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Food & Drink

Snacks N'At: Uncle Charley's + Square Cafe Brunch Truck joins mobile market

| Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Kevin Kelley, general manager of Square Café serves up a hot sausage sandwich and sweet sausage dawg from the Uncle Charley's food truck in Lawrenceville.
Jack Fordyce | Tribune Review
Kevin Kelley, general manager of Square Café serves up a hot sausage sandwich and sweet sausage dawg from the Uncle Charley's food truck in Lawrenceville.
Kevin Kelley, general manager of Square Café serves up a hot sausage sandwich and sweet sausage dawg from the Uncle Charley's food truck in Lawrenceville Saturday, December 6, 2014.
Jack Fordyce | Tribune Review
Kevin Kelley, general manager of Square Café serves up a hot sausage sandwich and sweet sausage dawg from the Uncle Charley's food truck in Lawrenceville Saturday, December 6, 2014.
Menu items from the Uncle Charley's food truck in Lawrenceville include the hot sausage sandwich with tater tots and the sweet sausage dawg.
Jack Fordyce | Tribune Review
Menu items from the Uncle Charley's food truck in Lawrenceville include the hot sausage sandwich with tater tots and the sweet sausage dawg.

A new truck is fillng an untapped niche in the ever-expanding mobile food market. The Uncle Charley's + Square Cafe Brunch Truck has been making appearances at events around the city for nearly three months now.

The new venture joins a slew of other food trucks that have debuted in Pittsburgh in the past few years, offering everything from mac 'n' cheese to meatballs.

“This is the time,” says Kevin Kelley, Square Cafe general manager and food-truck operator. “The fact that we're doing breakfast sets us apart.”

While Square Cafe in Regent Square is known for featuring an array of vegetarian and vegan breakfast and lunch options, it still “sells the good stuff, too,” so partnering with a meat company wasn't a stretch, Kelley says.

“Uncle Charley's approached us and thought we'd be a perfect match,” he says. “They own the truck; we run it. The menu will change depending on where we're going, but we stick to breakfast, because that's what we love to do.”

So far, customers are enjoying it, as well, he says.

“Everyone seems to love it,” Kelley says. “It's fun,and gets us out and on the streets.”

Partnering with another local company for the food-truck venture made sense, says Len Caric, Uncle Charley's Sausage president.

“The goal is to get more people to sample our product,” Caric says. “Food trucks are a very trendy way of delivering the product.

“Sherree Goldstein (Square Cafe owner) does a great job with the menu,” Caric says. “It's not your typical breakfast spot. We wanted to get somebody like that and not just do the everyday sausage-on-a-bun, but show our consumers different ways to use our sausage.”

The menu features the Sweet Sausage Dawg ($5), made of Uncle Charley's sausage dipped in buttermilk pancake batter; the Square Cafe Burrito ($6; add sausage for $2), with eggs, onions, peppers, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, black beans and hominy; a hot sausage or chicken sandwich ($6); and tater tots ($3). Cookies and coffee also are available.

The black truck is coated in brightly colored words like “Fresh” and “Delicious.” It's been spotted at events in Lawrenceville and on the North Side. Kelley expects the truck to make more regular appearances around town once the weather warms.

“We plan to get together with the other trucks,” he says, at regular roundups events, such at those in Oakland and at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District.

The Uncle Charley's + Square Cafe Brunch Truck will post its whereabouts to Facebook and Twitter (@UncleCharleysCo or @TheSquareCafe).

Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or rweaver@tribweb.com.

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