Weirdest Food Truck Ever? The Distinction Belongs to SF

Tracy Van Dyk
The truck can usually be found parked in San Francisco's Knob Hill

NYC has certainly got lots of unusual food trucks, peddling predictable sorts of fusion and just plain odd combinations of ingredients. We've got a couple that merge Korean and Mexican, while another mixes Mexican and barbecue. We have even have one that offers pulled pork atop a Belgian waffle. But, alas, we have San Francisco to thank for coming up with what is perhaps the strangest food combination of all: Irish and Eritrean.

Do most of us even know where Eritrea is? It's located on the Red Sea across from Yemen, a breakaway republic from Ethiopia that has a cuisine with unexpected Italian (the name of the country is Italian) and Egyptian influences. You can get a baguette in an Eritrean restaurant, but also a nice bowl of fava beans.

The SF truck is called, appropriately enough, Eire Trea, and the idea is based on a pun. When FiTR's San Francisco correspondent Tracy Van Dyk encountered it, the daily menu included a chicken burger and a chicken curry wrap, the latter rather hideously described as "chicken breast slow cooked in tomato and onion base with curry sauce, cheese, salad."

In other words, there's little real fusion going on, and least on this menu, and no real Irish or Ethiopian food, even though the truck is emblazoned Irish & Eritrean Cuisine. What a bunch of fakers! Here's what the truck should be serving:

Tibs wat sandwich - beef tips bathed in berebere sauce on Irish soda bread

Yebeg alecha and cabbage - a variation on corned beef and cabbage substituting buttered lamb for corned beef

Corned beef hero - on an Italian loaf garnished with popcorn (an Eritrean and Ethiopian fave) and yellow stewed lentils. (Hey you easily imagine one of those at No. 7 Sub.

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Questionable "journalistic " standards there, sarge. This truck is not a "pun" for little snarkmeisters to sit around and whine about based on someone from FiTR's opinion. Where I come from (NYC) you actually try the food before you are entitled to complain about it. (Or so I thought, guess that changed since I left.) The owners are Irish and Eritrean, which you could have  / should have ascertained  by investing 5 minutes on a google search. By investing a bit more, say $300, on a round-trip ticket, you could also have discovered that the truck DOES sell authentic Eritrean and Irish food alongside a few menu items that draw from both influences. If the reporter tried a chicken burger, it's because she chose not to eat the Eritrean or Irish food. The Chef, Abselam Abdai, explains that there are a lot of people afraid to try the more authentic stuff, so he offers some options for what we in the business* call 'bag-tarians: people who don't like to try new things, and are therefore self-sentenced to a life of monotony. This truck is badass. The corned beef and cabbage wrap with berebe is an outstanding example of a successful "fusion" of the two cuisines. This is one of the few trucks at which I can get an actual meal: most the produce is organic and farmer's-market fresh, and there are always a ton of vegetables on your plate whether you order a meat or vegi option. And by the way, before you sign up for "the Great Food Truck Race Starring Tyler Florence" you might wanna work on those recipes.Irish soda bread is a real noober choice of bread :  crumbly as hell, and you would have to undersauce the tibs or the very absorbent bread would turn to mush. raisins with berbere? yuck.Being a chef is a lotta work. Before blasting people from afar, honor that work by being a little more thorough before you dis. Full disclosure: I consulted on this truck and the name was my idea. If you wanna hate on that part, hate away. Sincerely, Hugh Schick Designer, Co-Owner, le truc Designer / CEO, brewtruc