Lebanese Food Truck Opens in Hilo

June 11, 2020, 11:45 AM HST (Updated September 8, 2020, 10:50 AM)
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Tabaraka opened in Hilo June 10, 2020, offering Lebanese cuisine. PC: Hilo Tabaraka

Tabaraka, a new restaurant offering authentic Lebanese food “made with aloha” announced the opening of its food truck on Wednesday, June 10, in Hilo. The truck is located at the restaurant’s new Hilo location at 272 Waianuenue Ave.

Tabaraka offers an array of traditional Lebanese foods including falafel, hummus wraps, beef shawarma and eventually, chicken kebabs and Lebanese garlic taro. Aside from plate lunches, customers will also be able to take home containers of Tabaraka’s hummus and baba ganoush. A restaurant press release said all items are made fresh, sourcing ingredients locally whenever possible. There will also be a variety of vegan, vegetarian and meat options.

Fares Boughanem, chef and owner of Tabaraka, moved to the Big Island with his family 10 years ago. He said the island community reminded him of the close-knit one he left behind in Lebanon and inspired his embrace of the spirit of Aloha. Since 2017, Boughanem has been sharing his food, namely his signature falafel plate, at farmers’ markets across the Big Island.

“Tabaraka has delighted me over and over again with its fantastic falafel plates and other menu items,” said customer Tam Hunt. “Best falafels and hummus I’ve ever had.”

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Boughanem has been making these traditional plates from scratch since he was young, learning from his mother unique family recipes that have passed down over generations. In Arabic, Tabaraka means “blessings be,” and Fares said strives to live and serve with this attitude.

“My goal is to make good, healthy food that makes people happy,” Boughanem said.

The Tabaraka Food Truck is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find out more at tabarakahi.com or call 808-825-7003 for more information.

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