The Plum couple’s food truck, PGH EATZ, finds a home
A Plum couple’s food truck now doubles as a sign for their new storefront.
Paul and Jennifer Marchisotto launched their food truck, PGH EATZ, in 2020. They opened their storefront Friday in the Boyce Park Center off Saltsburg Road in Plum.
Their truck, parked next to their storefront at one end of the plaza where Q&M once stood, has become a billboard.
Before opening for the first time on Friday, Paul was preparing mashed red potatoes while his father, Tony Marchisotto of Delmont, chopped, mixed and seasoned cucumbers, grape tomatoes and mozzarella to prepare a salad. Their neighbor, Nicole Rings, was helping them.
“Everything I do is simple,” said Paul, who previously worked as a bartender and cooked at Eighty Acres Restaurant in Bloom. “It’s basic cooking like your grandmother does.”
But Paul gives a lot of credit to his wife.
“It’s the heart and soul of the business,” he said. “There’s no way I can do this alone.”
Featuring homemade food and a menu that changes weekly, Jennifer said she wanted to be a healthy alternative to fast food. The storefront is for take-out only.
The first day’s menu included a caprese panini, a meatball bowl or sub, an Italian beef and Italian sausage sandwich, and a bacon sandwich. In addition to the cucumber salad and mashed red potatoes, there were Brussels sprouts and wedding soup.
“We try to target vegetarians and meat-eaters. We try to incorporate all eaters and have at least one option for them,” Jennifer said. “We can customize dietary restrictions.”
Jennifer, who works as a senior project manager at PPG, said she and her husband, a stay-at-home dad who was tending bar at Eighty Acres at the time, decided to start their own food truck during the COVID pandemic.
“We call it the midlife crisis,” she said.
Instead of focusing on one type of cuisine as many food trucks do, the Marchisottos have a large menu that can change to suit the crowd. Their claim to fame is the Marchisotto family’s Italian sausage, made by Tony, the former butcher at Giant Eagle Markets owned by his late brother Frank.
Frank’s son, Frankie Marchisotto, launched Frankie’s Sausage in Sharpsburg in January.
With their truck, Paul and Jennifer now focus on catering, parties and events where they will know how much food to prepare.
“For our truck, less events mean more,” Jennifer said.
The storefront fell into their laps, Jennifer said. She is now the commissioner of their truck, replacing eighty acres.
“We have a good reputation with the food truck. We’ve built a clientele. We’ll roll the dice again and try it,” she said.
The couple decided to open a storefront because it wouldn’t be as dependent on the weather as a truck, as business slows down during the colder months but demand for their food remains.
“We’re all so busy, and life can be so crazy,” Jennifer said. “We want to offer a healthy alternative to fast food. You get a home-cooked meal, but we do the legwork. You can bring a healthy home-style meal to your family instead of going to McDonald’s or Burger King.”
Instead of seating, Jennifer said they plan to use the space for a selection of dry goods.
“We’re just excited,” she said. “We are looking forward to the new adventure.”
Brian C. Rietmeier is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .