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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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AU wraps up Trucktoberfest on the quad

Month-long festival brings diverse cuisine to students with no charge for meal plan holders

A feast on wheels has rolled onto the Friedheim Quad. 

Trucktoberfest ​​— a month-long American University event involving vendors from all over the DMV area — brought roughly 63 food trucks to AU over the course of 21 days. Meal plan holders could participate in the festival free of charge, thrown in by the American dining program as a particularly favorable student perk.

“It’s a nice change of pace from the other food that’s offered [here],” said freshman Azle Padilla. She ordered poutine from “Urban Poutine Limited,” a traditional Canadian comfort food with french fries, caramelized onion and mozzarella. 

The event’s offerings included tortas from Latin America, dumplings from the Himalayas and even classic funnel cakes for a sweet midday treat. Vegetarian and vegan options were also on the menu every weekday day of the month.

The ordering process for Trucktoberfest was completely digital. Students could access the food truck schedules and submit their orders through, where the month-long festival was coordinated. 

Elaine Bensiano, the operator of “Kam and 46,” expressed appreciation for her collegiate patrons. 

“Everyone’s been wonderful. Just wonderful,” she said. Bensiano’s truck serves Filipino and Hawaiian specialties such as adobo tacos with braised chicken and pickled green papayas.

Patrons could set a specific time and date online to pick up their order, thereby avoiding long waits in line. Students with meal plans should, however, be warned for future years to sign in with their AU email before placing their order. Otherwise, the promo code for free food does not apply.

“The ordering process was way too complicated,” said School of Public Affairs freshman Andrew Hair. “I felt like I [had to] set it up every time with the password.”

Hair ordered Trini Vybez Limited’s stewed chicken platter, which he described as “tasty” with “a lot of flavor.” 

“I would have ordered a lot more if the process wasn’t as complicated,” he said.

The biggest draw of this festival was its varied and exciting culinary offerings — foods that college students seldom have access to on a regular basis. 

According to Benisano, the diversity of this cuisine is by design. “The recipes we use are actually recipes we grew up with,” Benisano said. “We wanted to bring this type of food to the DMV since we found it very lacking.” 

Students could use the promo code up to ten times and incur no additional charges. With a massive array of vendors with dishes to please every taste and palate, more than a few found their attention drawn to this new dining experience.

“I normally just order during class when I’m not paying attention to my teachers,” said SPA sophomore Walter Bock. “I ordered the Peruvian Brothers chicharron sandwich. Oh God, it was really good.”

Trucktoberfest ended on Oct. 29. 

All in all, Trucktoberfest has served up an exciting change of routine for AU students throughout the all-too-brief weeks of October. 

“Definitely better than MGC or TDR food. Love it a lot,” said freshman Kyle Dunn. “I wish it were year-round because it’s honestly really great.”

Editor's Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled TDR. 

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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