In Egypt, the words "street food" and "gourmet" don't often go hand in hand.
Street food is not about style; it's meant to be quick, cheap and filling. However Chris Khalifa, a 30-year-old owner of Zooba cafe in Cairo, has tried to change that.
He saw a trend elsewhere in the world: chefs hit the streets and serve dishes out of food trucks.
"I noticed no one had ever tried to do this with Egyptian street food," said Khalifa. "I try to create a brand around a more gourmet Egyptian street food."
Low-income households in Egypt are being hit by soaring food prices, placing a major strain on many poor families in the country, who are struggling to put basic staples on the table.
Inside a small Cairo apartment, Howeida Nageh is dicing a few tomatoes in her kitchen. Her three sons have arrived home from school and they are hungry. Yet, the only food available is these tomatoes and a piece of bread - and this will be the boys' only meal for the day.
Editor's note: Kebab Café made Eatocracy's list of Where to Eat in New York City
When chef and food aficionado Ali El Sayed opened the Kebab Café in Astoria, New York City, some 24 years ago, few there had even heard of Egyptian cuisine.
He was the first to open an Egyptian business on Steinway Street, a bustling neighborhood in the borough of Queens, and a small-business hub now known as "Little Egypt."
It's long been a home to immigrants - first Germans, then Italians and Greeks, and most recently, Arabs. Almost half of Queens businesses are minority owned and together they bring in an average of $7 billion annually.
While it typifies the growth of many American neighborhoods, Little Egypt also boasts one of the most diverse populations in the United States, according to recent census results. Foreign-born residents in the borough come from over 100 different nations.
Read Taking care of business in New York's 'Little Egypt'
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