Tariq’s North Africa fills a niche

A recent Facebook post from Alliance Brewing Company was my introduction to Tariq’s North Africa (formerly Mina’s North Africa), a pop-up food vendor that serves breweries in the Knoxville area on a weekly schedule. In addition to Alliance, you’ll find Tarik’s food at Crafty Bastard Brewery, Next Level Brewing Company, and Albright Grove Brewing Company, each on a different night.

Tariq’s weekly Sunday hangouts at Alliance have been a hit with Grub Souse and me, so we recently visited South Knoxville Brewery to see how well this vendor fills a specialty niche in the local food scene; dishes from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Since this was my first visit, I don’t know if Tariq serves the same menu every week or if it’s different. But on our visit, choices included chicken za’atar ($15), along with lamb and beef ($16) with potatoes and cous cous. There was also a vegetarian couscous platter and a sampling platter of everything. I decided to get the chicken and the spouse got the lamb and beef.

Tarik's North African is a pop-up food vendor serving breweries in the Knoxville area on a weekly schedule.  Here, chicken za'atar is served on a bed of Alliance Brewing Company couscous.

While Tariq prepared a plate of The Spouses, I went to the beer taps and ordered an Alliance IPA. It was very good, both fruity and hoppy, just the way I like it. I finally made it to The Spouse and stood in line for the chicken. I threw in all the extras, including Tarik’s extra spices, cashews, and feta cheese. We found a seat at a table next to the dining room under the television screen that was showing a sports ball.