PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Food trucks have become a big deal. They’ve grown in popularity all over the country, including here in western Pennsylvania.
Gone are the days when food trucks just served up hot dogs or fries. Now, truck kitchens can be cutting edge.
As Paul Landry discovered a few years back, trucks can be tricky to track down.
“I drove all the way out to Shadyside because they said there was gonna be a truck there – and there was only a couple at the time and I drove all the way out there and they were gone and I was sad,” Paul Landry said.
From disappointment, came an idea. What about an app that could tell you where all the food trucks are in your area?
So Paul called up fellow Pitt grad Jon Worek, who is a software engineer. Back in the day, the two worked together at Radio Shack. These days, they’ve worked together to create Mobile Nom a reality.
“It’s like a dating app. Instead of matching up with a compatible mate, you’re matched up with a compatible taco. That’s probably the best way to describe it,” Landry said.
Mobile Nom is a food truck finder. You can instantly see where the closest ones are on a map.
You can click on the pins to find out how long a truck will be there, or pull up a menu.
KDKA-TV’s David Highfield wanted to try it out. So he opened the app, found one quickly and hopped in the car. After a short drive from Downtown to South Side, he found people ordering from the Coop Chicken and Waffles truck.
One of the truck’s owners, Nicki Cardilli, says the food truck scene here has really blossomed. Her truck is approaching its one year anniversary.
“My partner is from Houston, so we brought chicken and waffles to Pittsburgh,” Cardilli said.
Rather than go to each truck’s website or Facebook page, trucks are listed for you in the app.
Green pins show the ones open right now, while yellow pins are ones that’ll open later.
You can even search for the type of food you’re craving. In addition to western Pennsylvania, it works in 17 other metro areas.
Landry hopes it’ll become a favorite among food truck foodies.
“It’s challenging for food trucks because if you wanted to go to a restaurant, it’s always in the same spot,” he said. “So that’s easy, but with food trucks they’re always moving.”
The app is free and available for both iPhones and androids.