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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Campus

An inside look into the food trucks at UH


The Waffle Bus serves hundreds of students day and night. | Lino Sandil/The Cougar

The Waffle Bus serves hundreds of students day and night. | Lino Sandil/The Cougar

Surrounded by sizzling stoves and fryers with the heat turned up, there’s a line of students lined up in the heat waiting for one thing — that hot and tasty food truck cuisine.

Many of the food trucks that come on campus to serve students are new this year, or it’s their first time being invited to serve the University.

Because of this, UH foodies have a wealth of options, from chicken and waffle sandwiches to Filipino street food.

Food trucks are normally located at the Technology Annex, Cemo Hall, the communications building, the Technology Bridge, Student Center South, and the residence halls at night.

“Today actually marks the fifth year of the truck,” Wokker owner Man Dao said. “The idea came about as we were growing up in Houston, being Asian and being surrounded by southern foods, so we kind of just blended barbecue with what we were used to.”

This blend created meals like the pork belly fried rice and the brisket curly fries, which Dao says are the best selling items among students.

Dao is a Bauer College of Business alumnus and offers advice to any other UH students who are looking to start their own food truck.

“We understand the hardships, because we did go to UH,” Dao said. “Work on a truck first, then see if you like it, because it is not an easy job, but it is a job driven by passion.”

The Crispy and Grilled truck only started serving in March, according to Rogelio Ramirez, one of the truck’s workers.

Their menu is chicken based, where you can get, as you can guess, crispy or grilled chicken in the form of a sandwich, tenders or more.

“Anything with buffalo or bleu cheese on it, that’s our most popular item,” Ramirez said. “The students love it, and it’s a little different than serving adults because the conversations are a little more normal with the students.”

Lunch time is always busy for food truck workers. Ramirez said sometimes the whole bar of tickets will get full to the point where they have to stop taking orders for a few minutes, and lines can stretch back dozens of people.

Waiting to try some of these illustrious burgers were freshman electrical engineering major David Ramos and psychology sophomore Daniella Davis.

“The food trucks give more variety than what is usually there,” Davis said. “I went to a community college that didn’t really have any type of food that these trucks offer on campus.”

Davis was trying the Burger Joint truck for the first time, and ended up getting the original burger with fries alongside electrical engineering freshman David Ramos.

“The type of food I usually go for is exotic food, like I’ve been to the Asian food truck two times before,” Ramos said. “But, if it’s not exotic, then I go for burgers.”

If you look on the social media pages of each truck, UH students make up a large part of their audience.

People on campus are looking where the trucks will go each day and even following them out to the locations when they are off-campus.

“I think there should be more food trucks on campus,” Davis said. “The trucks I go to, it depends on what they serve and how close they are to my classes, but I wish some of them were closer.”

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