Food Trucks Find College Campuses

Food trucks are pulling up at major intersections all over the country. Famous grilled cheese, Korean tacos, and even high-end desserts are being passed out of oversized windows to hungry New Yorkers, Los Angelenos, and Bostonians alike–and now to students, too! Because who really wants to drive to food when delicious food will drive to you?

Food trucks are actually making a long-awaited comeback. Diners, originally termed “lunch wagons,” have been selling sandwiches and hot dogs out of horse-drawn carriages dating back to the 1870s. Providence, RI, is actually home to the oldest diner in America, Haven Bros., found in a rickety metal trailer which pulls up beside City Hall every day from sunset to sunrise. It sells up to a thousand hot dogs on any given Friday or Saturday night!

While Haven Bros. is potentially too precarious to make it up College Hill to Brown University campus, a multitude of other more modern food trucks seem to have zoomed up the hill strategically stationing themselves and successfully provoking hungry students.

The original two food trucks to conquer the Brown campus sold Chinese food in front of the Sciences Library at lunch time and a vegan ice cream truck. The Iron Wok Chinese food truck really did attract massive lines of hungry and hard-working students who would emerge from library basements and laboratories. The truck was so successful they decided to open a permanent, sit down restaurant around the corner- and I am currently unsure of how successful the permanent location compares to the mobile one. Like-No-Udder still appears on campus from time to time claiming “World Peace Through Vegan Soft-Serve.”

Nonetheless, the food truck competition on campus is expanding rapidly. There is now a late night Mexican truck that parks in a very central location late a night and sells quite tasty tacos as a great alternative to the on-campus diner’s fried chicken sandwiches. Furthermore, the new Korean BBQ truck, Mama Kim’s has caused quite a stir. On a recent Friday night, when the wait for Japanese food was over half an hour and my friend and I were starving, we decided to give Mama Kim’s a try. My friend got Bulgogi (marinaded prime cuts of beef) with rice and kimchi ($7) – which was REALLY good. I ordered Seafood pajun (scallion pancakes) with soy sauce ($5), and some other kind of pajun. I thoroughly enjoyed eating Mama Kim’s especially while relaxing and watching the most recent and extremely dramatic episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable experience definitely worth repeating.

I expect more food trucks to roll up soon-to Brown campus and other college campuses across America. I wish all students the very best in their food truck experiences. But honestly it’s hard to go wrong. Tasty, fresh, fast and cheap food that drives to you. Wow!

Zoe is a junior at Brown University where she studies Biology and Literary Arts.  She’s an avid runner, cupcake consumer, Grey’s Anatomy viewer and lab geek.

Originally posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

3 Responses to “Food Trucks Find College Campuses”

  1. Lisa Lucas

    June 3rd, 2011

    Coming from Toronto, I totally appreciate your article on Food trucks. Carnivores wait in anticipation in front of CIty Hall for the street meat trucks to roll up serving hot dogs, sausages,and sauerkraut served with fries and and homemade mayonnaise. Delicious – yes! Healthy – not! The best scallion pancakes I have ever eaten was in New York’s Chinatown. Next time I’m in Providence, I’ll have to try Mama Kim’s.

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