Browsing articles tagged with " food carts"
Sep 4, 2014
Tim Lester

Thai-Street Food Truck Strikes Up Unique Arrangement in Back of Watering Hole

Patrons dined from paper food trays at tables and along the bar at Two James Distillery on a recent Wednesday night, at 2445 Michigan Ave. in Corktown. Thai food menus were laid out in neat stacks.

Food has not been readily available at the popular cocktail spot since its opening last year, but for the past few weeks, Katoi—a localized take on Thai street food—has been filling bellies here from a large green truck parked out back.

It’s a unique arrangement in a city with notoriously, headache-inducing food truck laws, and it remains to be seen if the concept catches on at other watering holes with no kitchens.

Eschewing mobility for an embrace of their physical location at Two James, Chef and food truck owner Brad Greenhill says Katoi is “less of a food truck and more of a food concept.”

“We’re not going to be at Campus Martius or Eastern Market,” he says. “We’re going to be a fixture here.”

They seem to have parked themselves comfortably in a position to grow.

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Katoi began serving dinner at Two James Wednesday through Saturday nights in mid-August, and last week just added Tuesday nights, with catering and delivery options available as well.

On the occasional Sunday night they’ll take the truck over to Motor City Wine, just across the street.

“Customers have been wanting food here a long time. I heard it all the time when I was working here,” said Sam Falik, a former Two James employee who is now working with Greenhill on Katoi. The distillery, meanwhile, gets to add a food menu without having to splurge on a commercial kitchen build-out.    

It helped Katoi get up and running quicker that they bought the truck from a former food vendor—the Green Zebra—which came with the vendor’s license. 

“The license carries over with the truck, and is good until the end of the year,” Falik said. “That was extremely helpful in getting us into business quickly.”

Seated at the bar, Kristyn Koth was happy for the new food options. Koth ran her own mobile food operation out of a 1956 Airstream trailer in 2010 and 2011, and knows how hard that business can be. Food truck laws in Detroit are “a tangled mess,” she said. She eventually gave hers up after being hit with a mounting pile of violations and no clear route from the city to legally pursue mobile food vending.

It took El Guapo, “downtown’s first fully sanctioned food truck,” about 60 visits to City Hall over the course of six months to get licensed by the Buildings, Safety, Engineering and Environment Department, Crain’s Detroit Business reported when El Guapo finally opened in the summer of 2011.

At Two James, customers order at a window near the building’s rear entrance and take a numbered card back to their tables. When the order is up, Katoi’s food runners take the dishes from the truck to the patrons and retrieve the numbered card. In addition to the bar’s regular seating, Katoi has two tables set up in back near the truck. 

Greenhill gives traditional Thai street food a particularly Michigan spin. “We’re using Thai flavor profiles with what is seasonal here,” he said. “Right now we’ve got corn, eggplant, tomatoes, grilled leeks—all of that is coming up fresh and we can get it locally. I wouldn’t describe it as authentically Thai—it’s Thai inspired.”

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Curry with noodles and chicken.

An order came up, steaming from the ledge of the truck’s service window—a bowl of noodles in a rich red curry. The curry was spicy but not overpowering, balanced with coconut and fresh cilantro. Meat melted from the bone of curry-sunken drumstick of chicken.

Almost all of the vegetables used are sourced locally, from Keep Growing Detroit and Eastern Market vendors to neighborhood farms in the city. “Some of the herbs people don’t have the ability to grow locally yet,” said Greenhill, but “more and more of it we will eventually be able to get local.”

Prices range from around $5 to $15 per dish.

Greenhill began cooking as a student at the University of Michigan before pursuing it professionally at award winning restaurants, first in Ann Arbor and then in Boston. He got burned out on the industry and moved into web development for some time, but the local culinary scene lured him back, as he became involved in popular food pop-ups in Detroit and Hamtramck.

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Greenhill at work in the Katoi truck.

He was interested in striking out on his own, he said, when he was talking to friends of his at Two James.

