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.
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
Cutting juicy slices of chicken off one of their spits—an object often seen on carts, but rarely on food trucks.
Preparing a chicken shawarma
Chicken shawarma from Toum includes bites of tangy pickles and garlic sauce.
The initial roll
They also include french fries placed in right before the finishing roll up.
On to the customer
The final wrapping up of a shawarma.
A family affair
Christine’s dad, Simon, takes the orders and acts as a general crowd-pleaser.
Toum gives New Yorkers a less common falafel shape: circular with a tiny dot in the middle.
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.
The tiny indents in the falafel allow them to cook evenly.
Grilling a kafta sandwich
The closed, flat sandwich is built on the griddle.
Inside the kafta
The filling is minced beef with tomatoes, pickles, onions, and parsley.
Ready to go.