Fojol Bros. debut Ethiopian food truck
The guys behind the popular Fojol Bros. of Merlindia Indian food truck have been hinting at a new mobile operation for a while, but kept the details under wraps. The new truck debuted alongside the original on Saturday, so it's a secret no longer: Welcome Fojol Bros. of Benethiopia to the streets of D.C.
As you may have guessed, it serves Ethiopian food. Overseeing the operation is 31-year-old Russell Bailey, a high school friend of Fojol mastermind Justin Vitarello. Bailey and his wife, Lula Habte, are cooking, and both come from culinary bloodlines. His family operated a restaurant and deli in Leesburg when he was growing up, and Habte's mother owned restaurants in her native Ethiopia. In fact, Habte's mother's berbere blend is used in some of the truck's dishes.
Options include siga wot (a spicy beef stew) and a fit-fit variation they are calling sunflower injera salad, which combines small pieces of injera (the flat, spongy sourdough bread used as both utensil and serving surface) with lightly cooked sunflower seeds. The truck offers a number of meatless dishes such as lentils, collard greens, beets and green beans. One Ethiopian staple you won't find on the menu: doro wat. Habte has not yet found an American chicken breed she thinks will do the dish justice.
The sauce-heavy menu items are served over injera, as is traditional, but because street food needs to be eaten out of hand, those come with small squares of pre-cut injera to be used as utensils. An external sink installed between the order and service windows allows customers to wash their hands before they eat.
When the truck officially hits the street on Wednesday, you will be able to grab a plate of injera and two menu choices for $7. The plan, initially, is to have the Ethiopian truck travel alongside its curry-hawking partner. The two trucks are almost identical, which hews to the Fojol Bros. aesthetic.
"We call ourselves a traveling culinary carnival," Bailey says. "But one truck isn't quite a traveling culinary carnival. Now that we have two, we feel like we are really living up to the name."
-- Justin Rude
| November 1, 2010; 2:09 PM ET
Tags: restaurant openings
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