“They wanted to do food, we wanted to do a food truck. As we started getting more serious about it, it was like, let’s just park it right here,” Greenhill said. So far, so good.  

 

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Sep 3, 2014
Jim Benson

Thief Stole $800 from Downtown Food Cart Vendor, Police Say

Food vendors at Whitehall and Pearl streets, Sept. 2, 2014. 

View Full Caption

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A thief stole a bag containing $800 in cash from a Lower Manhattan food cart vendor last week, police said.

The 39-year-old food vendor was attaching his cart to his truck at about 2:50 p.m. Aug. 26 when he placed the bag on top of his truck, according to a police report. When he had finished about 10 minutes later, he noticed that the bag — containing the $800, three credit cards and his vending and driver’s licenses — was gone.

The vendor, who had parked at Whitehall and Pearl streets, did not see the person who took the bag, and there was no surveillance video, police said.

Other recent crimes in the 1st Precinct include the following:

► A man had more than $3,000 worth of camera equipment stolen from his car while it was parked on Maiden Lane last Saturday afternoon.

The 20-year-old man left his Ford Taurus sedan at 110 Maiden Lane at about 10 a.m. on Aug. 30 and when he returned at noon found the driver’s side door was damaged and his gear, including a Canon 7D camera, two lenses and a hard drive were all gone, according to the police report.

► A worker’s tablet was stolen from his Verizon van last week when he left it parked on Varick Street.

The 47-year-old worker parked the van in front of 183 Varick St. on Aug. 26 at about 10 a.m., police said. When he returned an hour later he found the driver’s side window smashed and the Verizon-owned tablet, which had been sitting on the center console, was gone.

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Sep 3, 2014
Jim Benson

Food Cart Review: Kim Jong Grillin’

Kim Jong Grillin’ went down the same year as its namesake.
In 2011, on the same night it won a judge’s choice award as the
favorite food cart at Willamette Week’s Eat Mobile festival, Han
Ly Hwang’s cart caught on fire and had to be shut. But just like
Jong-il, Grillin’ is “immortal as sun,” undergoing a rebirth on
Southeast Division Street in early August.

The menu should be
familiar to fans of the original; if anything, it’s even more focused on
the hits. The hot dog ($6) is still a toasted baguette from Binh Minh
Bakery delivering one mighty foot of meaty Sabrett snap, pickled mango
sweetness and daikon kimchee spice. Which is to say, it’s one of the
best dogs in town—an All-American three-way rolling in flavors from
Korea and colonial Vietnam.

But
it’s not even the best thing on the menu. Get the bibim box ($10), which
is exactly what it sounds like: a box of bibimbap, with your choice of
chicken, pork, or beef bulgogi or short ribs. The cart’s marinated
bulgogi is both charred and tender, and drenched in umami-rich soy
flavor. Throw in a perfectly sunny-side-up egg flavored with the
still-new grill burnt into its edges, and a handful of light-as-air
spicy kimchee, and you’ve got one of the best Korean plates this side of
Beaverton. The kalbi (short ribs) likewise are excellent. The only miss
on the menu is a too-dry lettuce wrap ($4) that could do with the
option to add the same gochujang sauce spicing up the bibim box.

Ly Hwang might have gotten edged out by fellow Portland cart cook Nong Poonsukwattana on the Food Channel’s Chopped
this year, but apparently the show gave him the kick in the butt he
needed to finally get back in the truck. It’s perhaps the first positive
thing reality television has ever done for America.

  • Order this: Bibim box with bulgogi ($10) or hot dog ($6).

EAT: Kim Jong Grillin’, 4606 SE Division St., 929-0522. Noon-8 pm daily.

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Sep 3, 2014
Kim Rivers

Fayetteville Prepares New Food Truck Lottery Drawing For 2015

Photo courtesy of the City of Fayetteville.

Photo courtesy of the City of Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – The city of Fayetteville is preparing for a new food truck lottery drawing that will decide what mobile vendors get permits for 2015, according to a news release.

