Annual Food Truck-a-Palooza in Monroeville has best year yet |

Annual Food Truck-a-Palooza in Monroeville has best year yet

Michael DiVittorio

The third annual Food Truck-a-Palooza at the Monroeville Convention Center brought in a record number of trucks and participants.

At least 35 trucks and 3,000 people packed the venue at 209 Mall Blvd. on Saturday.

It’s presented by GoodTaste! Pittsburgh and Steel City Media.

GoodTaste! Owner Dee Weinberg said it’s the largest indoor winter food truck festival in Western Pennsylvania, and this year was its best one yet.

“Everybody loves food, and what better place to try food trucks than all in one area?” Weinberg said. “I think people are happy. The trucks are happy. The lines are long and they have a place to sit and be entertained.”

There were foods from Nakama, Revival Chili, South Side BBQ Company and Burgh Bites. A complete list of trucks and event sponsors is available at

Derek Widziszewski of Roscoe said he and his wife, Tawny, and a group of friends enjoyed their experience at the festival.

“The chili was excellent,” he said. “Our whole group makes sure we get something different so we can sample everything. We pick what we like, but we pick off everyone else’s plate. There was something for everybody.”

Theresa Florian of Stockdale had a margarita chicken wrap from Speals on Wheels.

“I was trying to stay away from junk and wanted something healthy with vegetables and meat,” she said. “It was really good.”

Barbeque was a very popular food option. Oakmont Barbeque Company sold out of its beef brisket selections with hours left in the show. South Side BBQ Company delivered its signature dish, the “Bar-be-Cone.”

The Bar-be-Cone has mac and cheese, pulled pork, barbeque sauce and coleslaw stuffed in a waffle cone.

This year’s event offered much more than a gathering of trucks. Face painting, a photo booth, various vendors with free food and drink samples, as well as live entertainment such as musician Joel Lindsey were available in the backroom’s large seating area.

Seating was scarce and it was hard to move around at its second annual event because the other room was not utilized.

“The crowd was so large last year that we realized we needed bigger space,” Weinberg said. “The Monroeville Convention Center has been very gracious (with its space).”

Air quality was a concern with all the food trucks under one roof.

Monroeville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 6 members walked the site repeatedly with carbon monoxide detectors, and enforced other safety measures such as limiting food truck fuel usage to one 20-pound propane tank at a time.

“People don’t realize how dangerous things could be,” deputy Chief Harold Katofsky said. “We want to make sure the people here are safe and they don’t get sick.”

Katofsky said some doors were open and fans were used to help circulate the air, and members of the Allegheny County Health Department were on hand to inspect the trucks before they served food.

Only two trucks were prevented from being inside due to having 50-pound tanks, and no air quality problems were detected, Katofsky said.

A portion of the event’s proceeds went toward the fire department for its safety efforts.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
The third annual Food Truck-a-Palooza took place at the Monroeville Convention Center on March 9.
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
A large seating area with vendors, face painting and live entertainment was available at this year’s Food Truck-a-Palooza.
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Oakmont Barbeque Company Manager Shane Kelley, owner Ken Shields and his daughter, Olivia Shields, serve patrons at Food Truck-a-Palooza in the Monroeville Convention Center.
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Artist Ilona Ralston of Dynamic Brush paints the face of Ethan Buff, 6, of Plum at the third annual Food Truck-a-Palooza in Monroeville.
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Singer Joel Lindsey performs at Food Truck-a-Palooza at the Monroeville Convention Center.
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
At least 3,000 people had more than 35 food trucks to choose from at the third annual Food Truck-a-Palooza in Monroeville.
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Monroeville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 6 chauffeur Shawn Snyder was one of several firefighters checking air quality around the food trucks in the Monroeville Convention Center.
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Monroeville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 6 chauffeur Shawn Snyder was one of several firefighters checking air quality around the food trucks in the Monroeville Convention Center.
Categories: Local | Monroeville
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