I kept hearing great things about the Mediterranean Food Truck in Haiku from my friends who live and work nearby, so I scheduled a recent lunch meeting there. The Haiku Cannery parking lot is bursting with food trucks and stands, and for the time being there is Mediterranean, Indian, tacos and Thai food right across the street from Fukushima Store.
The Friday I stopped by, the Indian truck was unexpectedly closed. Such is the way with food trucks, but the guys at the Mediterranean Grill say they’re there every day (except Tuesdays) from 10:30am to 8:30pm. It’s a family run operation (the day I was there I met a cousin of the owner, and the owner’s brother was expected that afternoon).
Mediterranean can mean a lot of things when talking about food, but this particular truck does it Lebanese style with lamb gyro, shawarma and falafel with other sides.
I started by asking for recommendations. The falafel is really popular there, but so is the chicken shawarma, which is served in a pita, as a plate with rice and sides or on a salad. I was intrigued by the shawarma–marinated chicken breast cut into bite size cubes and grilled with peppers and onions, then topped with an incredible tahini sauce–and I always seem to get lamb. I ordered the shawarma on a salad, while my friends got the sandwich. It’s full of flavor and huge, too.
We also got a few sides. A plate of dolmas with pita bread is about $5 and a complete meal in itself. I love the distinct flavor of grape leaves in dolmas, and they serve theirs with tzatziki sauce, which was delicious. We also got a side of hummus–their own homemade blend that’s so better and fresher than the pre-made selections at the market. The hot toasty pita corners served with it are delicious, too. The owners say it’s the typical standard pita they import, but to me it’s a step above.
Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that they have a shrimp special until after I ordered and sat down in the little courtyard they created with potted plants and umbrellas over tables. If you’re looking at the menu, take a few steps back and look for the hand-written notes around the ordering window so you don’t miss out on specials.
Mediterranean Grill recommends their baklava for dessert, but I was so full of shawarma I didn’t get the full enjoyment of this traditional sweet of honey, spices and walnut. Luckily I took one home and had it later with a cup of tea. It was so sensational I regretted not buying a bunch to take home. I won’t make that mistake the next time I visit the truck.
810 Haiku Rd.