On March 18, the Fayetteville City Council passed a new mobile vendor ordinance and then in April started accepting applications for businesses that wanted to operate a food truck in public areas.

In May, six vendors were picked from the food truck lottery, but later in the month they were all disqualified because they did not meet the criteria of the ordinance.

Applications for 2015 can be found here for food trucks that will park parallel in public parking spaces to sell food downtown (primarily on Dickson Street).

Applications for food trucks or trailers that will be used in city parks or streets outside the downtown area can be found here.

Lottery tickets can be turned in from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 at the Fayetteville Development Services Department at 125 W. Mountain St., according to the release.

The drawing for permits will be done at 9 a.m. on Nov. 3 in room 111 of Fayetteville City Hall at 113 W. Mountain St., the release states.

Lottery winners will be contacted by city staff the same day the drawing is done, according to the release.

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Sep 3, 2014
Kim Rivers

Boise food truck rallies shows off local grub

The strong aroma of simmering burgers and crepes fills the air. The air in the Whole Foods parking lot is nearly equal parts smoke and oxygen. Surrounding the curb an array of food trucks, including Burgerlicious and B-Town Bistro, who greet enthusiastic customers at the past Food Truck Rally.

“I want to change how people view trucks,” said Sheila Francis, official Idaho Food Truck Rally coordinator. “They are not the ‘roach coach’ of the past. They are making really stellar food in unconventional settings.”

Food trucks allow theircustomers mobility, variety and the freedom to experiment and expand their menus. According to Shannel Stinner, a graduate from Boise State, these qualities of food trucks make it easy to nourish yourself no matter what activity you are up to.

“I can grab something that is fast and delicious and better than fast food and continue on my way whether I am at a fair, the Saturday Market or at work,” Stinner said.

Stinner says that she eats at food trucks a couple of times a month and enjoys how easy food trucks make it to support local business.

“People are taking their creativity, passion and merging that with local food producers to deliver a high quality, unique dining experience,” Said Stinner.

Over the last five years, food trucks have found their place in Boise cuisine. One of the defining stepping points for food trucks in Boise was the establishment of Food Truck Rallies.

In 2011, Jake Black, an employee of The Payette Brewing Co., copyrighted the phrase “food truck rally” in the state of Idaho. Black was formerly a resident of Portland, Oregon where food trucks are very popular. He felt that Boise was ready to embrace the vehicular restaurants.

One of the problems that stood in Black’s way were the sanctions against vending in Boise’s Business Section, the larger area of Boise’s downtown.

“I am really dissatisfied with the current situation for food trucks. The ban on street vending downtown is unfair in my opinion,” Francis Said. “We don’t protect one fast food from another and say they must open a certain distance from each other, we let the market decide so I feel it should be the same for food trucks. “

In order to create an affordable location for food trucks to sell their dishes, Black decided that he should create Food Truck Rallies.

The first food trucks to be part of the Food Truck Rallies were Archie’s Place, B29 Streatery, Boise Fry Company, Brown Shuga Soul Food, Calle 75 Street Tacos, Riceworks and A Cupcake Paradise.

“These vendors have really put their heart and soul into their food operations and have seen a lot of success.”Said Francis

Since then Calle 75 Street Tacos, A Cupcake Paradise and Riceworks have been able to open permanent locations. Food truck rallies have become a monthly occurrence, popping up all over various Boise and Meridian locations. Food trucks have a wide array of dish types and Francis recommends that students figure out what their personal favorite is by finding out the locations of food trucks on Facebook or attending the Food Truck Rallies.

The next Boise Food Truck Rally is happening Sept. 27 at 12 p.m. in High Desert Harley- Davidson parking lot.

