From the Adrienne Arsht Center to Tamiami Park, UM foodies scour the city in hopes of finding the latest round up of food truck frenzy. This Thursday, the search is over when more than 15 of Miami’s most raved-about trucks prepare to park along Stanford Circle and offer everything from bacon-wrapped hot dogs to hot-buttered popcorn cupcakes at the first ever “Gourmet Food Truck Night.”
Co-sponsored by Hurricane Productions and Category 5, the event has quickly sparked the attention of students.
“I’m looking forward to some delicious cupcakes,” junior Andrew Quinzi said. “With the cupcake craze that’s been floating around I want to see what the fuss is about. I’m also looking forward to trying some new food I’ve never tried before, like from Latin Burger or Papa’s Tapas.”
A live disc jockey will provide music as the food trucks open and begin serving their fried, baked and boiled delicacies at 8 p.m. Seasoned vendors like Fish Box are scheduled to arrive along with newer faces like Cuban Cube, El Rincon Del Coqui, Mangia Mia and BC Tacos.
Though food trucks are typically known for greasy, high-quality comfort foods, some trucks like Slow Food Truck offer healthier menus with options like the blue chicken salad, a mixture of greens, balsamic dressing and chicken, all of which are sourced locally.
“We have college students that come out all the time to different locations,” said Oren Bass, co-owner of Slow Food Truck. “My business partner grew up down there and is a huge Hurricanes fan. We’re excited to come out and support the Hurricanes, the pep-rally and have a great time out there.”
According to Joshua Brandfon, associate director of Student Activities and Student Organizations, Thursday’s culinary mania could possibly be the start of an on-going UM tradition.
“We definitely want to bring it back,” Brandfon said. “One of the reasons why we wanted to do it so early in the semester was so that if it was very successful, we would have time to kind of regroup and figure out another batch of trucks, another date, find a spot on the calendar and get everything processed again.”
Local food-blogger Sef Gonzalez, who goes by “Burger Beast” and is known for reviewing and prizing Miami’s best trucks at his annual Bergie Awards, is a primary information source used by truck-lovers hoping to spend the night indulging. Recently, he launched a Food Truck Tracker app for the iPhone, a tool that provides menus, prices and the location of trucks nearby.
“[The event’s success] always depends on how well the first event is received,” Gonzalez said. “The answer could be a yes, but I do think UM has the right ingredients to make an awesome event. Are you guys up for the challenge?”
An hour after eating begins, Category 5 will welcome students to The Rock for a pep rally, where cheerleaders, entertainers and Sebastian the Ibis are expected to boost enthusiasm for the upcoming football game against Ohio State. The rally is part of “Golden Era Week,” a weeklong series of events designed to celebrate football season and new traditions.
“The first pep rally of the year is the first welcome to football season and the athletic year in general,” said Caitlin Giles, chair of Category 5. “It’s meant to promote the game and to show our team and our school that we are spirited and we are excited and proud to be a Miami Hurricane.”
If you go
What: Gourmet Food Truck Night
Where: Stanford Circle
When: Sept. 15 at 8 p.m.