By Nia Violette
There are not many things that will persuade students to leave the comfort of their dorms on a cold September evening, but free food on a Friday night is certainly one of them. On Sept. 30, students were treated to four food truck options, courtesy of the university, during this semester’s first Food Truck Friday.
Each vendor was stationed at different locations around campus. La Coqueta, a restaurant specializing in Mexican cuisine, resided outside of the Bart Luedeke Center (BLC). Just around the corner, Hotpanada, a truck with a unique variety of creative and flavorful empañadas, was spotted outside of the Student Recreation Center (SRC). Just a few yards ahead of Hotpanda and offering the most eclectic meal options was The Latest Dish, a vendor new to campus, which offered street corn, cheesesteaks and warm bowls of rice, beans and a choice of meat or veggies in a pineapple. Last, but certainly not least, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, which needs no introduction, was found behind Hill Hall.
Though each truck provided unique flavors, to say that food was the only reason students hiked the span of campus would be misleading. In the opinion of junior music production major Ava Donaghy, Food Truck Fridays served higher purposes, socializing and stress relief. “It’s fun that everyone comes out [be]cause I feel like we don’t have that very often after Welcome Week,” said Donaghy. “[I]t’s fun just to have, like, little exciting moments at the end of the week every once in a while. And it’s nice to look forward to during the week when your like, ‘I’m hating my life right now.’”
Though the free treats may have been enough for most, some students were left dissatisfied by their dishes. This was the case for Emily O’Connor, a freshman arts and entertainment industries management major, who stated that her cheesesteak from The Latest Dish was, “Ehh. The bread is kind of soggy and the chicken is not really flavored.” To add to her qualms, O’Connor said that she waited thirty minutes for her meal.
Chloe Romm, a freshman biology major, had a positive review for the cheesesteaks, however. “It was very good and I liked it,” said Romm. Hopefully the next time The Latest Dish comes to campus, the disagreement of taste buds will be settled once and for all. For now, these opposed reviews can only be explained by subjectivity.
Unlike the Latest Dish, and to the fortune of last Friday’s customers, a consensus was able to be reached for the empañadas served by Hotpanada. Jayla Price, a freshman film and television major said, “From the first bite [of the empanada] I knew it was for me. The savoriness of the meat, the crunch of the crust. It was perfection.” The rest of the school must have agreed with Price, because the truck ended up being the first vendor to leave campus, having run out of goods within an hour of serving students. Out of all the trucks that evening, Hotpanada stood out for their exceptionally speedy service, second only to Ben & Jerry’s, and quality food.
As of now, the date of the next Food Truck Friday is unknown, but one thing is for certain; whenever the trucks decide to grace campus again, the students will be ready to dig in.