The Qazweeni family is there for suhoor, the meal eaten just before daybreak when fasting resumes. But without much time left before starting their next 17-hour fast, Atekeh Qazweeni ushers her two young sons and husband toward the parking lot. This weekend at least, the IHOP suhoor run will have to wait; the family of four has to find some other place to get their early morning meal.
“When we got there, there were just so many people before us,” says Qazweeni, 43, a teacher. “The kids love their breakfast, I’m still planning to go again. This time around, we just didn’t have the time. We had to get home in time to eat and for prayer.”
This particular IHOP is situated in metro Detroit, home to one of the largest Muslim-American populations in the country. Not far from the restaurant is Warren Avenue, a food enthusiast's paradise, where a cluster of traditional eateries, including Lebanese shawarma, Iraqi pastries, and gourmet Yemeni coffee can be found on neighboring blocks. While these eateries are a popular draw during Ramadan -- often staying open late nights and into the early mornings to cater to iftar (the meal that takes place after sunset when Muslims can break from fasting) and suhoor -- certain chains have also become popular amongst the Muslim-American crowd.