By Elizabeth Cappa – Cougar News Contributor
Times are changing fast, and eating food out of a truck is now the modern, hip way to satisfy your cravings. Who would have thought that, one day you would be following a grilled cheese truck off of Twitter or waiting an hour on a sidewalk to try some Korean tacos? Seriously, talk about a food revolution!
The food truck phenomenon is expanding, not just in the greater Los Angeles area, but also in neighborhoods in the Santa Clarita Valley. Using College of the Canyons as a hot spot, trucks of all sorts are coming to sell their one-of-a-kind creations to students.
Clean Street Food Truck, for example, offers a variety of fresh and gourmet foods from salads to steak at a “pedestrian” price. Other popular visitors to the campus have been Mandoline Grill, The Munchie Machine and Maria’s Truck.
One to two trucks stop weekly at COC and often park in the center of campus, so they are easily accessible to students. Food can be bought from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Juan Muñoz, a COC student majoring in psychology, said he sometimes buys quick snacks on campus, but that he once ate from a food truck outside his class.
“I like food trucks because they are convenient when you don’t have a lot of time between classes,” says Muñoz. “Overall, I had a good experience eating from a food truck, so I have no complaints.”
Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are the main sources of communication between the trucks and their customers. Trucks now have personalized and interactive websites, with a weekly schedule of their routes posted on the front page.
Perfect for those in the Santa Clarita Valley who want a quick food fix, is @SCVTrucks on Twitter, where trucks and their specific locations and times are constantly updated. Websites like foodtruckmaps.com provide a live search map, as well as a search engine for food truck locations for every neighborhood in Los Angeles. The latest interaction for the trucks is the use of the TruxMap phone app, which uses GPS to track the trucks down.
COC film student Amanda Adams has also only eaten once from a food truck in Santa Clarita, calling it “your basic, amazing taco truck.” Adams considers it affordable comfort food.
But is there a downside to the massive popularity of this kind of roadside dining?
“Now that food trucks are becoming so popular, it’s creating more choices and leading to better quality food, but it may also lead to higher prices,” Adams worries.
With all the latest technology and interactive ways to follow food, some fear that the craze may be getting out of hand. Food ideas are jumping off the drawing board, with trucks selling anything from cupcakes, to eco-friendly foods, to dog treats.
Yes. Dog treats. Off a food truck.
The Grilled Cheese Truck is the best of the genre, according to a survey released by KABC-TV and citysearch.com. Second on their list is the Buttermilk Truck, which serves breakfast.
Rounding out the Top 7 were Louks Greek Gourmet To Go, The Green Truck, Baby’s Badass Burgers, The Sweets Truck and The Nom Nom Truck.
Don Chow Tacos, serving a packed-punch of Mexican-Chinese cuisine, travels all around Los Angeles and Orange County offering its new fusion of foods. Michael Vasquez, who has been employed by Don Chow Tacos for one year, enjoys working for the truck.
“It’s fun. You get to go to different places, meet different people and make friends with other trucks,” says Vasquez. “Plus the food’s good and you get to swap food.”
Vasquez says that he got into working for the business through a friend. Working for food trucks is hard work at first, because it requires an adjustment to a typical working lifestyle.
Don Chow Tacos’ typical day starts at 8 a.m. with preparation for the day ahead, so that they can begin selling food by 11 a.m. until closing time, which varies upon location.
Don Chow Tacos loves all its customers because they get to see people enjoy a new food experience.
If college students are looking for a part-time job or are interested in the food truck business, Vasquez highly recommends getting started now, especially since there is a high demand in the industry.