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.