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Frites 'N' Meats Back on Street After Truck Explosion

By Julie Shapiro | August 3, 2011 2:47pm
Crowds lined up at Frites 'N' Meats before the truck was sidelined for four months after an April 2011 accident.
Crowds lined up at Frites 'N' Meats before the truck was sidelined for four months after an April 2011 accident.
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Frites 'N' Meats

TRIBECA — Frites 'N' Meats is back in business.

A rebooted version of the popular burger truck is returning to city streets Monday, nearly four months after an explosion destroyed the original truck and sent one of the owners to the hospital with serious burns.

"We're a bit nervous, but we're very, very excited," said Hiassam Beydoun, one of three brothers who owns Frites 'N' Meats.

Hiassam said his brother Mohamed Beydoun, known as "Moody," has fully recovered after suffering severe burns on his arms during the April 11 crash on the West Side Highway in TriBeCa.

Even from his hospital bed in the days following the accident, Mohamed urged Hiassam and their third brother, Ali, to reopen the truck as soon as possible, Hiassam said. Mohamed will be working in the truck next week to greet the many fans who sent him get-well wishes during his recovery.

The brothers are still dealing with the aftermath of the fiery crash, which led to Mohamed's arrest on reckless endangerment charges, after FDNY investigators found he was carrying twice the legal amount of propane and had left the stove on while driving.

Mohamed Beydoun is due back in court Oct. 5, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's office said.

Hiassam Beydoun said he expected Mohamed to have to pay a fine, and the brothers have implemented additional safety measures since the crash.

But Hiassam Beydoun said his biggest concern about re-launching Frites 'N' Meats is entirely unrelated to the crash — he's worried about the NYPD's recent crackdown on food trucks in Midtown.

The enforcement blitz started after the Beydoun brothers had already invested money in building a new truck, and now they wonder how they will find a space to park.

"It makes it a little bit more stressful for us," Hiassam Beydoun said.

He hopes the truck will be able to park in off-street venues — including the Lot on Tap beneath the High Line at 10th Avenue and 30th Street — so they will be able to avoid the hassle of searching for curbside space.

Frites 'N' Meats plans to announce a schedule of locations for the first week on Twitter and the truck's blog within the next few days.

Although the truck itself is new, Hiassam Beydoun said it is virtually identical to Frites 'N' Meats' old yellow one, and the menu will stick to the same popular array of burgers and fries.

He also wants to do a giveaway or special deal soon for the many fans that offered support and encouragement over the past four months.

"We miss everyone," Hiassam Beydoun said. "We're looking forward to getting back out there."