By Carson Lewis | Assistant Digital Managing Editor
In September, Baylor started a new initiative to bring a variety of food trucks to campus. Having to read and edit a variety of articles that pass through our publication, I remember reading about this and decided to give the first food truck I saw, Waco Cha, a try.
Since then, I’ve compiled a list of all the food trucks that have visited campus so far this semester. Here are my rankings of them from the most disappointing to the peak of mobile cuisine.
5. Heart of Texas Dog House – A log of a dog, but leave the meal because the cost is a no deal.
The first thing that stuck out to me when I started this food truck journey was just how pricey these meals-on-wheels can be. The “Demo Day Dog” from Heart of Texas Dog House came in at a hefty $9, a hot dog topped with chili, fritos and cheese. I was expecting a sizable dog with a little bit of a frito pie-esque treat. I received a very generously sized dog, topped with a ton of the aforementioned ingredients.
Great for a hungry college student, but the bun didn’t seem to agree with the size of the rest of the meal, because it collapsed under the weight. It didn’t taste bad but seemed like a worse, more messy version of Vitek’s Gut Pak. I didn’t try the rest of the menu, but judging from the prices on the other dogs, I probably wouldn’t want to take the bet.
4. Gelu Italian Ice – A treat for the heat, but nothing elite.
A friend and I picked up some Gelu after lunch one day, and I was a little overheated. The Italian ice was a great benefit to counter the Waco weather, which always manages to surprise.
The thing about Italian ice? It’s never outstanding. I’ve never had an Italian ice and had a sudden burst of inspiration. It’s not too sweet, not too hard and not too soft. It’s an easy dessert to eat during a break in class.
The colors of the treat are incredible, though. Gelu’s marketing team has a really easy job because the stuff looks delicious. It’s a good stop for Instagram savvy users to pair with a lovely view of Pat Neff on their way back home.
3. Waco Cha – Good drink, but gone in a blink
Waco Cha was my first foray into the wonders of food trucks conveniently located on campus. I picked up the “Milky Way Cha.”
To be honest, I’m not much of a boba tea guy, and so I skipped that. The drink, when it came out, was an opaque red tea that tasted sweet with just a hint of milk and honey. I think the honey was the biggest selling point, as it added a great flavor while not making it too overpowering.
My only disappointment is that it was gone too fast. Despite me trying to save it, the drink was just a little too small to survive the walk back to my apartment, and I found myself looking for a trash can to dispose of the empty drink before I could make it to my door. Maybe I was just really thirsty.
Waco Cha in my opinion is definitely worth trying out, even just once. I tried it and liked it, but it won’t have me coming back anytime soon. If you’re a boba fan, however, I would definitely drink some for yourself with it included.
2. Pop’s Lemonade – The mixing of flavors is something to savor.
While catching up with another friend over lunch, I got them to embark on my food truck road trip with me and try Pop’s Lemonade. I’m a lemonade addict, and I love to try any new variations on my favorite drink.
The system they have at the truck allows customers to add up to two flavors of their choice to their lemonade. I added strawberry (a classic), and also a bit of Topo Chico. The result was surprisingly good. The Topo watered down the sugary taste of the drink, but also added a hint of the seltzer water’s trademark refreshing taste. The drink also was able to outlast my conversation with my friend, a criticism I had of Waco Cha. It’s a great drink that’ll last a while.
1. Waffle Chic – Not from the South, I was in doubt, but now I want to pig out
Circling around to how we started this article, I want to talk about price. I had eyed Waffle Chic for a few days but decided to hold off because of the costs approaching the double digits. I am extremely glad that I stopped in before this food truck left, because WOW.
I don’t think I’ve had chicken and waffles before so I was a little skeptical, but the taste is incredible. The herbs and spices on the perfectly fried chicken were an intense combination to the hot and spicy honey sauce that dripped into the squares of a soft but firm waffle on the bottom. Every part of the meal was perfect, and the smell is unimaginable. It tastes like the food in animated shows looks: out of this world.
It’s a double-edged sword that Waffle Chic isn’t on Fountain Mall every week — good because I would spend all of my paycheck there weekly, and bad because I won’t have the wonderful smell of chicken and waffles following me to my classes every day.
One thing I learned during the past few weeks is to always find new things to experience. Whether that’s finding a new hobby, facing your fears and conquering them or even eating at a new food truck every week, it’s important to include variety in your daily routine. So, go out and experience the world for all that it’s worth — and try not to spend too much on meat-topped hot dogs. Cheers!
Editor’s Note: Carson Lewis has no connection with any of the food trucks mentioned in this article, and did not receive any products for free. His opinion is his own.