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17 Catt. 3: In re Kafta Mania

2013 February 20


Before the Cart today is Kafta Mania (“KM”), a Lebanese food truck serving the streets of Virginia. Last week I reviewed KM’s Classic Kafta sandwich and stuffed grape leaves, see In re Kafta Mania, 17 Catt. 2 (2013), and now I consider its Halloumi Cheese Panini and baba ghanoush.

I. The Street Food Test

The first issue to be settled can be done so easily. Our regular reader knows that in order to establish who bears the burden of proof in this case, it must be determined whether the food before us qualifies as “street food.”  Street food is entitled to the presumption of affirmance by this court, unless the Cart meets the high burden to prove that there is something wrong with the food. See In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012). We have defined street food as “the kind[] of food[] that can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up.” In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011).

Our case law is clear that sandwiches are street food. See, e.g., In re Kababji Food Truck, 15 Catt. 2 (2012); In re Hometown Heros, 14 Catt. 2 (2012); In re Pepe, 13 Catt. 4 (2012); In re Wassub, 13 Catt. 1 (2012); In re Borinquen Lunch Box, 10 Catt. 3 (2012); In re Willie’s Po’Boy, 7 Catt. 4 (2012); Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2. What is more, because a sandwich is the main component of the meal being reviewed today, the side dish does not need to be street food for the presumption of affirmance to apply. See In re OoH DaT ChickeN, 16 Catt. 3 (2013) (explaining that where “the principal component of a food truck combination platter is reasonably considered ‘street food,’ the presumption of affirmance should apply.”). Thus, without determining whether baba ghanoush is street food, I can say that KM is entitled to the presumption that this Cart should affirm its dishes in toto.

Halloumi Cheese Panini with Baba Ghanoush

Halloumi Cheese Panini with Baba Ghanoush

 II. Halloumi Cheese Panini ($6.99)

KM describes its Halloumi Cheese Panini as “[g]rilled halloumi cheese, tomato and oregano on a 6 inch baguette.” I have tasted a great many cheeses in my life, but I have never had the pleasure to try Halloumi cheese before. (I also have never tried Wensleydale cheese, but I hear good things about it from a cheese connoisseur named Wallace, and I hope to try it soon.) My law clerk tells me that Halloumi is a white cheese with a high melting point. If I had opened my Styrofoam container expecting a melted and oozy grilled cheese sandwich, I might have been disappointed. Maybe, for a second, until I gave KM’s panini a try. The Halloumi cheese was texturally similar to mozzarella, except a bit drier and saltier. It was quite tasty. The combination of cheese, tomato, and oregano was very classic, but with a slightly salty twist. Everything was encased nicely by KM’s choice of bread. The sandwich roll developed beautiful grill marks and a nice crust on the outside.

III. Baba Ghanoush ($1.50)

KM’s baba ghanoush, a mix of mashed eggplant, tahini, garlic, and lemon, was served with pita chips. The chips and dip were very good. The baba ghanoush was marked by a strong smoky taste, which was probably the result of the eggplant being expertly roasted over an open flame. The pita chips were fresh, crunchy, herby, and salty. The pita chips ran out before my portion of baba ghanoush did, but I was more than happy to eat the baba ghanoush on its own . . . and then maybe clean off my Styrofoam container so as to not miss a single drop.

IV. Conclusion

 For the reasons above, the case is

AFFIRMED. It is so ordered.

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