It was a journey for James Rich to open his PGH Taco Truck. When the Pittsburgh native was unemployed in 2010, he hatched a plan to open a food truck, and ended up going to Denver for the vehicle.
"It was a great deal," he recalls, "and, as I was unemployed at the time, I didn't have to ask for the week off! I drove the truck back from Denver over the course of a week. With the doors open. On I-70."
It took some time to get everything straight. Rich began serving tacos last year at events including the Mattress Factory's Urban Garden Party, and he began serving out of the truck in mid-January at Bar Marco in the Strip District. He keeps his most regular hours outside of Coffee Buddha on Perry Highway in the North Hills, and credits that shop's owner, Mike Witherel, with helping make the truck a reality: "Without his support and friendship, I wouldn't have a business."
The truck's menu changes, and the tacos are unconventional: Recent offerings have included a barbecue steak taco with kimchi, and a butternut-squash taco with chipotle cream. Rich says he draws inspiration — for recipes and business philosophy alike — from places such as Smoke in Homestead, Casa Rasta in Beechview and Las Palmas in Brookline.
For now, the best way to keep up with the truck's menu and location is via social media — on Twitter at @PGHTacoTruck, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pghtacotruck.