Spicy Ethiopian Toronto

Toronto gets its first Ethiopian food truck

Spicy Ethiopian is now doing what no one else in Toronto has dared to: bring Ethiopian food into a truck format. You'd think that with the emphasis on eating with your hands, messiness, and all the gloopy spicy stews of lentils and meats that this type of cuisine is best left to tabletop dining in the privacy of a restaurant. Well, you'd be wrong.

Owner Lily Belete runs the truck, and used to work in film for a lot of production companies doing craft services. She says the pay was good but the hours were long, and making the same tired snacks over and over was boring.

Spicy Ethiopian Toronto

While in craft services she started dreaming up ways to serve some of her more traditional Ethiopian dishes to workers, and the response was enthusiastic.

Spicy Ethiopian Toronto

Although she has engineered a way to get injera into her food truck meals, she realizes that not everyone is familiar with this product or enjoys it (yet). Hence the tibs sandwich ($7): this one was made with beef, and it's served on a roll for a little more accessibility and dining ease.

Spicy Ethiopian Toronto

With tibs dinners ($10) you have an option of rice, bread, tortilla, or injera.

However, I must personally say you'd be a fool not to order the injera. If you're not familiar, it's a spongy, slightly sour bread perfect for soaking up spicy stews. It packs the largest section of this vegan platter ($10), a sample of all vegan options: simmered ground chickpea, stewed split peas, lentils, beetroot and potatoes, and fresh sauteed spinach.

Spicy Ethiopian Toronto

Belete has rolled up the injera into cylinders so you're free to enjoy it the traditional way, scooping up food with it, or it's easy to cut with a knife and fork back at the office. It's great to be able to get a delicious vegan option for lunch on the street downtown, and something not terribly unhealthy at that. They also serve juices like "abish" ($4), a fenugreek drink that's apparently good for your heart.

To find out where the Spicy Ethiopian can be found next, check out its schedule on torontofoodstrucks.ca

Photos by Hector Vasquez


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