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Sep 3, 2014
Kim Rivers

Flavor File: Folc Opens, Augie’s Does Steak, Plus a New Food Truck

Folc (226 E Olmos (210) 822-0100), the first of three adjacent concepts by chef Luis Colon, wine director Cecilia Barretto and bar director David Naylor (all previous members with the Texas Cooks’ Co-Op) opens its doors today. The eatery sits inside the former Ciao Lavanderia (first opened by Damien Watel) and features contemporary takes on American fare. The Current got a sneak peek of the menu during a soft opening this past Thursday. Patrons can expect to find four sections of shareable plates—fowl, land, sea and earth—with menu items such as a zesty schnitzel with capers, fried sweetbreads with a nutty coffee mayo, a few tartine offerings and desserts. Prices range from $9 to $35 buckaroos for the crab legs and chili butter. They hope to open 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays. Saturday and Sunday brunch will be available. Park Social, the second phase of the project, should open in the next week or two.

In even meatier news, Augie Cortez of Augie’s Barbedwire Smokehouse opened Augie’s Alamo City BBQ Steakhouse (909 Broadway) this past Monday. The eatery, which sits at 909 Broadway between McCullough and Jones, will feature a similar menu to its sister location, along with—you guessed it—steaks. Restaurant hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Tuesday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; and noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

The Brooklynite, Stay Golden Social House and GS 1221 are playing host to a new food truck these days. Stay for the Food, opened by husband and wife team Daniel (who’s spent time as sous for Mark Bliss and executive sous for Rene Guerrero, grill chef at Bohanan’s) and Samantha Dominguez and partner Samuel Wratten (a former sous chef at Bohanan’s) is adding a beet risotto along with a 63-degree egg over fresh pasta and truffle caviar to your late-night dining options. You can also catch them at Toni Jo’s Food Park in Helotes, but check them out on Facebook for specific location details and times.

A belated congrats to The Block food truck park (14530 Roadrunner Way) and Big Bob’s Burgers Downtown (100 N Santa Rosa, (210) 227-2627) for celebrating their first anniversaries in business this past weekend.

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Sep 3, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food Truck Friday goes red

Come get your red on at The Star’s Food Truck Friday!

Join us as First Friday and Food Truck Friday intersect with Red Friday. For the fourth year in a row, you’ll get a chance to sample the city’s best street fare from 12 local food trucks. Come hang out and talk with Jill Wendholt Silva, The Star’s James Beard award-winning food editor and restaurant critic, plus meet former Chiefs players and some of The Star’s sports columnists.

The trucks will be in The Star’s parking lot at the corner of 18th and McGee streets from 5 to 8 p.m. The lineup: Beauty of the Bistro, CoffeeCakeKC, Crave of Kansas City, Deco Street Eats, El Tenedor, Indios Carbonsitos, The Moose Truck, Prairie Fire Oven, Smokin’ Fresh Streetside BBQ, Street Wings KC, Torched Goodness Creme Brulee and Wilma’s Real Good Food.

Save the date: Last Food Truck Friday of the season will be Oct. 3.

