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Friday, September 11, 2009

Street Food Alert: Liba Falafel Truck Rolls Into San Francisco Next Week

Posted By on Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 2:50 PM

click to enlarge Lillian peering out of her Liba Falafel Truck: She's on a mission to change minds. - LUIS C./YELP
  • Luis C./Yelp
  • Lillian peering out of her Liba Falafel Truck: She's on a mission to change minds.
It was the Netherlands -- not Israel -- that provided Gail Lillian with her falafel epiphany. "Falafel was an idea I'd been poring over for many years in my head," she told SFoodie. "But after I took a trip to Amsterdam, I was really impressed with how they serve falafel sandwiches there: a lot of mix and match items, and the salads are really fresh and interesting."

Lillian wrapped up her first official week in business today (after debuting at Eat Real last month). Liba Falafel Truck has been parked in Emeryville, selling spiced carrot salad and falafel bowls near the Pixar campus on Park Street. Starting Monday, Liba will roll up to San Francisco three days a week, in a parking lot at De Haro and Alameda, at the base of Potrero Hill. The name Liba is Lillian's adaptation of the German and Yiddish words for love.

Lillian, 37, is a one-time café owner and manager of the BrainWash Café and Laundromat on Folsom. Her falafel menu offers customizable options, with additions that are anything but traditional. Chimichurri. Yogurt raita. Rosemary peanuts. "What I ended up doing is being really loosely associated with Mediterranan flavors," Lillian said. "Like, I have olive-orange relish with thyme, which is Mediterranean but more Moroccan, really." Her mission? To change minds about falafel - something you most likely haven't spent a lot of time pondering. "I'm really trying to brand falafel in a non-ethnic way, to make it more approachable for people," she said.

See if Lillian can deliver her own falafel epiphany when the Liba Falafel Truck comes to San Francisco, Mon., Wed, and Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (It'll lumber back to Emeryville Tue. and Thu.) You can also follow the truck on Twitter and Facebook.

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