Have you ever eaten at a food truck? Chances are, if you are from the area, you have come across quite a few and grabbed a bite at a couple more. You may have stopped at one while you were attending a festival or maybe while you were fetching lunch on an outing at the office. Either way, very few of us are privy to knowing how the person behind the window got started or where the inspiration blossomed from. Pita My Shawarma owner, Jason Taylor, says he hasn’t always known he wanted a food truck but the dream has always been “turning” inside of him.
Pita My Shawarma serves Mediterranean cuisine and is one of the few, if not the only one, serving Shawarma in PGH. Shawarma is Arabic for turning and it refers to the way that the meat is prepared through vertical rotisserie cooking. Shawarma can be ordered in either beef or chicken and is marinated overnight and served on top of a fresh pita with your choice of toppings and either garlic or sesame paste sauce. If you are stopping by to grab a bite, hummus wraps, and hand cut fries are also on the menu.
As a 2nd generation Lebanese, Jason grew up inspired to create dishes based around his heritage from cooking and trying different recipes with his grandmother. Pita My Shawarma has allowed him to put his own twist on traditional Mediterranean favorites.
Jason is from York, PA and moved to Pittsburgh for college in 2013. He says that when he was younger he wanted to be a mail man which inevitably spiraled him into the role he is in now. Would you have guessed that this food truck is actually an old mail truck? We didn’t.
He states, “after finding my empty USPS postal truck at a government auction in New Orleans, I drove it back to Pittsburgh at the end of July 2018 and began the construction process. Long story short, I made an USPS postal truck an empty slate for an official food truck and had a local food truck builder assist in the equipment and all the necessary requirements. This included installation for water tanks, sinks, and propane lines for the kitchen hood.”
When it came time to design what the branding and the outside of the truck would look like, Jason turned towards a friend who designs logos for small business in Pittsburgh. David Johnson (@davidjcreative) created the logo for Pita My Shawarma and Christian from Brush and Pounce did the sign painting on the truck itself. David stated, “He [Christian] did a killer job. Honestly, it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen one of my personal designs [in reference to seeing the truck in person], so I was worried it might exasperate any flaws. But the logo looked great!”
If you are looking to find where Pita My Shawarma will be next, you can check out their schedule for events and locations here: pitamyshawarma.com/findus. Jason stated that he is scheduled to serve with his team at numerous breweries and corporate lunches and businesses throughout the city in the upcoming months.
Are you looking to get into the food truck business? If you are, Jason suggests talking to as many food truck owners as possible. He states it’s important to know what you are getting into and understanding what owning and operating a food truck means before you dive head first into all of the pitas and pastes.
In the meantime, if you are looking to try something new and “turn” towards some new Mediterranean cuisine, stop by Pita My Shawarma. Rachel Shussett, friend of Jason and food truck connoisseur, states “Pita My Shawarma is the food truck to head to if you’re craving some good Mediterranean food. The Shawarma is amazing, and the fries with zataar are the perfect side. I’m so proud of Jason for launching this and can’t wait for more people to try his food!”
We can’t wait either.
If you are looking to get a hold of Jason, you can call or text him at (412) 294-6536 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos contributed by Jason Taylor at Pita My Shawarma