CALIFORNIA – The American sandwich has never been sexier and California University of Pennsylvania has rolled out a winner that arouses the palate, taking boring college food to new heights via a new food truck.
The truck is offering a delicious pulled pork sandwich dripping in a Memphis sweet and tangy barbecue sauce and topped with a Napa cabbage slaw flavored with a Korean/Thai chili sauce.
This is where street food meets chef Melinda Gibson of AVI Foodsystems, the dining vendor at Cal U.
“Our concept is barbecue,” Gibson said. “It’s going over well.”
Every Americans eats on average one sandwich a day and consumers are demanding “palate tickling” choices made fresh with new and interesting textures and ingredients, according to USFoods. For example Bon Appétit magazine has devoted this month’s cover to one beautiful fried chicken sandwich topped with cole slaw and slathered in a chipotle sauce.
The food truck at Cal U. is responding to this trend by introducing a Southern fusion menu, which also includes pulled chicken or beef laced with the choice of four different tangy slaw dressings.
Gibson said one slaw is flavored with apple cider vinegar and oil and serves as the truck’s version of the Pittsburgh cole slaw that tops sandwiches made famous by the ever-popular Primanti Brothers restaurants.
The sandwich fillings also are available in tacos, which cost $3 for two of them. The truck also has introduced a breakfast menu and will expand to offer other items, including pizza, as it moves around the campus or to sporting events.
It arrived in March in response to what students said they wanted in a survey and to prepare for a disruption of food service while the university’s student union undergoes extensive renovations. Parked outside Azorsky Hall off Third Street, the truck is open to the public.
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