UPDATE: After a long journey in a food truck, Jason Taylor’s Pita My Shawarma storefront is opening Sept. 12 at 3716 Butler St. in Lawrenceville. He’ll be there from 5 to 9 p.m., slinging authentic Lebanese eats. Hungry Grl Big City will be on hand for an evening of shawarma, hummus, falafel and more.
In 2018, Taylor bought an old U.S. Postal Service vehicle, drove it 1,000 miles from Louisiana to Pittsburgh and converted it into the Pita My Shawarma food truck.
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night keeps the determined entrepreneur from the swift completion of his appointed rounds (although the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed him down a bit).
Taylor is using his spare time to work on a brick-and-mortar restaurant, a fast-casual spot specializing in Lebanese-style shawarma.
Weather permitting, you can now grab a bite from the food truck parked out front and enjoy it on Pita My Shawarma’s spacious patio.
Shawarma, which means turning in Arabic, is hand-stacked, hand-shaven, rotisserie-cooked meat served on fresh pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes and pickled turnips. Chicken shawarma, Taylor’s most popular offering, is drizzled with garlic sauce, while the steak gets the sesame sauce treatment.
He also offers hummus dip with two loaves of pita bread. And there’s a hummus wrap filled with marinated chicken or steak, lettuce, tomatoes, Palestinian pickles and parsley, and hand-cut fries with a sesame-thyme seasoning.
Taylor, who is of Lebanese descent, moved to the city to pursue a marketing degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Unable to find the traditional eats that reminded him of home, he decided to launch his own brand.
He worked with various food trucks around town while experimenting with his own recipes. Key to his success? Fresh, simple ingredients.
Once he has more kitchen space, Taylor will expand the menu to include vegan options, salads and brunch items. In the future, he hopes to run multiple Pita My Shawarma locations. For now, he’s still making the rounds to various breweries, delivering perfectly wrapped packages of deliciousness.
“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to do something every day that I love,” he says.