Downtown Miami

‘Food Truck Frenzy’ at Temple Israel suits international tastes in downtown Miami

A lamb gyro from The Original Greek made with non-processed lamb.
A lamb gyro from The Original Greek made with non-processed lamb. sbrito@miamiherald

Temple Israel of Greater Miami is bringing downtown into a frenzy a “Food Truck Frenzy.”

From 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays, Temple Israel has a variety of food trucks set up in front of its building at 137 NE 19th St. near downtown Miami.

“We decided that we needed some kind of community project that would get everybody more involved. Temple Israel is really not just about being Jewish, it’s more about doing good for the community,” said Megan Gerstel, the synagogue’s events and outreach coordinator.

Seeing the growing popularity of food trucks in South Florida, the temple decided to set up a weekly event in which everyone, regardless of faith, could come together to enjoy all types of food. Because Temple Israel is progressive Reform, it doesn’t require anyone to keep kosher and most of the food trucks serve non-kosher food.

Judi Berger, whose son, Joel, is Temple Israel’s executive director, said she loves Food Truck Frenzy because of the different food options including arepas, Greek gyros and World Famous Mac & Cheese food from different corners of the world on wheels. At last week’s event, Berger for the first time sampled Venezuelan food from the Arepas Las Gorditas truck.

“This is a chance to try a variety of foods,” she said, adding that the Frenzy even included a Pizza in Fuga truck with an actual flaming oven. Other food trucks include The Original Greek, with its popular lamb gyro made with non-processed lamb meat.

“There’s not too many weekly food truck events in downtown Miami and it’s great that the temple is hosting an event that everyone can attend,” said Michael Kritikos of The Original Greek.

For Karen Susman, director of education and youth engagement at the temple, Food Truck Frenzy is a chance to grab a bite to eat before teaching her adult Hebrew class. She even brought a group of her students over to try new foods before going to class.

To formally kickoff the weekly food trucks, Temple Israel will host a “Food Frenzy Kickoff Party” from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18. 103.5-FM “The BEAT” will be in attendance, including a DJ. Also, there will be face painting and a bounce house for children.

“We will be having this party as long as people keep coming,” Gerstel said.

If you go

▪ What: Food Truck Frenzy

▪ When: 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays

▪ Where: Temple Israel, 137 NE 19th St.

▪ Cost: Free admission, menu prices vary