Sophie Bolich

Food Truck Festival Offers Late-Night Meals During Ramadan

Suhoor Food Truck Fest is one of several nighttime events planned for the holy month.

By - Mar 20th, 2023 08:10 pm
Eat Halal Milwaukee. Photo courtesy of Bushra Zaibak.

Eat Halal Milwaukee. Photo courtesy of Bushra Zaibak.

A handful of Milwaukee area food trucks will operate after hours to accommodate Muslim diners this upcoming Ramadan.

The Fatty Patty, Romero’s Taco Truck and others will congregate on April 7 for Suhoor Food Truck Fest, an event offering halal food and entertainment following the evening prayer.

The festival is the result of a partnership between Eat Halal Milwaukee and the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, the event host and sponsor. Suhoor Food Truck Fest will take place in the parking lot behind ISM, 4707 S. 13th St., from 10:30 p.m. until 1 a.m.

Milwaukee’s festival follows in the footsteps of larger cities such as Detroit and San Francisco, where similar events are commonplace, said organizer Bushra Zaibak.

Just a few hours after announcing the event on social media, Zaibak said she had already received a strong response from community members — including both Muslims and those of other faiths.

“It’s kind of a neat opportunity for everyone to get together and have that type of experience,” she said, noting that all are welcome to attend the festival.

This year’s Ramadan begins March 22 and lasts until the evening of April 20. The holy month is characterized by prayer, reflection and community, as well as a daily fast lasting from dawn until dusk. That means abstaining from all food and water during daylight hours.

Aside from Romero’s and Fatty Patty, vendors for the event include JMakin Jamaican, Wilma’s Smokehouse and Melt n Dip. All vendors will serve a fully halal menu.

Zaibak said she also hoped to secure a coffee truck, but hasn’t had luck so far.

In addition to a late-night meal, the festival aims to provide a social space for community members to gather. If the weather cooperates, Zaibak hopes to curate a cozy, outdoor atmosphere complete with heat lamps and small bonfires.

Suhoor Saturdays

In addition to the food truck festival, Zaibak is collaborating with area restaurants to host nighttime meals under the umbrella title of Suhoor Saturdays. Suhoor is the name of the pre-dawn meal which, during Ramadan, is the last meal before the day of fasting begins.

The first meal is set for Saturday, March 25 at Cuppa Tosa, in Wauwatosa. The restaurant will offer a traditional American brunch buffet including waffles, french toast, halal bacon, eggs, wings and more.

Another event will be held at Shawarma House in Brookfield on April 1. Guests can expect a traditional Middle Eastern meal with options such as hummus, falafel, chicken tikka, shakshuka, fattah, salads and more.

Both events will run from 11:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m., and are $15 to attend. Reservations are required and can be made online.

Eid al-Fitr

Several Milwaukee restaurants, including Canela Cafe and Five O’Clock Steakhouse, will offer halal specials and discounts in celebration of Eid, a holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

A complete lineup for the April 21 holiday will be announced at a later date.

Zaibak was also the force behind last year’s halal restaurant week, a first for Milwaukee. The second installation, set for July 2023, is already in the works, she said.

Keep an eye on the Eat Halal Milwaukee Facebook page for updates.

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