By Mason Lerner
Killeen Daily Herald
Kalynn Tindall-Azim might be the most interesting woman in Killeen. She likely is the only attorney with a law degree from Columbia University running a Middle Eastern cafe in the area.
Tindall-Azim's life has been a complex series of events that led her to Hupply Pupply, which she started with her dad, Al Azim. She was born in Arizona, raised in Friendship, N.Y., and educated in an Ivy League school in New York City.
After getting her law degree from Columbia, Tindall-Azim worked as a lawyer in the oil and gas industry in New York City.
Now she spends all of her time working to get the family business off the ground.
"It has definitely been a transition from New York City," Tindall-Azim said of the move. "Eventually, I am going to take my boards in Texas. But until then, I am going to be running the restaurant."
This is actually Hupply Pupply's second incarnation. The first restaurant opened in Copperas Cove in 2004, but only lasted one and a half years.
"We had other people run it, and it just wasn't working out," Tindall-Azim said.
The first thing you need to know about Hupply Pupply is that you are probably mispronouncing its name. It is pronounced, "Hubbly Bubbly." Tindall-Azim explained there is no "P" sound in Arabic, so native speakers often pronounce a "P" as a "B."
The reasoning behind the name is simple. One of Hupply Pupply's featured attractions is the hookah, an Arab-style water pipe. On top of being a favorite selection for customers looking to relax, it is the source of the restaurant's name.
"On the hookah, there is a water filter," Tindall-Azim said. "When you smoke it, it bubbles. And the sound it makes is 'hubbly bubbly, hubbly bubbly, hubbly bubbly.'"
Hupply Pupply does not look like a typical Middle Eastern restaurant from the outside. The property's previous tenant was an old-fashioned style diner. But beyond the lunch counter lies an outdoor area that helps Hupply Pupply capture the spirit and freedom of Middle Eastern dining.
Hupply Pupply hosts two regular events in the backyard, and the facility can be rented for private parties.
"We have two events every month," said Tindall-Azim. "We bring in fire blowers, belly dancers and we give discounts. We also have a monthly birthday event, where everybody who was born in that month gets everything for free. That brings anywhere from 100 to 150 people."
Hupply Pupply supplies a flat-screen TV and Xbox for diners who need more than a fire blower to keep them entertained. They also have free WiFi, which Tindall-Azim said is available to the public.
"We have WiFi, and it is free," she said. "Even if you don't purchase anything, you can just come and hang out."
The menu at Hupply Pupply is inspired by the tastes of Egypt with Greek flavor sprinkled in. Appetizers include falafel sandwiches, baba ghanoush and hummus. The cafe offers 30 types of organic tea, Turkish coffee and a full smoothie menu. The Mediterranean Salad offers a healthy way to offset the baklava on the dessert menu.
Tindall-Azim is confident Hupply Pupply offers an experience like nowhere else in the area.
"There is one place I know (in Killeen) that serves gyros, but that is about it," she said. "Other than that, the nearest place to get authentic Middle Eastern food is in Austin."
Contact Mason Lerner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7567.
Where: 3300 Florence Road
Hours of operation: Noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday
Contact: (254) 466-2507