New dining options should be further discussed with students

Claire Davenport, Contributing Reporter

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

The Ironsides Waffles food truck, a much-needed on-campus dining option, opened Sept 16 and is stationed at the corner of Freret Street and McAlister Drive every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. While Ironsides Waffles, now a permanent Tulane staple, is great there must be more communication between dining services and students. 

Dining on campus has often been very limited, especially on the weekends. The truck can be found on Saturdays and Sundays as well, and offers a wide variety of cuisine to students. 

The menu includes unusual dishes such as “Fowl Play,” a waffle stuffed with duck, arugula and bacon, and sweet dishes such as  “Holy Hazlenuts,” which contains bananas, whipped cream and Nutella.  

Besides offering tasty choices, the waffle truck also offers a wide variety of options for students with dietary restrictions. They offer vegetarian, gluten-free and kosher waffles. Though there are other specialty dining options on campus such as Le Gourmet or Hillel’s Kitchen, sometimes these choices are pricey or out of the way.

The food truck industry is booming across the nation. Other universities such as Southern Louisiana University, Iowa State University and Georgia Tech University have also brought food trucks to campus this year. Thomas Beckmann, General Manager of Tulane University Dining, said food trucks are popular because of their mobility. 

The addition of a food truck on campus is long overdue. Students are used to monotonous dining options. Food trucks are unique in that they offer a quick and tasty alternative, without having to leave campus. While the new addition won’t remain fresh for long, it shows dining services is making an effort to listen to student concerns and expand student dining options. 

Following this effort, dining services should make sure it evaluates student opinions on the food truck. The opinions of the students and their feedback on how the food truck is doing should steer the direction of new campus dining options in the future. This way students can be more satisfied with the options provided on campus.

Freshman Franny Senkowsky said the truck offers a nice alternative to the staple typical dining options. Opinions such as Senkowsky’s are important in that they showcase what makes the waffle truck successful. 

Another advantage not strongly advertised by the university is that all the ingredients used by Ironsides Waffles are fresh and locally grown at Liuzza Farm in Amite, Louisiana, located less than 50 miles away. By integrating local farms into its dining options, Tulane gives students a chance to support the Louisiana economy. Ironsides Waffles also offers students the option of buying Charity Chips, a product offered by Deep River Snacks, which sends parts of its proceeds to national charities. 

Beckmann said the waffle truck will not necessarily be on campus forever, so if a new food fad interests students, Tulane could easily switch out Ironsides Waffles with another option. Bringing a food truck to campus allows for the flexibility needed to support the constantly fluctuating interests of college students, while also providing a tasty and locally-grown snack. 

Where dining services goes in the future however, should be better discussed with the students. While Ironsides Waffles is great, there was little to no communication with majority of the student body on the thought. This leaves some students wondering what the other options were, and would it be possible to expand the food truck service? Tulane needs to work with students more closely in the future to diversify and enhance the dining experience. 

Claire Davenport is a freshman in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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