A weekly presence at the farmers markets in the Broadway District in Green Bay, WI, De Pere and Howard, Taste of Ethiopia is winning over curious diners — one taco at a time.

By Kendra Meinert (Green Bay Press-Gazette) |

When the Taste of Ethiopia food truck first fired up its griddle last summer, Pat Joyce and his son, Tesfaye, saw the same scenario play out time and again.

A potential customer walks up, looks at the menu for a minute or two and then politely keeps on walking.

“That’s the most common one,” Tesfaye said. “You can kind of tell they don’t want to offend you, so they don’t tell you everything they’re thinking.”

At one point, Pat thought they might have to repaint the brightly colored trailer that features Ethiopian folk art by artist Spencer Young of Black Creek.

“They see Ethiopia and they see that folk art and, boom, they were either at the egg roll guy or the barbecue guy (food trucks),” Pat said. “But they’re getting it now.”

With nearly 900 followers on Facebook and a weekly presence at the farmers markets in the Broadway District, De Pere and Howard, Taste of Ethiopia is winning over curious diners — one taco at a time.

That’s the recommended $3 starter kit for people who want an introduction to the exotic Ethiopian spices that give distinctive flavor to the dishes — from loaded cheese fries with slow-cooked and seasoned steak, pork or chicken to deep-fried dessert pastries called sambusas to even an Ethiopian spin on the American grilled cheese.

“I joke around that we kind of slip these spices past them,” Pat said. “Once they try it, they’re just hooked.”

Profits go to Ethiopia

Getting local taste buds acclimated to Ethiopian-American fusion food is only part of the Joyces’ mission. The bigger one is back in Ethiopia, where Pat adopted Tesfaye and two of his siblings from an orphanage 10 years ago.

Continue reading this story at Green  Bay Press-Gazette
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