It’s big. It’s bright. It’s funky. And this spring, it will be hitting the streets of Pittsburgh.
The team behind the much-loved Pittsburgh Sandwich Society food truck is currently in the process of renovating a 1973 Volkswagen bus into a brand-new business venture. The aptly-named Burrito Bus will be begin serving Pittsburgh fresh and hot burritos in the spring of 2018.
The bus is a longtime dream of Pittsburgh Sandwich Society’s husband and wife duo, Erin and Mike Carney, but they never expected it to happen so fast.
“We didn’t mean to do it so soon. We planned to renovate our house this year,” laughs Erin. “But we found the perfect bus and figured it was meant to be.”
Although the couple picked up the bus in Maryland, it has Pittsburgh roots.
“It has four years of parking pass stickers on it from Lycoming College! The owner previous was living in Pittsburgh when he purchased it. He then relocated to Maryland for work. Before 2018, it was last running in 1985, the year Mike was born,” says Erin.
Once open, the bus will feature Southern California-style burritos, as well as chips, guacamole, and queso.
Fans of the Pittsburgh Sandwich Society truck may recall seeing burritos on the truck’s menu over the past few months. In particular, the “After School Special” burrito has already developed a cult-following in Pittsburgh. The burrito, filled with seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese, queso and Fritos, is inspired by your nostalgic, after-school snack taco, and will be a staple on the Burrito Bus once open.
However, the burritos don’t stop there. The couple recently took a trip to San Diego for some tasty research and development, and have been testing ideas here in Pittsburgh.
“We have some great vegetarian ideas,” says Erin. “They come from other dishes we’ve made and then thought would be great inside of a burrito.”
The bus is being built by Kevin Heenan of Sugar and Spice Ice Cream, and will feature a hinged roof so crew members can stand up while preparing food.
As space is limited on the bus, no actual cooking will take place, just heating and rolling of the burritos. In order to run both the Burrito Bus and the PGH Sandwich Society food truck, the brand will be begin prepping for both trucks out of former Kaleidoscope Cafe space in Lawrenceville. This will allow them to expand the menu, and catering options, for both businesses down the road.
After the success of the Pittsburgh Sandwich Society truck, the couple felt burritos were the logical next step.
“Mike always leans towards that type of cooking,” says Erin. “He has Spanish heritage, and we love San Diego.”
The truck plans to debut at Hitchhiker Brewing in late April.