Gallery: Meet Vendy Awards Rookie Finalist Toum

Toum
Toum

Rodrigue Chebli finishing another order from the Toum truck. A Lebanese immigrant, he’s been in America for 12 years and currently hails from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

The truck
The truck

Opening Toum wasn’t the only life-changing development in the Chebli’s life last year. On opening day, Christine was also nine months pregnant.

Slicing from the spit
Slicing from the spit

Cutting juicy slices of chicken off one of their spits—an object often seen on carts, but rarely on food trucks.

Preparing shawarma
Preparing shawarma

Toum keeps their food relatively simple, highlighting natural ingredient flavors, not covering them up with spices.

Preparing a chicken shawarma
Preparing a chicken shawarma

Chicken shawarma from Toum includes bites of tangy pickles and garlic sauce.

The initial roll
The initial roll

They also include french fries placed in right before the finishing roll up.

On to the customer
On to the customer

The final wrapping up of a shawarma.

Toum at their Friday spot
Toum at their Friday spot

After a few months on the streets, Toum joined the New York Food Truck Association, which allows them to access spots such as the one on North End and Vesey Street.

A family affair
A family affair

Christine’s dad, Simon, takes the orders and acts as a general crowd-pleaser.

Preparing falafel
Preparing falafel

Toum gives New Yorkers a less common falafel shape: circular with a tiny dot in the middle.

Frying up falafel
Frying up falafel

The fritters are made with fava beans as well as chickpeas, which makes for a different flavor base than typical New York falafel.

Preparing falafel platter
Preparing falafel platter

The falafel platter comes with more than enough food for one lunch between the fries, tabouleh salad, and a choice of hummus or babaghanouj.

Finished dish
Finished dish

The tiny indents in the falafel allow them to cook evenly.

Grilling a kafta sandwich
Grilling a kafta sandwich

The closed, flat sandwich is built on the griddle.

Inside the kafta
Inside the kafta

The filling is minced beef with tomatoes, pickles, onions, and parsley.

Final cuts
Final cuts
Finished kafta
Finished kafta

Ready to go.