Detroit’s Best Burger is Prepared Halal in a Gas Station — Cooking in America
– [Chef] Growing up as kids,
we’d see all these burgers and hotdogs and then we
couldn’t eat the hamburger because it’s not halal. Our whole play on this was to
make classic American food, but make it halal so
everyone can enjoy it. (funky music) – How are you, I’m Mo. Nice to meet you.
– Hey Mo. – Ali, nice to meet you.
– Ali. – Come around and we’ll
have them open up for you. – I see where the secrets are right? – Secrets. This right here, Sheldon,
these are our patties. We get ’em all done every morning. – [Sheldon] Your own unique blend. – Own unique blend, own marinade, hundred percent halal beef. We use this, our spicy
mayo that we make here, and then this is the Taystee sauce. – [Sheldon] I mean, this is a
burger spot in a gas station, you guys are not holding back. – [Mo] We do everything fresh,
fresh ingredients every day. – Alright we’re gonna do the burger that got you guys the trophy. – Yes, we’re doing the nacho burger. Onions, jalapenos, hundred
percent halal beef patty. This burger has three different
kinds of cheese on it: pepper jack, swiss, we get our jalapenos and our grilled onions on there, American, and it holds it all together. Because it’s halal, we
have to use beef bacon. – We got nacho cheese at the bottom, then the whole nacho part,
you gotta get the crunch. This is my favorite part of the burger. Perfect burger right there. – The championship trophy for it right here.
– Yes sir. – We beat 20 restaurants out
with Doritos on a burger, out of a gas station.
– Alright. Detroit is one of the most
diverse cities in Michigan. – You’ve been here your whole life? – I’ve been here my whole life, born and raised here.
– Born and raised. So was Ali, both our
fathers came from Lebanon. They came, they learned, they work hard. – They built the good work ethic for us. – They always, oh, we came with nothing, We did this,
– Yeah. you guys had everything,
what are you gonna do now? – So, now we gotta make
it a little bigger. – So now we gotta keep going, we gotta take it up to the next level. We get a special cut of steak just for us that’s shredded down. It’s also marinated. We only cook it only on Wednesdays. (upbeat rock music) (heavy EDM music) – Your grandfather came here from– – He came here from
Lebanon to work at Ford, and then he just, one
day he couldn’t take it, so he started working at
a couple gas stations, and then he bought one, bought two, and started a little empire on his own. – Ali’s dad actually
got my dad his first job at one of the gas stations.
– Alright. My dad came with like 50
dollars in his pocket, couldn’t speak the language,
had to learn English. It was pretty cool how
all their hard work, and giving us good lives and– – Chance to do the same thing. – This guy was 21 at the time, but, I’m telling you, straight business genius. For real, for real.
– My man. – At that time, you were
going to culinary school. – Yup, and he actually texted me, he said, you wanna just, you know, let’s partner up, let’s do it together. I still remember that text I sent him, I was like, let’s build our burger empire. – [Ali] People are driving
from different states like North Carolina or Ohio, that have high Muslim populations, and they’ll even come eat here just because they know Taystee’s
has really good halal food. – This is the champion, – It’s the champ burger right there.
– This is the one – that you guys are known for. There’s a lot going on in there. – Yeah, oh yeah, a lotta flavor. – But it all makes
sense, you know it’s good when it gets all over your face too. Then you get the spice
and then the crunch, it’s like a big fondue
– Yeah. on top of it. And then that beef bacon. – You like that beef bacon? – I’ve never had that before. West coast fries, top it
off with nacho cheese, that Taystee sauce made
from like unicorn tears. (laughing) – It’s top secret. – And I’ve been hearing,
you’re in Detroit, you gotta do a Coney Island,
and this is the Taystee style. – Yep. – Oh yeah. And this is based on like a cheese steak. – That one sells out every Wednesday. – Beefy, but it has
that spice blend to it. I can see why it sells out, bro. – You know a lot of people were like, what, I’m not gonna go
eat at a gas station. But then they come in and
they’re like, wow okay. Being able to pump out this kind of volume and this kind of quality of food from the station has really been, has really been awesome,
– Yeah it’s been amazing. And we put pride into what we do. – There’s nothing more American than– – Burger and a hot dog.
– Hundred percent, yeah. – A burger and a hot dog
– Hot dog, exactly. and french fries. Building a spot for the community. – Being able to give them
classic American food that they can actually eat and trust it’s halal.
– In the heart of Detroit. – I know that behind that too is a family that kinda instilled those values in you too.
– Oh yeah. – My mom, for sure, a hundred percent. – Mom’s behind the counter. – No, she’s the best.
– The Taystee’s Mom. Taystee’s Mom right
there, she’s the big boss. The whole family invited me, you’ll catch my grandpa coming
and yelling at me, my dad. (laughing) So I could help Mommy too. – Now you guy’s got Detroit’s back. – It’s true, and I think
Detroit as a whole too, a lot of times big names fail here. You see a lot of small businesses, a lot of people who are running their own businesses, like Taystee’s. – I applaud you guys, your work ethic goes straight into the product. – [Cook] Like the chicken,
it’s the best chicken in the whole town, that’s what people say. – [Woman] We put a little bit mustard, so we cook it like high. When we done with that we have to fry it.