November 13, 2017 - Photo Credit: Newsday / Corin Hirsch
The stretch of Route 110 in Huntington Station has a new feather in its Latin-centric food cap: A takeout spot devoted to halal kebabs.
Kebab Express Halal Grill opened one block north of Route 25 in late October, and is the first Long Island eatery for an Afghan-American family who runs a string of fried chicken spots in New York City.
Owner Ramin Wahab said he is serving a patchwork menu that weaves together kebabs — lamb, kofta (made with ground chicken) and chaplee (a sort of chicken patty) served over seasoned basmati rice — with American standards like chicken wings, hamburgers and fries. A smattering of Afghan dishes such as naan, kabuli palow, shirazi tomato-cucumber salad and baklava round out the menu.
All of Kebab Express’ meat is halal, and kebab plates are scalable: You can buy a single skewer of grilled chicken breast for $3.49, the same skewer over rice, with salad, for $7.99, or a double portion for $9.99.
The fusion format stems partly from Wahab’s experience helping to run a half-dozen Kennedy Fried Chicken locations in New York City; the chain was started by an Afghan-American immigrant in the mid-1970s, and Afghan-Americans run many of its namesakes and spinoffs.
Huntington Station’s Kebab Express has about 20 seats in a tidy, tiled interior. Smoke rolled from the grill during a recent busy lunch service, rendering the air charred and aromatic. Hours run late: Kebab Express opens daily at 11 a.m., staying open until 2 a.m. every night.
If the concept works, Wahab and his family hope to expand Kebab Express to points farther east on Long Island.