In our mobile world, even restaurants are on the go. Food trucks and pop-up eateries are getting as popular as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. At the new Pittsburgh Food Truck Park in Millvale, people are lining up to chow down even though the warm weather has yet to kick in.
But mobile dining goes way beyond the basics. We’ve found five unique and under-the-radar trucks and pop-ups you’ll want to check out.
Inspired by the recipes of owner James Wolfe’s grandmother, Wise County Biscuits brings Appalachian home cookin’ to the streets of Pittsburgh. Wolfe and wife Lena Laskaris opened this baking business in 2017, after working in restaurants around Washington, D.C. In addition to classic buttermilk biscuits — topped with your choice of pimento cheese, orange marmalade or Tennessee sorghum and butter — there are breakfast sandwiches, braised greens and handmade Fluffernutter sandwiches. While they don’t serve directly out of their truck, Wise County sets up shop at various locations throughout the city, including at the Bloomfield Saturday Market and The Coffee Buddha in Ross Township every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Klosky Hunky Cuisine
Where to find this pop-up restaurant? Although it’s prepared in Greensburg, Jerrid Klosky’s food will have your taste buds convinced it came straight from Poland. Since these authentic dishes (we’re talking seriously solid pierogies, halušky, stuffed cabbage, n’at) pair well with craft beer, you can often find the chef manning a table at area breweries like Helltown Brewing in Mt. Pleasant, Pa. and Abjuration Brewing inside the Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks.
Who needs spaghetti? Sometimes a big, ol’ meatball is enough to quiet a rumbling tummy. Chef Sara Lechman, who went to culinary school in New York City, serves up orbs of beef and chicken drenched in sauces such as classic tomato, asiago, buffalo bleu and Sriracha teriyaki. Folks can even get a Thanksgiving meal — on a much smaller scale — when they order a turkey meatball made with cranberries, stuffing seasoning and gravy. Fear not, carb addicts: these protein balls are available on a bun or served over pasta or mashed potatoes. Stay tuned via their website for their next locations.
When “The Pulled Pork Express” squeals into town, it entices people from blocks away with the sweet scent of barbecue. Two Brothers’ opened its original portable take-out stand (which is still standing in Presto, Pa.) in 2005. Last year, it hit the road in a brand new food truck to distribute its award-winning baby back ribs, hickory smoked pulled pork sandwiches and one menu item you won’t find at most BBQ trucks and restaurants: shrimp-and-bacon Po’ Boys. Carnivores will want to check that out.
It’s always snowing in Portersville. At The Snowman, a 13-foot tall, custom-built roadside stand near Moraine State Park, visitors can order shaved ice, milkshakes, smoothies, ice cream cones and frozen novelty treats directly from the big guy’s belly. A small concession trailer — topped with an inflatable replica of Frosty — causes a “flurry” of activity (we couldn’t resist) when it visits the Grove City Premium Outlets on weekends in May and June. The trailer will also make a visit to downtown Butler on June 8 for the Bantam Jeep Invasion. Stay tuned to see if they trek further south to Pittsburgh.