"In Manhattan, everyone knows The Halal Guys food truck on 53rd and 6th for the chicken and rice, served in a foil container.
“Binghamton Dining Services partnered with a student-run concept, and the result is Chick-N-Bap at the Hinman dining center, open during the Nite Owl hours.
“The chicken is marinated in smoky spices and charbroiled, so it melts in your mouth.”
—Kevin Spinner, CEC, Executive Chef, Sodexo, Binghamton University
“Students have an appetite around the clock. Late night at the Glace Grill (which is in a residence hall), you’ll see students winding down from a day at art school and often working into the night—there’s a studio nearby. You’ll see bathrobes and paint-spattered clothes for sure.
“They stop in to get a reprieve, have a snack. So we keep the menu interesting and it’s always changing, on a three-week cycle and we prep the food each morning, since we’re getting a later start. There are three stations: a grill, a wood-fired pizza oven and an action station.
“The action station is ‘American Seasonal’ cuisine: build-your-own Asian noodle bowls and Mexican food truck-inspired dishes, for example. Those include customizable burrito bowls, taco salads in a crispy shell and Walking Tacos, bags of Fritos ripped open and stuffed with grilled chicken or beef, shredded lettuce, salsa and guacamole (maybe they should be called Sitting Down Tacos!)
“We try to come up with some outlandish pizzas for the pizza station: Jambalaya Pizza (ground Andouille sausage, shrimp, shredded chicken and a Creole sauce); Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese (just like it sounds); and Loaded French Fry Pizza with French fries, cheese sauce, shredded Cheddar, tomatoes and bacon.
“We shape the pizza dough for individual pizzas into squares: this increases the perceived value, another big deal for late night menus.
“At the grill station, we have a ‘burger of the week’ to keep things interesting. And our burgers aren’t just beef: Lamb is very popular, and we have also done a burger with ground pork and one with salmon. We’re looking to do more with smoothies for late night, as there’s a health-conscious element, and even a sustainability angle in a lot of what we do: we are using raw honey and working with a co-op to get organic items.”
—Robert Loconsole, Director of Retail, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore
“Our food truck, Torero Tu Go, serves students in on-campus housing where there isn’t a nearby dining hall. From 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., we get a good mix of students—up late studying or just looking for a snack.
“Our most popular items are Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese and Prawn Tacos with an ancho-crema-cilantro-lime juice-avocado sauce. Soon, we’re going to offer wraps with sautéed veggies and hummus.”
—Justin Rickenbacker, food truck chef, University of San Diego