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FOOD

Keep on

Truckin’

By Philip Ezzo We have pretty much experienced it all when it comes to dining. First we had farm to table, then dine-in restaurants, the next evolution was drive-ins and fast food, and now restaurants are bringing the food to us! Food trucks are the latest craze for the modern work force as many are not given a break long enough to sit down or travel far from their place of employment. The idea seems rather simple. Put a kitchen on wheels and take it to the people. What many may not realize is that the origins of the food truck had its roots in the years after the Civil War when the push to move westward landed many Americans without proper meals during the cattle drives. The “chuckwagon” was born, carrying preserved foods and water to the cattlemen. Soon, night lunch wagons were implemented to feed workers during the night shift. In the 1950s, stateside Army bases used food trucks called “canteens” to feed their troops, also.

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In later years, food trucks (also known as “roach coaches”) became popular at construction sites, as well. But now, the trend has reached rural and urban areas. They are even used for many special events, like weddings and catered parties. The novelty of it has certain charm, and now that wellknown restaurants are jumping on the trend, customers are more likely to purchase food from a brand they already have come to trust. Pittsburgh may not be LA, Chicago, or NYC, but we have food truck options ranging from sushi & tacos, to burgers & sweets. BRGR, Franktuary, and Dozen are three recognizable names that we know and love. Unfortunately, there are many restrictions on food trucks that make it harder for them to do business. Where they are allowed to park, and how long they can be there is a big issue in our fair city. Food trucks have to park in metered spaces for only 30 minutes at a time. Having a food truck open later for the bar crowd would be perfect, but

restrictions prevent them from doing so. If you love food trucks, you can sign the petition for food truck law reform at www.pghmobilefood. com. You can also get information on how to find your favorite Pittsburgh food trucks as well as follow them on social media. Polish culture has a huge presence in Pittsburgh, and it seemed fitting to get in contact with the local Pierogi Food Truck. One may recognize the Zum Zum truck around the city. They are known for doing special events throughout the area. In fact, they won Best Food Truck, in a competition this past spring at the Tanger Outlets, just south of the city. The prize was a giant four-foot fork! After speaking with representative, Lynne Szarnicki, it was learned that they have only been in operation for a year, but have seen great advances in business. “Before having the truck, we attended farmers markets and other events using a tent and tables. The truck was just a natural transition for us, and has enabled us to do bigger events. including Pittsburgh Pride,

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