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16 November 2011

Uragano truck fills pizza void on campus

Students line up to try the new pizza truck food at the Memorial Circle. Carissa Harris//The Miami Hurricane

Your next meal could be on wheels.

Chartwells, in response to a request from Student Government (SG), unveiled its custom-designed new pizza truck, Uragano, on Monday.

Uragano, which means “hurricane” in Italian, is the product of an evaluation conducted by the university’s dining services, which determined that pizza is an important option to have on campus.

“We’re excited,” said Sandra Redway, the executive director of auxiliary services at UM. “This is a new concept and it’s not your run-of-the-mill food truck. It replaces the void left by Sbarro.”

Redway said that students have already given positive responses to the pizza truck.

“It’s really good pizza,” sophomore Natalia Rickards said. “It tastes better than Sbarro.”

Planning for Uragano began when SG requested an alternative to Sbarro once it was replaced by the temporary Rathskeller.

“We wanted to make some quick fixes for the fall semester,” she said. “Chartwells initiated the pizza concept because it’s a staple for students.”

The truck was created specifically for the university and John Cook, Chartwells’ executive chef, oversees the operation.

Uragano’s menu currently features 11 different pizzas, ranging from the basic Margherita pizza to the “U Bomb,” which includes bacon, sausage and pepperoni, among other toppings. The truck also offers three sandwich varieties and focaccia dippers.

The roving truck will make stops at the Memorial, Miller and Stanford Circles, as well as the Hecht/Stanford towers and the University Village (UV). Memorial Circle is located in front of the McArthur Engineering Building, and Miller Circle is in front of Gusman Hall.

Tentatively, it will be stationed Monday through Friday at Memorial Circle from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Miller from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The truck will move to either Hecht/Stanford or the UV in the late evening.

“We want to make sure that we put it where people need it,” Redway said. “Hours and locations will remain fluid. The schedule requires testing, trial and adjustment.”

Chartwells’ marketing staff will monitor the truck to determine where to place it to meet the demand throughout the day.

Junior Angelica Navas ordered a pizza while it was at Memorial Circle on Wednesday. She is pleased with the convenience and quality the truck brings to campus.

“I am excited because I just came out of class and it’s a great thing to have right outside,” she said. “It creates more diverse food options on campus, so we won’t get sick of the same things.”

Although many students have given Uragano positive reviews, others are not satisfied with the menu.

“I am disappointed that there is no gluten-free pizza on the menu,” sophomore Casey Epstein said. “If they were going to add a new dining option, I would have preferred that it be compatible with all diets.”

Redway said that Chartwells intends to accept Cane Cards as payment at the pizza truck, but that they are currently ironing out a few bugs in the system. For now, cash and credit cards are accepted.

“This is just another initiative to enhance dining on campus,” she said. “It’s one more effort for convenience.”

Uragano will update students on its location through both Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, students can send a tweet to @UraganoUM to suggest locations for the truck to stop.