Familiar faces on Main Campus prepare to serve students with new trucks.
A lunch truck vendor who has served the Temple community for more than 25 years will soon be opening a new truck that will be located near University Village and Kardon-Atlantic Terminal Building.
Owner Emo Tahiri said the paperwork to operate the lunch truck is being finalized with the city government and within two weeks his new custom truck, Mountain Pizza and Grill, will be parked at 1000 West Montgomery. The new truck will also be positioned near the facilities management office.
“I really take this seriously and I really try to take care of my customers,” Tahiri said.
Moving a truck closer to employees of the facility management building was one of the reasons Tahiri listed on his proposal to the university.
Mountain Pizza and Grill will utilize a commercial kitchen for a fresh, made-to-order service that Tahiri expects to provide customers. He also plans to provide delivery services.
“We’re going to provide Temple students with good kinds of food and very good prices,” Tahiri said. “I’m going to let the students try for themselves, but everything is going to be delicious. For all the years I’ve been at Temple, never have I had any complaints about my food.”
Tahiri has family ties and working relationships with several of the lunch trucks around campus, like Fame’s Famous Pizza, but said his new lunch truck will feature a new pizza recipe, along with salads, sandwiches and other food items.
“The pizza is going to be almost the same because we have almost the same recipe,” Tahiri said of his family’s recipe at Fame’s Famous Pizza. “It is going to be just the ingredients to make the dough.”
Originally from Albania, Tahiri said he couldn’t imagine working as a food vendor anywhere else.
“I like to serve these students and all the other people because I get tired physically, but I have relationships with people,” Tahiri said. “I really do respect this place because when I came to America, it was hard, but I always felt good in this place and the business is one of the places that I feel most comfortable.”
Tahiri also helps his nephew, Nazim Brother, with his own business, Brother’s Pizza Inc., which has been located on 12th Street between Norris Street and Montgomery Avenue for the past four years.
“Lately, I have been going to his place like two or three times a week to eat pizza just to see if [Brother] makes it the way I taught him and everything is the same,” Tahiri said. “He does a very good pizza, too. So I’m happy about him.”
One of Fame’s Famous Pizza customers, Mark Trieshi, expects to open his own lunch truck at 13th and Norris streets next week. The truck will be named “Temple’s Best” and serve salads and hoagies.
“I’m going to try to stay with the flow of the prices,” Trieshi said. “My philosophy is to serve [food] fast and clean.”
Trieshi also said he’s a fan of the way Tahiri makes pizza.
“What else do you want me to say, it’s the best,” Trieshi said. “The best dough. It’s a secret dough, how you bake it. It’s one of the secrets that [Tahiri] is never going to reveal to you.”
“Pizza has three simple components: sauce, dough and cheese,” Trieshi added. “How you’re mastering them, that’s the point and how you combine them, that’s the secret. And he is one of the best here, period.”
Formerly an artist from Albania, Trieshi recently returned from the army after being deployed to Europe for 12 years. After traveling around the country as a chef, he decided to open his own lunch truck.
“I accidently learned how to cook,” Trieshi said. “I’ve been working from dish washer until I’ve become a chef in very high-class restaurants in Michigan and Philadelphia.”
Tahiri said he enjoys the routine of working on Main Campus as a vendor and warns other lunch truck owners that once they start working on Temple’s campus, they won’t want to leave either.
“You’re happy to wake up in the morning and come here,” Tahiri said. “I come in the morning and say, ‘Hi,’ to everybody. You feel comfortable like it’s your home. You probably spend more time here than your home.”
Connor Showalter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.