(Video and screenshot courtesy of Rachel Good)
Halal food carts are a blight on every city. Halal is an Islamic term for its meat. But Halal carts have gone far beyond the Muslim settlements to peddle their vendors to everyone.
Aside from the dubious quality of the food, the toxic smell of burnt meat that assails you for two hundred feet in every direction, and standard of customer service last experienced by guests of Saddam Hussein, there's the notorious violence problem.
Clive Dennis, who operates a Jamaican cart on Park Row downtown, tells the Post, "It's like a mob thing—these halal guys think they're the only ones who should be selling food on the street." Dennis says that after he refused to cave, they called 311 to make bogus health-code-violation complaints about him. And when Olivia Cardosa tried to set up her Mexican truck El Rey del Sabor on West 43rd Street last month, a brawl erupted. Then last Monday Cardosa arrived to find three giant planters cemented into the sidewalk. She claims it was "the halal guys," and the landlord of the building there confirms that "somebody moved our planters and cemented them in place, so we had to chip the cement off to move them back."
But this incident takes place in tolerant Willamette where Islam got his Pharaoh on.
The owner of a downtown food cart was arrested on misdemeanor assault charges this afternoon after hurling a Gatorade bottle at a black customer and then allegedly spraying her with Sriracha.
A video taken by the alleged victim, Carlotta Washington, was provided to Willamette Week by an eyewitness. It shows Islam Elmasry, owner of the Small Pharoah's halal cart, arguing with Washington, who claims that Elmasry called her the n-word after she attempted to pay for her lunch with quarters.
A lot of the Halal food cart vendors are Egyptian. And Elmasry, based on his name and his business name, would appear to be no exception.
Washington says that Elmasry then sprayed her with Sriracha chili sauce, though that is not on the video.
"It was in my eyes and all on my skin. It was burning terribly," Washington says.
Witnesses can be heard screaming "That's wrong" while Washington asks for the police to be called before the video shuts off.
At least it wasn't acid.