Fresh Off the Truck, the latest food truck to join the campus trailer craze, appears to be a swanky new staple, but the food fails to impress.
The food trailer offers an extensive menu, including Korean, Vietnamese and fusion dishes. For summer, they have a scaled-down menu.
You know it’s a bad sign when you have to use the salt packet that comes with plastic cutlery. Although the Coca-Kalbi short ribs are braised and slow cooked well, the flavor was lacking and left something to be desired. The blandness of the short ribs was exemplified by the rice which, although fluffy, severely lacked salt. The Kalbi marinade, which is typically sweet with strong garlic tones, was too subdued.
Another popular dish, the chicken Katsu, repeated the same error of the short ribs — cooked well, but essentially flavorless.
The kimchi and Korean potatoes were a revelation compared to the main entrees. The sweet-pickled vegetables and spice from red pepper in the kimchi offers a superb combination in heat, sweet and sour flavors, and crunchiness. The Korean potatoes, made from boiled and sauteed russet potatoes and topped with toasted sesame seeds, are sweet and savory — firm, but not crunchy.
The truck itself, which moves around campus, is painted with imitation graffiti and a chrome trim. The swanky trailer includes two full-sized ice chests filled with a variety of drinks and a bar displaying Asians snacks and chips also for sale.
The trailer is nice, but they could sacrifice appearance and purchase a bench or two for patrons. Customers are left to fend for themselves to find seating after they get their food.
Given the limited, bland menu and awkward seating situation, it will be interesting to see how successful Fresh Off the Truck is during the school year. As of now, the food truck has a long road ahead.