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Sep 3, 2014
Kim Rivers

Tasty Tuesday: Delectabowl Food Truck

? Brandon: WE’RE LIVE OUTSIDE, AND WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE GROWING TREND OF FOOD TRUCKS. AND THESE GUYS DELECTABOWLS ARE OUR “TASTY TUESDAY” OF THE WEEK. GET HEALTHY STUFF, ALL FOR UNDER 10 BUCKS ON THE GO. GRILLED CHICKEN, THE VEGETARIAN OPTION. I’LL DO THE CHICKEN. HELLO THERE! Brandon: HELLO AND WELCOME TO DELECTABOWLS, FILLED WITH TASTY FRESHNESS WITH A SIDE OF COMFORT FOOD. PORK-A-BOWL, VEG-A-BOWL. WE HAVE THE CHICKPEA AND LENTIL STEW. Brandon: THEY DESIGNED THE MENU AND CUSTOMIZED THEIR TRUCK WITH THE FOOD TRUCK WAVE JUST TAKING SHAPE IN METRO DETROIT. WE SERVE COMFORT FOOD AND IT’S SIMPLE BUT YET WE PUT OUR OWN TWIST ON IT. EVERYTHING IS FRESH. WE TOP IT OFF WITH REALLY FRESH SALADS AND HOMEMADE SAUCES AND A LAYERED BOWL OF FLAVORS AND IT’S AWESOME. Brandon: MARINATED GRILLED CHICKEN, SLOW-COOKED BARBECUE, LAYERED WITH PRESSURE VEGETABLES AND STOPPED OFF WITH SALSAS AND OTHER HOMEMADE SAUCES. Brandon: THEY SAY THEIR TRUCK IS AT LOCAL FESTIVALS AND DAILY FOOD TRUCK LUNCH SPOTS. NEXT IS THE OPENING OF FOOD TRUCK PARKS ALL OVER METRO DETROIT WITH PORK-A-BOWLS AND OTHER BOWLS. THEY’LL STAND UP AGAINST THEM ALL. GOING BACK IN TIME AND ENJOYING A NICE MEAL WITH PEOPLE YOU LOVE. Brandon: THEY’LL BE HERE TODAY? YOU HEARD ME ON THE AIR. SORRY. WE’RE RIGHT OUTSIDE THIS DELECTABOWL TRUCK HERE. Rhonda: THE FIESTA BOWL. Brandon: THERE’S ASHLEE EATING. Evrod: AND THEY HAVE CORN BREAD, TOO, RIGHT? Brandon: THEY DO. KATIE WAS DOING HOSPITALITY IN DENVER AND THEY TEAMED UP TO COME UP WITH AN IDEA HERE IN DETROIT, BOTH LOCAL NATIVE MICHIGANDERS AND CAME TOGETHER, CREATED THIS TRUCK AND WE’VE GOT MORE FOOD COMING OUT HERE. I’M GUESSING THIS IS THE PORKABOWL. THIS IS THE COMFORTBOWL. AND HERE WE HAVE GOT THE VEGTABOWL. AND NOW RON DER IS DOUBLE-FISTING. Rhonda: I CAN’T EAT WITHOUT MY HANDS. Brandon: ASHLEE IN GONNA EAT AND THEN GOOF OFF! WE HAVE A SPECIAL FOR THEM, SEPTEMBER 8, TWO BUCKS OFF AS YOU ORDER A BOWL. TWO BUCKS OFF OF IT. THEY’LL BE AT CAMPUS MARTIUS

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Sep 3, 2014
Kim Rivers

What’s your pick for New Orleans’ best food truck? – The Times-Picayune

Over the last few months, I’ve visited nearly every food truck in New Orleans. Along the way, I’ve compiled a guide to our city’s food trucks. So far, we’ve covered 16 of them. We’ll be adding more. And new trucks roll onto the streets nearly every month.

After all that eating, I was ready to name some favorites. It wasn’t easy. But for 2014, these are NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune’s picks for the top five food trucks:

There are a lot of trucks on the New Orleans streets. Your favorite might be different from mine.

So vote for the truck you like best in the poll below (and let us know if we missed one). May the best truck win.

***

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Sep 3, 2014
Kim Rivers

The Big Blue food truck rolls onto UB’s campus

Students gathered at Big Blue, UB’s first food truck, on Saturday, Aug. 30. The truck will be at locations on North and South campus throughout the week serving up mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches and Teppanyaki dishes. Chad Cooper, The Spectrum

In a city with Food Truck Tuesdays and Food Truck Rodeos throughout the summer, Buffalonians love their meals on wheels. Up until this semester, UB had yet to bring that gastronomy to campus.

Over the weekend, UB’s first food truck was unveiled to the public at the opening home football game against Duquesne. Big Blue, the new truck, will be stationed at North and South Campus at locations that current Campus Dining and Shops (CDS) food stations do not serve.

“It’s certainly a national trend,” said Ray Khol, the marketing manager for CDS as to why now was the right time for Big Blue. “Food trucks, they’re peaking right now.”

The truck will be on North Campus Monday, Wednesday and Friday and South Campus Tuesday and Thursday, according Kohl.

