In College Park, there are many popular chain restaurants, including Chipotle, numerous pizza places and Ten Ren’s Tea Time Inc. However, on Route 1, one restaurant serves a fusion of Mexican, Indian and Pakistani food. At Krazi Kebob, Mughlai cuisine can be rolled into a Mexican quesadilla or burrito.
Naumaan Hamid opened Krazi Kebob in 2010. Hamid, who is originally from Long Island, New York, grew up working in his father Salaam Hamid’s Shaheen Restaurant in Catonsville, Maryland. Shaheen Restaurant is one of the oldest Indian-Pakistani establishments in the Baltimore area. Hamid also ran a Mexican restaurant before opening Krazi Kebob.
On Friday, Krazi Kebob celebrated its fifth year anniversary. Customers could purchase a $5 naan wrap or salad all-day, and the first five customers in the store at the top of every hour received a free meal.
For College Park residents that have never visited Krazi Kebob, Hamid would recommend the Krazi Classic Naan Wrap. The Naan Wrap is a made-to-order naan bread, filled with toppings and rolled together like a burrito. According to Hamid, all of the food is handmade and made fresh before being served assembly style.
“I’ve only had Krazi Kebob once, and I got the Krazi Kebob Naan Wrap with everything on it,” senior English and Jewish studies major Baylee Less said. “I don’t eat out often, but when I do eat out I like to eat there.”
Once restaurant goers select their Krazi Classic, such as the Naan Quesadilla or the Krunch, they can select their proteins and vegetables, and add toppings like basmati rice, peppers, onions and curried chickpeas. Since Hamid practices Islam, all of the meat served to customers at Krazi Kebob is halal, which means that there is little to no blood in the meat..
Halal is any object or action, which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. This law specifies what foods are allowed to be consumed, and how the food must be prepared.
“I wanted to be a business owner because I knew I wanted to be my own boss,” said Hamid, who owns numerous businesses in the College Park area, including Bread N Greens and Cafe Hookah, which are both on Route 1. “I like owning businesses because I get to do crazy things, and I get to sell what I like, and mix it up.”
Hamid opened Cafe Hookah Lounge in 2012 and recently opened Bread N Greens Sept. 18. At Bread N Greens, residents can eat or drink their salads. “I did it for fun and to employ more people,” said Hamid. At all of his establishments, during the day Hamid sees mostly locals and at night, students crowd the establishments.
All of Hamid’s employees come from diverse backgrounds. They include members of the community, high school students and university students. Hamid said he’ll even ask for the report cards of the high school students he employs and cut back their hours if they are not doing well in school.
According to Hamid, it is difficult to be a locally-owned restaurant surrounded by so many chain restaurants. “Chain restaurants have more buying power and they can reduce their prices,” said Hamid. “On the other hand, there are many people that enjoy supporting local businesses.”
Hamid also believes that his restaurant has inspired other Indian-assembly restaurants.