costs money, so it is understandable is a supplier would not want to pay for certification in some instances. The halal authority for Creekstone is Halal Transactions of Omaha and you can decide how authoritative they are for yourself – as Email 2 says, you can inquire directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their website for more information.
Based on the above emails, however, we have a best of both worlds confirmation that all Creekstone beef, not just some, is both slaughtered and certified halal.
UPDATE 1 (MAY 2021)
This update addresses some debate on WhatsApp groups about whether ALL beef really is halal or not. The short version is: I found no evidence to assume it is not halal. Scroll down below for the original post from Jan 2020.
On several halal WhatsApp groups, including the WhatsApp group for Halal.ist (click this link to join), some discussion has arisen which casts some uncertainty on Creekstone.
The basic assumption until now has been that ALL of Creekstone beef is slaughtered in the same way, by a Muslim. However, it was known that Creekstone does not certify all of its beef product lines as Halal (via HTO). Only some of their beef product lines are marketed as halal, so Creekstone only pays for certification for those product lines. The assumption of all beef being slaughtered in the same manner is why generally, Creekstone beef is considered to be halal regardless of whether the actual beef product has been certified halal. For example, the beef used by Dog Haus comes in Creekstone boxes but these boxes are not explicitly marked as halal certified.
Keep in mind that the definition of halal is the method of slaughter. Certification does not make it halal – certification merely verifies that it is halal.
Here are the two WhatsApp messages that have caused the current controversy:
 Creekstone is now questionable. Previously it was understood that all their meat is halal even if it labeled as such. Recently it was brought to light by reliable sources (I previously mentioned in this group) that is not always the case and they have both halal and non-halal meat. The vendors/ restaurants have to specially ask for halal meat (which many do) for them to supply it to them. Otherwise you would have to assume that not every creekstone is halal unfortunately
 Salaams. This was based on a clubhouse discussion featuring Sameer Samsart (Sameer’s Eats) and Shahed Amanullah (Zabihah.com) who both shared first hand accounts of talking to restaurant (steak house) owners who order from creekstone directly as well as butcher inside creekstone facility on east coast. Sameer also took a tour inside and saw separate halal slaughter section and was told they only bring in the muslim “blessers” to do the islamic slaughter when they have halal orders to fill. They clearly stated that not ALL creekstone beef was slaughtered according to Islamic practice and only some based on orders they have. This is different from what the creekstone rep stated via email which I’m sure some of you have seen which stated that ALL beef is slaughtered as halal but not all are labeled or given the halal certificate. Thus there is clear doubt on the matter. Recommend to ask each respective restaurant if they order specifically halal meat from creekstone. Some steak houses do request it based on their demand. But Doubtful that all restaurants do that. So unfortunately we cannot assume all creekstone is halal.
(Halal.ist WhatsApp group, May 13, 2021 – cross posted from Bay Area Halal Foodies and SoCal Halal)
This caused quite a stir, as one might expect!
The key point being made here is that it is possible that not all the beef is slaughtered by a Muslim. In response, Muslim blogger Zain provided a link to his extensive analysis from May 2020 in which he analyzed other critiques of Creekstone’s certification. This is an excellent post that goes into detail to prove that Creekstone does indeed have Muslim slaughtermen on payroll and that the methodology of Halal Transactions of Omaha (HTO) is Islamically mainstream (though there is always room for disagreement, you cannot be faulted for deciding that the certification is valid).
However, this article does not address the basic question. Is ALL beef slaughtered at Creekstone done so by a Muslim? If so, then whether beef from Creekstone is certified or not, does not matter. That’s the assumption we all had been making all this time.
There are conflicting anecdotes that go either way. For example, a message from one friend:
I came to know about this a few years ago at a restaurant in Vegas and they said the same thing. At which point I called creekstone to only get confirmation of the above.
and in reply, a message from another friend:
I was in Vegas the week before Ranadhan and actually I was told exactly the opposiote [sic]. Same Restaurant. The Restaurant told me it was Halal.
This confusion could stem from the same basic issue of assuming all beef is halal vs only knowing for sure that the certified beef is halal. Neither of the friends above was able to inspect the actual box from which their steaks came, to see if it had the halal certification.
People have asked Creekstone this question directly in the intervening years since the original Muslim Eater revelation. For example, see this screenshot of a response from Creekstone in May 2020, shared on WhatsApp, and also posted to Reddit:
This language used by Mrs. Every is boilerplate, as other people have also emailed and gotten near-identical replies. The key statement here is “All beef products here are slaughtered according to the same standards for certification.” This message was dated May 2020, but others have received similar messages earlier, in October 2018. So Creekstone has been consistent in their reply.
