Most Effusively Charismatic Food Vendor

Elmy Kader of Royal Egyptian Cuisine

There are very few food vendors like Elmy Kader. His bright-blue truck, which he parks diagonally on 2nd and Webster streets in Oakland’s Jack London district, proclaims, in huge letters, “FROM THE ANCIENT LAND OF THE PHAROAHS, EGYPT,” while a laminated sign next to the menu states, “SUPERSIZE THE FOLLOWING a) if you smoke “herb” weed that is, b) if you are really, really hungry, c) if you are broke, and want to invite somebody, it is big enough for Two.” There is a picture of a clown on this sign, for no apparent reason, but somehow it all makes sense. Exuberant to a point that can occasionally be confusing, Kader harks back to a time when food trucks weren’t shiny pretty things filled with seemingly endless troves of gourmet fusion. He’s always guaranteed to put a smile on your face — be it with his sparkling personality or his equally distinctive style of Middle Eastern cooking, served up generously with lots of free samples. Kader’s is a food truck to remember.

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