King Tut Egyptian Street Food opens in Brecksville
by Martin McConnell
Formerly a food truck, King Tut Egyptian Street Food is now “parked” at 8801 Brecksville Rd., just across the parking lot from community staple, Creekside Restaurant and Bar. Recently opened on Jan. 17, the restaurant has already seen great success, according to the owners and Hadia Tawadros and her husband, Neder Soliman.
The couple wanted to bring Egyptian culture and flavors to northeast Ohio. According to Tawadros believes Egyptian flavors have been largely absent in the Mediterranean food boom in the United States over the past few years.
“Originally, we are from Egypt, from Cairo,” she said. “We got married over there, and we love food. We came to the U.S. 20 years ago.”
Tawadros, also a florist and event planner of about 30 years, got the idea to open a food truck with her husband about two years ago, she said. She explained that the concept was relatively simple.
“Every time, we just mention it’s Mediterranean or Egyptian, so I believe those different words, different flavors, it’s attracting a lot of people,” she said. “We’re really serving the most famous kinds of Egyptian [street food].”
Rather than serving Egyptian fine dining, Tawadros and Soliman opted for an unpretentious, street-based menu. They wanted to make food that people could eat quickly, or on the go, creating an Egyptian food truck atmosphere even in their physical location.
The shop’s top sellers include their vegetarian bowl, which includes rice, lentils, pasta, and various sauces, according to Tawadros.
After the two attended various events over the summer of 2021, Tawadros said that their little truck took off in popularity almost immediately.
“Of course, we love Egypt, and we have different food, we have a lot of different tastes that we would like to bring to (the United States),” she said. “We went to lots and lots of events: Home Days, festivals, lots of corporate events and graduations, and it was really good.”
Last summer, the truck won the “Best Vegetarian Dish” award at the Crocker Park Food Truck Challenge in Westlake. Tawadros noted that their vegetarian bowl was a smash hit with both patrons and judges, and helped get the name out about their brand.
“I believe they have it every summer,” she said of the Food Truck Challenge. “It was a crazy busy day but (I’m) thankful for all the judges [who] picked our dish.”
From there, the couple decided to try a store. Tawadros explained that the brick and mortar location has mostly the same menu as the original King Tut food truck, with some options added between the shop’s breakfast and lunch offerings.
“Of course, it took some time to do all the painting and stuff, but it’s all the same items as the food truck, we just added a few extras,” she said. “It’s been good. Everyone is loving the food.”
The demand has been exceptionally high, Tawadros said.
“They’ve even asked us to extend the hours, so we had to extend the hours,” she explained. “We were closed on Sundays, but they asked us to open, so we’re open on Sundays now.”
Tawadros is optimistic that the extreme levels of support will keep up as the shop continues to evolve. Moving into the future, she said she hopes to become a staple for those looking for Mediterranean offerings.
“It’s amazing. It’s helping a lot,” she said. “Every time, we have people coming and saying thank you so much, we really need this kind of food. They are supporting us. … It’s really, very, very helpful.” ∞