Today, May 14, 2021, I have emailed Creekstone with my own question, in which I have tried to be more direct:
Our understand [sic] was that all your beef products are slaughtered in the same manner, with a Muslim slaughterman, but the resulting meat is packaged into different product lines, some of which are then certified by Halal Transactions of Omaha, and other product lines which are not certified. However, all of Creekstone’s beef products are indeed slaughtered in the same manner by a Muslim slaughterman. Is our understanding correct? Recently a rumor has arisen that says the opposite – that some of your beef products are not slaughtered in the Muslim manner. Accordingly, only the products explicitly certified as halal are the ones which can be definitively assumed to be halal, and any beef product from Creekstone not labeled as certified, may in fact not have been slaughtered by a Muslim. Please advise as to which of these scenarios is correct. As you might imagine there is a very large degree of interest in the Muslim community, with repercussions for many restaurants who currently enjoy loyal Muslim clientele due to Creekstone sourcing of beef.
I am hoping for a response next week and will update the post. However, in the meantime, what do all of us post-Eid halal-hungry folks do?
I am not a scholar. I can only share my reasoning, with the understanding that it may change as new information comes to light.
First, the messages on WhatsApp are not first-person narratives. At least one person has directly contradicted them, pointing out that Creekstone doesn’t have any facilities on the East Coast (I have not verified this one way or the other). I have reached out to the individuals named in the messages and will likewise update this post if I get new information back.
Second, we have a reliable history of Creekstone stating that ALL their beef is slaughtered in the same manner, for halal certification. This is a direct source, if slightly outdated (the most recent being about a year ago, unless I get a reply to my inquiry).
Accordingly, I am personally inclined to continue to trust that all beef is halal at Creekstone. That could change overnight if and when I get a reply to any of my inquiries. However, at present, I don’t think that the burden of proof has been met. I would need first-hand confirmation. Otherwise, it is no more than an Internet rumor.
Your mileage may and surely does vary. I will update this post with any information I receive. My own thinking may evolve as well. But for now – I plan to enjoy a hot dog at Dog Haus this weekend. And I will keep Creekstone restaurants on The Halal Map for the time being.
Original Post (JAN 2020):
Creekstone Farms is certified by Halal Transactions of Omaha. All their beef is slaughtered according to the same halal method, but only beef packaged for explicit Halal branding is certified. Always call ahead to verify that they still use Creekstone beef (and for which dishes). However, meat at BBQ restaurants is often contaminated by preparation alongside pork, even when using halal origin beef.
This list is based off of searching for “Creekstone” on Google and Yelp. So it may not be totally up to date, is always subject to change, is usually for select beef items on menus only, and requires calling ahead to verify with each restaurant availability and no cross contamination of meats or use of alcohol in dishes.
For other posts by MuslimEater about Creekstone, including the story of how the company stood firm in the face of Islamophobia, see the other posts at MuslimEater.com.
HiHo’s claim to fame is 100% Wagyu, grass-fed beef. Due to the smaller patty, the burgers are only available as doubles or triples, served alongside twice-fried french fries, house-made desserts, and craft sodas and milkshakes. The burgers are intensely flavorful, and come in two varieties, a “classic” with just beef, cheese, and ketchup, and a “HiHo” with house-made sweet pickles and onion jam. Burgers can be customized as desired and also have a “make it spicy” option which adds a pleasant, restrained kick.
The double burger is somewhat small, but the triple is an overly dense stack of meat and cheese that may not appeal to everyone. Recommended to get a second double if you are still craving after your first. The fries are sized for sharing. There are no combos on the menu, everything is a la carte.
The Santa Monica location is conveniently located across from a parking garage and one block from the 3rd Street Promenade. Seating is limited but turnover is fairly high.
This small, bright pizzeria serves up authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas cooked for 90 seconds in a wood-fired oven, with incredibly unique pizzas reflecting different cultures. They have won numerous awards and have been featured in most of the Los Angeles food magazines, but still remains reasonably-priced.
First-time visitors are offered a brief lecture and a free soda/drink. They take their pizza very seriously – the gourmet pizzas are ordered as-is, without customization. It’s a very tiny space so you need to be willing to sit with other people at the long tables. Visit enough times and you will be offered pizzas from their “secret menu” – but ordering an Istanbul (lamb and cucumber), a Tikka Masala (tandoori chicken), and a Fungi Lama (mushroom) is essential on every visit. One hungry person can eat one entire pizza, so order several varieties and share.