Things in Pittsburgh that Don’t Suck

A planned Infrequent Series

Number 1: Srees Foods

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For those of you not in PGH, meet Sree. Sree has become an institution in the academic ‘hoods of Pittsburgh. Twelve (!) years ago, he set up shop selling homestyle Indian lunches out of a truck on the CMU campus. His meals are all-natural, TASTY, huge, and CHEAP! Since then he has never tampered with that formula for success. Eventually, TPTB at CMU got evil and decided they didn’t want food vendors on the campus (competing with their dining hall sludge), and made Sree and the other vendors move ever further off to the margins of the campus.

My walk from the Pitt campus over to Sree’s truck at CMU was never short, and over the years it’s gotten longer and longer, but it has always been worth it. (Besides, after eating a Sree lunch, you’ll need to hike a couple miles.) I call his food ‘homestyle’ Indian. That because it’s not anything you’d recognize from an Indian restaurant menu; none of Sree’s dishes have names, no aloo palak, no vindaloo, no rogan josh. Instead you get, ‘the stuff with the broccoli and lentils’ or ‘the cauliflowery stuff’, etc. It’s like what an Indian mom would make for dinner just by looking into her fridge, seeing what’s there, and whipping something up (but still using fabulous Indian spices and methods.) And Sree’s meals are pot luck, which is also cool. No menu. He makes certain things on certain days, and that’s it. You go to the truck and you take what he gives you, and trust me, you’ll like it. Lunches from the truck cost $4 for a huge styrofoam container. Once laden with Sree goodness, I think they must weigh 2 or 3 lbs.

Sree himself is a really sweet guy. When I worked on campus at Pitt, I’d go to Sree’s about once a week. After I changed jobs, I’d only make it there maybe every 3 or 4 months, but still Sree would always remember me and thank me for making the long trip for lunch. Now in addition to his truck, he has a store front in Squirrel Hill within walking distance of my house! The meals from the store are a dollar more, but still the best $5 you can spend on food in PGH. Getting to have Sree’s more often is one of the major perks of this house.

Thanks Sree, for being one of The Things That Don’t Suck.

3 Responses to “Things in Pittsburgh that Don’t Suck”

  1. hapnor Says:

    what a fabulous topic idea! Now that I get to work in Oakland, I may have to take a walk over to the Sree truck.

  2. LOUP Says:

    Is that the stuff we had at your house? That was some great food!! We need to make another trip north. = )

  3. tarsier Says:

    Nah, at our house you had Mediterranean Grill food. Not as cheap as Sree’s, but just as tasty.

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