I never thought there would be halal Mexican food in the Bay Area, let alone a halal taco truck that serves birria tacos! I’ve been following El Halal Amigos since they’ve opened and I finally made it over there to try their birria tacos on Wednesday, which is the day that they serve birria, and birria only.
On Wednesdays, El Halal Amigos starts serving up birria at 4 PM until they close at 9 PM or they run out. Though I tend to have dinner on the late side, we decided to grab tacos for the family around 6:30 PM and keep them warm until dinner time. I wanted to make sure they didn’t run out! El Halal Amigos is in the Fremont Flowers parking lot and there are several parking spots in this little complex; otherwise it’s street parking in the neighborhood if you can find it (or the neighborhood across the street). If you do choose to eat there, they have a nice setup with some small tables outdoors or you can sit in these covered booths that are in a cable car! You can see it in my TikTok video below.
My sister went out to place and wait for the order while I chilled in the car. While she placed the order, they gave us strawberry agua fresca on the house, which was nice! It was really refreshing and not too sweet or too sour. It pairs well with the tacos if you want something fresh after a bite of the filling tacos. Though we ordered 4 plates, our orders came really quick! We were probably only there for a total of 10-15 minutes, which was so fast.
Okay, onto the food. If you’re not familiar with birria tacos, birria itself is a traditional Mexican stew, usually made with goat meat but can other meats can be used. The meat from the stew can be used as a taco filling and then you can dip the taco into the stew, or consomé. Quesabirria, which has become the trend, has the meat and then a layer of shredded cheese sprinkled over it, and then all of this is heated up on the stove before being served up. It’s the perfect hearty meal you’d want.
El Halal Amigos serves halal beef birria tacos and when I went a couple of weeks back, they just started serving up chicken birria! Halal meat is meat that’s permissible in Islam so it’s slaughtered in a specific way as explained in the Qu’ran. You can make a comparison to kosher foods, in that there are certain processes that require the food to be kosher, though it’s not the same criteria for it to be halal. Though I don’t strictly eat halal meat as a Muslim, I do appreciate having halal friendly options. This also ensures that nothing I can’t eat according to my religion is present in food. Some Mexican places use lard when cooking (such as in their beans), so it’s nice to be able to have spots where I know that won’t be an issue.
Each plate comes with 3 tacos, a side of consomé, and a side of their spicy NAR sauce. I wasn’t sure how filling it would be, but because the tacos are so rich with meat and the stew sauce, you actually end up pretty full after it! Luckily, there were some leftovers for the next day, heh. In both of the tacos, you get those rich stew flavors with Mexican spices, and it also pairs well with the NAR sauce, that I believe has habeñero in it – so it’s spicy! I actually ended up preferring the chicken birria over the beef because it was just cooked so well and it was tender. I know I said I was full with the 3 tacos, but I was also sad that my dining experience had come to an end. The crispy bites of taco, with the melted cheese and hearty stew is satisfying in every bite.
Since we did order them earlier than our usual dinner time, we kept them in their original plates and kept them in the oven so it would retain some of the heat. We do this often when we bring take out earlier than the planned meal time. When it was dinner time, we put all of the tacos on a baking sheet (see below) and then very lightly heated them up in the oven. I’d keep it at a very low temperature and gauge to see if they’re warm enough for you. This way they’ll retain their crispiness and get warm without getting soggy in the microwave.
Please be sure to check out El Halal Amigos if you’re in the East Bay or when they do weekend pop ups in different parts of the Bay Area! Not only will you be supporting a local business, but each month they select a charity and donate a portion of their profits to a cause! I can’t wait to revisit to try some of their other menu items like their burritos and nachos!