Got a taste for Paraguay? Just wait for the Lomito Truck
It's kind of startling just how much Pittsburgh's food scene has changed in just the past few years.
For instance, somebody thought it would be a good idea to sell Paraguayan street food out of a truck in Pittsburgh — and it was. Imagine that 10 years ago, or even five.
Entrepreneur/restaurateur Hoon Kim had the idea for the Lomito Truck after a trip to Paraguay.
“Lomito is traditional street food in South American cuisine,” he says. “A Lomito is a sirloin steak sandwich, with ham on top, melted cheese, lettuce and tomato, chimichurri sauce, made with parsley and garlic and olive oil. On top of that is a runny egg, and a toasted Kaiser bun.
“Ours is from Paraguay. My business partner and brother-in-law, Damon (Dlubak), is married to a Paraguayan, Rocio (Martinez Dlubak). She and the cuisine have been the inspiration. When Damon got married five or six years ago, we all went to Paraguay.”
Kim, a Harvard-educated former teacher, owns a test-preparation company (Pittsburgh Prep) and an adventurous, acclaimed Japanese restaurant in Bloomfield, Fukuda. He's learned to trust his business instincts, as well as his taste buds.
“In America, you go out partying and get drunk and usually have a pizza,” Kim says. “In Paraguay, their street foods are unparalleled. They serve the best cuts of meat. It's relatively inexpensive and high-quality. They had these street-food stands, serving Lomito Completo, with the runny egg. Guys and girls eat it like it's the last thing they're ever going to devour. I fell in love with the sandwich, the cuisine and culture.
“I approached Damon with the idea to do a food truck He comes from a more traditional culinary background — the New England Culinary Institute, a Level 3 Master of Wine, cooked at Cafe Gray in New York City. He's the head chef.”
Paraguayan food is different, but not so different that Americans wouldn't recognize it.
“It's meat-based,” Kim says. “Very simple, hearty and very good. Very clean — not a lot of sauces. They grill a lot. Their meat gets a nice, natural smoked flavor, with salt and pepper.”
The Lomito Truck has a small, but well-tested menu, with a few other South American and Caribbean street-food specialties.
There's the Lomito Completo ($8), and the Feijoada ($6), which is Brazilian vegetarian black beans and rice topped with tomatoes. Chori Panne ($7) is Argentine sausage with tomato and vinaigrette on an Italian roll. Corn on the cob is served “Havana-style, with cheese and sour cream and a dash of chili pepper,” Kim says.
“All our meats are organic, 100 percent grass-fed,” he says. “We use local sources, like DJ's Butcher's Block in Bloomfield.”
The truck can be found at all kinds of public events, from Light Up Night to the “Weather Permitting” outdoor concerts at Shadyside Nursery. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Lomito Truck is usually in the parking lot of Shadyside Detail on Ellsworth Avenue, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., to serve the bar-hopping crowd.
Running a business, a restaurant and a food truck doesn't leave Kim with a lot of down time.
“You don't really sleep much,” he explains. “It's less of a talent and more of a management of imbalance.”
For the Lomito Truck locations, go www.facebook.com/LomitoTruck, or search LomitoTruck on Twitter. Details: 412-555-5555
Michael Machosky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Steelers’ Mitchell taking cautious approach about dealing with injuries
- Rossi: Pirates foolish to bet on Burnett return
- Strip District, Shadyside startups headed to White House
- Obama’s Clean Power plan doesn’t change much; opponents remain firm
- Big-game hunting means navigating Third World country political systems
- Doctors to be given star ratings on UPMC site
- Technology helps VA Pittsburgh expand ability to serve veterans
- WVU to intensify workload amid shorter training camp
- Inside the Steelers: Wide array of receiving options shine
- Former guard at Westmoreland jail focus of sex assault probe, DA confirms