PITTSBURG, PA — Scratch Kitchen and Catering, parked at 1313B S. Broadway, is not your typical food truck. There are no burgers, hot dogs or fries on the premises, and nothing remotely resembling kettle corn or funnel cakes.
“Our two top sellers are tandoori chicken, a classic Indian dish, and our carnitas, braised pork tips with Mexican seasons,” said Kristina Taylor, proprietor. “Our na’an, or Indian flat bread, is also very popular. I’ve been making two batches of it a day.”
As the name implies, the food at Scratch is made from scratch in-house. None of it is fast food.
20 Taylor said. “Once everything is cooked, it’s just a matter of receiving someone’s order and assembling it.”
Other menu entrees are lemon pepper marinated chicken breast, carne sabrosa, which is tri-tip beef steak tips with Latin influenced spices, and sin carne, sauteed seasonal vegetables. Side orders include rice pilaf, tabouli, pinto beans with onion and bacon and sauteed seasonal vegetables. Dips available range from mild corn salsa, to traditional salsa, cheese queso and pico de gallo to firey tomatillo and habanero sauce.
Taylor grew up in Pittsburg, the daughter of Dr. Don and Kay Holsinger. She attended Oklahoma State University School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, and was director of catering and convention services at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center at Crown Center, Kansas City.
She returned to Pittsburg in 2004 with her husband, Dr. John Taylor, and daughters Madeleine and Sammy. Her first plan was to open a restaurant.
But then I decided I wanted something I could move around and work around my family,” Taylor said. “My older daughter , Madeleine, is a seventh grader at Pittsburg Community Middle School, and Sammy is a second grader at George Nettels Elementary School, so I do this while they’re in school.”
She said the food truck trailer was built in Indiana by the Amish, with equipment installed in Chicago.
“I had hoped it would have arrived in time for us to take part in Little Balkans Days,” Taylor said. “It didn’t, but we hope to do that next year.”
She employs several Pittsburg State University students at the truck, and a woman who formerly cooked at another facility serves as Taylor’s supervisor.
“This is a lot of fun, but some of the best advice I got was from one of my professors,” Taylor said. “He said, ‘Just remember you’ll be working when everybody else is out having a good time. You’ll be serving them’.”
She does get to see her parents often.
“My parents are good customers,” Taylor said.
Other family members show interest in the culinary arts.
“My daughter Madeleine is interested in cooking, and I do let her help me when I cook at home, but not at Scratch,” Taylor said. “My husband wants to help and I let him chop stuff up. He makes a pretty good chicken taco. Sammy shows interest in eating.”
Scratch is open for business from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and does catering. Call-in orders are taken from 9 to 11 a.m. at 620-704-9158. All orders over 20 guests require a 24-hour notice. Scratch is also on Facebook.