Restaurant Profile: The Taza Truck
There’s a new flavor driving through the Lehigh Valley, but if you want to try The Taza Truck, you’re going to have to catch it first. The Egyptian food truck has a different spot every day of the week — think of it as a delicious scavenger hunt. It’s the first food venture for husband-and-wife team Tim Bonner and Hala Rihan-Bonner, of Bethlehem. They’re using the flavors Hala learned growing up in Egypt and taking them on the road.
Flavor: The Taza Truck’s menu draws flavor from spices imported from Egypt — such as fresh cumin and pungent allspice. And it’s using produce and meat from local vendors, including Elias Farmers’ Market in Allentown. Egyptian cuisine is bolstered by garlic, onions, fresh vegetables, tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, fava beans, chickpeas and lentils, Hala adds. The words “Fresh Egyptian Cuisine” are splashed across the burgundy truck. They debated calling it Mediterranean, but that covers such a vast array that the Bonners felt the truck’s true flavor would be lost. They thought about Middle Eastern, though it ignores the subtleties in flavor among the Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian cuisines, Tim says. “People aren’t aware of the differences,” Hala says.
As they were putting together the menu, they went for things they thought the American palate would enjoy. “(But) we’re not changing the Egyptian food to match the American palate,” Hala says, sticking to the traditional dishes she grew up with in Egypt.