New dining initiative allows students to purchase from food trucks with meal points

| Staff Reporter

Washington University students had the option to upgrade their lunches from a half and half to a freshly made cheesesteak sandwich, all on the University’s meal plan thanks to local food truck “Steak Louie” this Tuesday.

Dining Services has been considering bringing in food trucks for the past two years, citing the trucks’ growing popularity. A goal of the program was to choose trucks that would accept meal points so that all students could participate, regardless of socioeconomic status, according to Dining Services Manager Paul Schimmele.

New dining initiative allows students to purchase from food trucks with meal points ELLA CHOCHREK | STUDENT LIFE Students wait in line for the Steak Louie food truck outside the Danforth University Center on Tuesday. A new initiative is testing bringing food trucks to campus that will accept meal points.

New dining initiative allows students to purchase from food trucks with meal points
ELLA CHOCHREK | STUDENT LIFE
Students wait in line for the Steak Louie food truck outside the Danforth University Center on Tuesday. A new initiative is testing bringing food trucks to campus that will accept meal points.

“Food trucks are part of the culture now…We began to look at [bringing food trucks to campus], and the most important factor was that every student could participate,” he said. “If you didn’t have extra cash, you wouldn’t be able to participate. So that meant that the truck would have to take meal points.”

“It’s a pilot program the University is exploring—bringing approved food trucks on campus and providing the option for students to pay with meal points,” senior David Gumins, chair of the Dining Services Advisory Committee, added.

If the program proves popular and operates successfully, Dining Services may implement it on a larger scale to allow for expanded dining options.

The food truck menu included multiple variations of the classic cheesesteak sandwich, as well as seasoned fries. The food truck’s goal is “to serve up exceptional, satisfying street food [and create] an experience worth sharing,” according to the Steak Louie website.

Steak Louie’s presence on campus raised interest from a large number of students; however, the wait time deterred many from actually ordering cheesesteaks or fries, as the wait in line was anywhere from 30 minutes to a full hour during the peak of the lunch rush.

Some students complained about the long wait, noting that steak takes a long time to cook, as opposed to other lunch items.

Students willing to put in the time needed to make it to the front of the line were greeted by Chef Paul Listenberger, a St. Louis native who cites his East Coast experience as the executive chef at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine kitchens as the inspiration for the Steak Louie sandwich, a cheesesteak “fused with St. Louis flavors.”

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.

Subscribe