Bwanksgiving just got a whole lot more competitive.

As you may have noticed, the beloved Hooda Halal business has expanded into not one, but two trucks. Usually parked on 115th, the “original” Hooda has become a staple in the lives of Columbia students. Whether late at night or way too early in the morning, she has been there for us in times of need (and times of finals). However, 115th is sooo far away from both Barnard and Columbia… I mean, c’mon, one block of walking? Way out of the question. So, when another Hooda truck miraculously appeared before the Barnard gates one day, students were thrilled; tears were shed, prayers were answered, etc. After a few months of being parked in front of our lovely Barnard, it is clear that Hooda is here to stay for the time being. Therefore, the question must be answered: is the quality of food just as good at this “new” truck? Are the trucks any different at all? Your favorite bwamily went to check it out, and we leave you with our thoughts below. 

From both trucks we ordered the same meal: a chicken kebab with rice and a four-piece falafel. We actually tried to order the shish kebab, but they heard us wrong. Immediately, we felt an affinity toward the original Hooda truck on 115th, as the man who was serving us at the one outside the Barnard gates yelled at us for photographing the truck. Sorry sir, but this is important journalistic business. Minus one point for not allowing girls to be silly and whimsical. However, the bwam got over this slight and went into our meal unbiased and hungry. 

Our spread:

We are mukbang ready! (This photo was approved by the truck manager) (He took Jess’s phone to check):

Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for… our ratings.

Barnard Gates Falafel:

We have lovingly coined it with the name “shitlafel.” That’s kind of all you need to know.

We rate it a 4/10. Our consensus is that we liked the white sauce. The falafel was saved by the sauce. It was significantly browner than the other falafel for reasons we don’t understand. It also came in a massive container which a) was a waste of plastic (#savetheenvironment) and b) made the four singular falafel balls look small and pathetic.

115th Falafel:

We rate it a 7/10. We deemed it green and actually good. We decided that the green means more flavor, more color, and more texture, culminating in a wonderful falafel. Sam also went to the Middle East this summer and wants everyone to know that both of these falafels do not equate to the falafel there, so do with that information what you will. The container was also much more proportionate to the size of the falafel and came with a smattering of veggies. And a smattering of white sauce.

Us chowing down

Barnard Gates Chicken and Rice: 

We scrapped our rating system because we became too ravenous. The fries were cold but that was our fault for being confused little girls and waiting 20 minutes in the cold with our chicken. To our surprise, after we had fully bashed the falafel, we deemed this chicken better than the 115th chicken. We were so pleasantly surprised with this that we cleared our plates and scraped that chicken clean. However, the rice was bland and yellow. We will discuss later why the yellow hue of the rice makes such a difference.

115th Chicken and Rice:

We found that the fries were better, probably due to the fact that they were significantly warmer. The chicken was shocking to us. Many of us thought it was worse, potentially not cooked to our liking. But do not fear, the orange rice makes a comeback and brings the 115th chicken and rice up many notches. The orange quality of the rice, we conclude, makes it more flavorful and spiced, which we greatly enjoy.

Overall, we would recommend the 115th truck due to its atmosphere and food quality. Don’t be lazy; walk the extra block for the joys of extra sauce. We should’ve never doubted the OG (prayer hands emoji). 

Images via Authors