Roll Em Up will feature halal-certified chicken or beef options!

This will be the company’s 14th restaurant, but it’s the first to serve halal-certified options — specifically, citrus-marinated chicken or braised shredded beef.

Roll Em Up, the taquito-centric fast food chain headquartered in Riverside, will open its newest location on Monday, July 10 at the Irvine Spectrum. This will be 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 COO 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.”

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Fonseca goes on to say that other locations will start serving halal-friendly menus at other locations in the near future.

Roll Em Up joins a growing list of Orange County eateries offering halal-compliant meals. Halal, insofar as related to meat butchering and production, means that the food is prepared according to Islamic guidelines. (Halal-certified and halal-compliant differ slightly in that the former means that it is certified halal by an Islamic regulatory body, while the latter denotes a restaurant that follows halal requirements of manufacturing and food production.)

In 2022, IHOP franchise owner Mohammad Ashraf made headlines when, after a yearslong effort with corporate, he put halal menu items on his Fullerton restaurant’s menu.

“For me, it’s a personal thing to push halal,” Ashraf said in March of this year. “I know how I feel when I have to order only fish or vegetables at a restaurant.”

Irvine’s Roll Em Up and the Fullerton IHOP are welcome additions to the list of other halal-friendly fast-food restaurants in Orange County, like Ike’s Sandwiches, which has multiple OC locations, and the La Brea Wingstop (specifically ask for halal chicken, suggests Simal Adenwala’s comprehensive Ultimate Halal Food Guide for Southern California). These fast-casual spots join a slew of fine-dining restaurants opening up their menus to a wider audience, like the Michelin Guide-recommended Khan Saab, chef Imran Ali Mookhi’s all-halal Desi spot recently featured in the Orange County Register’s 75 best restaurants in Orange County in 2022.

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