Fairfield University campus operations were brought into question at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of how things would be run so that students could safely return to campus for the Fall 2020 semester. Among the many different changes that Fairfield’s campus experienced, the addition of food trucks as a dining option was one of the best decisions Fairfield has made since I’ve been a student here. Even though I am graduating by the end of this semester and it is unknown how much longer this pandemic will continue, I hope that the food trucks remain as a dining option for students even after COVID-19 is over.
I used to be rather skeptical of food trucks. When I would visit New York City, I would see food trucks sitting on every corner and I would always say to myself, “How could I trust eating the food that comes out of that truck?” They always looked kind of sketchy to me, and they also didn’t look like the most sanitary of places to be serving food. However, the food trucks at Fairfield have changed my perspective! Sure, the ones that come to campus are probably a much different breed of food trucks than the ones you see lining city streets, but I do have a newfound respect for them now, considering they are one of the reasons I still purchased a meal plan this semester.
To be honest, even though I live in a residence that has a kitchen, I do not know what I would have eaten this past year if it hadn’t been for the food trucks. I’ve probably gotten lunch or dinner at the food trucks at least once a day when they are here, unless they are ones that I’m not a huge fan of (I know this is probably an unpopular opinion…but I’m looking at you Taste of Grill). I am not a very picky eater; however, there have been times when the Tully or other dining venues just haven’t had what I was interested in eating. So, when the food trucks came to campus, it opened up a whole new world of campus dining for me, as well as other students, and provided us with more food options that vary every day. Not only are there a decent amount of popular food options available, but the trucks also accept a variety of purchasing options. You can use meal swipes, dining dollars, cash or credit! Most food trucks also created special “$10 meal plan” menu items and pairings for students to order using a meal swipe.
The food trucks are not only about the food, though! Going to the food trucks can be a great way to meet up with friends outside to get food together. Even if you go to the food trucks alone, especially during peak meal hours, there is a large possibility that you will run into someone you know and can chat with while you wait for your food. It’s a social experience as well as a food experience!
You’re probably all wondering, “Well, if you love the food trucks so much, what are your favorites?” Well I’ll tell you! I have my top five food trucks and favorite menu items from each. Coming in at number five, we have Fryborg, and my favorite menu item is their cheeseburger with fries. I’ve had cheeseburgers at some of the other trucks, but the Fryborg burgers are something else. They kind of remind me of a Shake Shack burger, but still stand out on their own as a really good burger. In the number four spot we have Flacos Tacos, and I really enjoy their chicken tacos. The toppings that come with the tacos add so much more flavor to a simple chicken taco. The Plate is number three for me, but it’s probably number one for a lot of students considering the huge line that always seems to accumulate in front of it every time they come to campus. I love their turkey avocado wrap, but sometimes they put too much avocado and not enough bacon, which is my only complaint! Coming in at number two, we have Los Mariachis. Of the various Mexican food trucks that come to Fairfield, Los Mariachis is my favorite, and I usually get the chicken quesadillas. I love dipping them in the guacamole they put on the side! Finally, landing the number one spot on my food truck list is Fork in the Road! The unique menu items in combination with my good friend Mark who takes the orders at the window make this truck a winner in my book. I’m basically a regular customer at Fork in the Road because Mark always knows what I am going to order…the chicken pesto grilled cheese. If you haven’t tried this sandwich from Fork in the Road, then you have to try it next time they come to campus because it is the best!
Bringing food trucks to campus as an additional dining option for students was one of the best decisions Fairfield has made, and because of their popularity, they should definitely stick around even after the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end. I’ll miss the trucks once I graduate, but I know that students still at Fairfield will continue to enjoy the food that comes out of those windows.