Ole Miss Dining lucked out with beautiful weather for its first-ever food truck festival in the Grove on Thursday. Taylor Grocery, Wiggly’s, Jake’s BBQ, Hot Box Hibachi, Blenz Bowls and Oxsicles served hundreds of hungry customers from 11-4 p.m. on campus.
The food trucks parked on University Avenue next to the Grove stage, each one with a line of students and Oxford residents stretching across the Grove throughout the entire duration of the festival. Many patrons brought their dogs, blankets and chairs to picnic, frisbees and family members to celebrate the community, nature and good food.
Mitch Hart, a senior integrated marketing communications major stopped at the festival after class for a California burrito from Wiggly’s, which he says is the best place to get Mexican food in Oxford.
“It was nice to see a bunch of people in the Grove after so long, get some good food and enjoy the sunshine,” Hart said.
Jake Houston owns and operates Jake’s BBQ, which he describes as a funky and creative take on traditional barbeque. He and his brother, John Hale, prepared around two hundred pounds of pork today, and after serving customers for half an hour after the festival ended, he only had enough left for one sandwich.
“It was way more people than I expected,” Houston said. “It was chaos. My mom just happened to come up to bring something we forgot and I looked at her and said, ‘You’re not going anywhere.’”
Houston said his mom stayed to help as they completed order after order, and at the end of the five hour period, the day felt like a blur.
“I literally have Jell-O coming out of my ears right now,” Houston said.
Blenz Bowls, a smoothie bowl food truck founded at the University of Alabama, has been serving students and faculty on campus regularly since the beginning of the spring semester.
Riley Voce, co-founder of Blenz Bowls, told the Daily Mississippian in February that what makes Blenz Bowls distinct from the competition is their commitment to a positive campus and employee culture.
“We push positivity, good vibes, being a good human, and we hope someday somebody sees something different about us,” Voce said. “We’re more than a smoothie company. When you come to the store, we want you to go away feeling good about your day, feeling good about yourself.”
Anna Kirk Presley, senior allied health sciences major, ordered a chicken tender plate from Taylor Grocery’s food truck and picnicked in the Grove with other students. She said it was refreshing to finally do something on campus that felt normal.
“The service was great considering how long the lines were,” Presley said. “I definitely had a great experience and would love to see Ole Miss do something like this again.”