Two Queens brothers introduce a Mexican-Halal fusion with ‘Krazy Street Food’

Moe and Ahmad Parwana recently brought their Mexican Halal fusion food truck to Bayside, their hometown.
Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

While messing around in the kitchen of a Mexican restaurant one day, two Afghani brothers from Queens wondered if a taco with middle eastern flavors and elements could work harmoniously. 

They heated up a tortilla and laid down some cubed tandoori chicken coated with spices such as coriander and cumin, traditionally used in Middle Eastern dishes. They kept it Mexican by adding some lettuce, pico and cheese. To top it off, they drenched it with white sauce, a staple at every halal cart in the city. And they didn’t forget a slice of lime. 

The match made in heaven combo, which they say has never been sold before on the east coast, got their creative juices flowing needed to create an expansive menu of fusion bites. Two years later they opened up the first of its kind Mexican halal fusion spot, Krazy Street Food – a popup truck making its way around Queens. 

Their Kabuli Taco, inspired by Afghanistan’s national dish, features carrots, raisins and almonds.Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

“We realized that a lot of Muslims can’t have Mexican food because it’s not halal,” said Ahmad Parwana, the eldest of the duo. “So we changed our flavors completely to a Middle Eastern flavor, but in a Mexican style. Mexican food is always spicy so it mixes perfectly with Middle Eastern food.”

Since 2010, Ahmad and Moe Parwana have worked their way up in the catering industry on Long Island. From golf courses in Nassau County to venues in the Hamptons, the brothers have catered more than 2,000 weddings over the years. But they got their start in the kitchen learning from their parents, and watching Rachael Ray on TV, while growing up in Bayside.

When the pandemic hit, weddings came to a halt and left them out of work. When a friend who owns a Mexican restaurant offered them work, they jumped at the chance to get back into the kitchen. At the time, they already had their sights set on opening their own food truck serving halal classics like chicken and lamb over rice. But with the surprising harmony of the tandoori chicken taco, a new vision for their own business emerged. 

“The one thing I will never forget from my chefs that I learned over there [ culinary school ] was that if you think something works, believe it till the end,” said Moe, who runs their social media and is the “face of the company,” according to Ahmad. “Then from there, we just got more creative.” 

The brothers spent over a year getting the truck ready for business before their December debut on Hillside Avenue.Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

Their current menu features ‘krazy’ combos such as Gotham City which has lamb, tandoori chicken, lettuce, pico, chickpeas, french fries, white sauce, and their own ‘krazy’ sauce concoction. Almost everything on their menu, besides the distinct tacos and quesadillas, can be made in the style of a bowl, burrito or salad. 

In an ode to Afghanistan’s national dish, Kabuli Pulao, their Kabuli Town menu option features carrots, raisins and almonds on top of chicken, brown rice and salad. When deciding on spices to season their halal meat opinions, they give their grandmother a call in Afghanistan for advice. 

Other menu items are inspired by Chinese and Caribbean cuisines, such as the Krazy Dragon with orange chicken, slaw and mangos, or the Jerk Boyz which combines jerk chicken, black beans, jalapeno and pineapple. 

“Our food is something that’s different. We’re trying to show people that fusion can work in different ways,” said Ahmad from their truck covered in a graffiti style vinyl, an nod to NYC street culture.

Krazy Street Food officially debuted in the beginning of December on Hillside Ave. in Glen Oaks. But after asking their followers on social media where they should park next, the overwhelming majority said Bell Boulevard in Bayside. 

They hope to keep expanding the menu with more ‘krazy’ fusion items.Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

Coming to the heart of Bayside was a return home for the brothers who recalled attending Cardozo High School, and witnessing the area’s most popular spots open over a decade ago. 

“From what we see from customers, they love it. They come back every time trying different things off the menu. They don’t want us to leave just yet,” said Ahmad. 

But they’re already considering where their next pop location will be. They have their sights set on western Queens, and hope to continue expanding across the borough. 

For the time being, Krazy Street Food is located at the corner of Bell Boulevard and 39th Ave in Bayside, outside of Citibank. It opens everyday at noon Monday through Saturday, and closes at 9 p.m. or until they sell out. 

But on Friday and Saturday nights, they stay open until 3 a.m. to cater to the bar crawlers. The duo says that these are the customers most excited to see them in the neighborhood. 

“It feels so great to be back home. This is what I missed the most. The feeling, the energy of Bell, the people,” said Ahmad. “The food mostly.”