If Sameh Wadi has his way, crispy chickpeas will soon be as common as potato chips. After building up Saffron, his genteel Mediterranean restaurant, Sameh and his brother, Saed, took to the streets, opening the World Street Kitchen food truck. It’s since spawned its own storefront in Minneapolis’s LynLake neighborhood, expertly feeding the Internet generation’s hunger for international snack foods.
Most of WSK’s fusion-fueled menu already seems franchise-ready. Red curry adds heat and coconut sweetness to the typical chicken burrito: Why isn’t this Thai-Mex filling as common as carne asada? Inspired by fried-chicken dinners, Wadi’s MFC biscuit sandwich pairs Moroccan-spiced fried chicken with an equally tender cheddar biscuit and a coleslaw-like carrot/preserved-lemon salad (a little bitter for most American fast-food palates).
The WSK menu is also very share-friendly, especially the lettuce wraps and tacos, served with such fillings as chimichurri-slathered jerk beef or caramelized lamb belly with quick-pickled cucumbers. And there are alcoholic drinks, such as Kalimotxo Tinto (kal-e-mo-cho), a riff on the old red-wine-and-cola blend that’s spiced to resemble a chilled mulled wine.
The best of the desserts are also fusions: the chewy chocolate-chip cookies with marshmallow and sea salt, and the India-sotan passion fruit and mango lassi soft serve with apricot chutney and crispy wild-rice puffs.
Like the truck, the restaurant’s must-order dish remains its signature Yum Yum Rice Bowl—a lively mash-up of, say, Korean barbecue beef short ribs or crispy tofu topped with a soft-cooked egg and various crunchy/savory bits, such as fried mushrooms and onions, sesame seeds, peanuts, fresh herbs, and a creamy/spicy “secret” sauce. I’d suggest only one tweak: tack an extra Yum or two onto the name.
2743 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls.