APPOMATTOX, Va. – In a gravel parking lot off Old Courthouse Road in Appomattox sits a food truck - Downtown Cairo. A pharaoh with sunglasses on the outside, and a husband-wife duo going to work on the inside.
For Emily Elazazy, a Monroe native, Egyptian food was new to her years ago.
She tells us, “It’s always been really good. There’s been a few things that I’ve questioned but it’s always been good to this day.”
Her husband, Samir, was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt. He says this wasn’t just a shock to Emily.
“Culture shock for them, especially in Appomattox…a small town. It’s like…Egyptian food, we’ve never heard of anything like that before. In a couple months’ time, we started seeing more customers. We started having regulars.”
Samir tells us it’s all about the marinating. He marinates the chicken and beef a day ahead of time before throwing them on the grill. Seasoning is a big deal in Egyptian culture.
“I follow my mom’s recipe in everything I cook. My mom just piles me every time I visit bags and bags like ‘here you go!’ for cooking at home.”
Their best sellers so far include the chicken kabob. It’s got a little kick, a lot of flavor and comes with a lot of food. Steamed veggies, rice and an Egyptian classic all come on the side.
“If you go to any restaurants in Egypt, they have a tahini sauce.”
We used it as a dipping sauce. It looks like it’ll be really hot, but it’s more sweet and tangy than anything. You’ll also find it in the Kofta beef plate. This is another tender, sweet and savory dish that the Elazazy’s serve daily. Customers come back for these favorites, but also to give falafel a try too.
Aside from the food, Emily and Samir are glad to have more time with family. For Samir, he hopes this food truck can be a teaching moment too.
“The culture itself is sometimes misrepresented. And I’m a big believer that if you want to gather people, have some good times and have some fun, food needs to be involved.”
You can find their hours and menu by clicking on this link that takes you to Downtown Cairo’s Facebook page.
They’ve started giving out loyalty cards to those who want to visit more frequently.