The menu will change during the week. Students can order grilled cheese and mac and cheese Monday through Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, the truck will serve mac and cheese and the Teppanyaki – a Japanese style of cooking with an iron griddle – dishes.

“Mobile vending,” which was a little-known industry five years ago, has become “one of the fastest growing trends in food service,” according to the National Food Truck Association’s website.

Between 2007 and 2012, the mobile restaurant industry grew by 8.4 percent is valued at $1 billion. In 2017, food trucks are estimated to generate $2.7 billion in revenue, according to aboutfoodtrucks.com.

That’s no secret in Buffalo.

The city has 25 food trucks that belong to the Buffalo Food Truck Association. Big Blue is UB’s twist on the transportable dining trend.

“It’s a mobile kitchen,” said Adam Coats, the assistant director of CDS. “It has everything. We’re 100 percent flexible. If there’s something out there that increases in popularity but we don’t have it in one of our storefronts, we can try it out there [with Big Blue].”

For Ryan Pope, a junior economics major, the menu options were a “little limited” at the Aug. 30 opening. He said he prefers eating at the Student Union because it has more variety.

Neil Tsirkin, a sophomore business major, attended the “secret” pre-opening of Big Blue on Aug. 27 and tried The Pink Goat, a grilled cheese sandwich made with herbed goat cheese on rye bread with pickled beets and arugula.

“It was very refreshing and light,” Tsirkin said. “A nice spin on the typical old school grilled cheese.”

Other dishes on the menu include the Cha Cha Chicken Melt, the Peanut Butter with Sideburns and a Beef on Weck Mac and Cheese.

Big Blue’s menu varies unlike other food trucks in Buffalo that specialize in one type of food – Lloyd’s has its tacos, The Whole Hog focuses on pork and Macarollin’ specializes in gourmet mac and cheese.

Lloyd’s Taco Truck opened in 2010 with OG Lloyd and now has three trucks traveling around Western New York, according to mobile-cuisine.com. The taco truck spends a lot of time around SUNY Buffalo State’s campus and allows students to pay using Bengal Bucks, comparable to UB’s Campus Cash.

As a popular eatery close to campus, Buff State students appreciate both the prices and menu choices.

“It’s fast, convenient and a decent price for good food,” said Elizabeth Lusk, a senior education major at Buff State. “The bean burrito is my go-to. There is always a line of some sort every time I walk by no matter what time of the day it is.”

Food trucks can offer an atmosphere of community as patrons stand outside in line. Jessie Cramer, a senior business major, ate at Big Blue’s opening Saturday and said buying food at the truck creates a good opportunity to meet new people and make friends.

“It’s good [for] camaraderie,” Cramer said. “It adds school spirit to the campus.”

Coats said the truck could help provide food to some of the lesser-served locations on campus.

He said the truck’s goal is to go where there aren’t “any points of sale,” such as areas on the Academic Spine, by the dorms and near UB Stadium and Alumni Arena.

The mobility of the truck gives CDS the opportunity to service new areas, despite being limited physically with stationary food stations, Kohl said.

Coats and Kohl agree Big Blue could present opportunities down the road for later hours – with a late-night menu for late-night cravings – and maybe even another truck.

But one professor isn’t a fan of Big Blue. On Saturday, she noticed some of the menu items were spelled wrong.

“That sign isn’t a very good advertisement for literacy at UB,” said Susan Udin, professor of physiology, about Big Blue’s menu in a comment on a UB Reporter article. “The words mozzarella, beets, peanut and banana are all misspelled. Also, the menu is amazingly high on cheese, cheese, cheese and more cheese, with sides of fried stuff. Yikes. I want to head over to Amy’s Place for some of their yummy lentil soup.”

Tsirkin and Rick Larocco, a freshman pharmacy major, don’t agree.

“It tastes fresh,” Larocco said. “You wouldn’t expect that from a food truck. Every time I go to a game, I’m going to go here.”

CDS prides itself on using locally sourced produce and Big Blue will be no different.

“The chef also informed me most ingredients will be grown on campus or locally,” Tsirkin said. “I think if they keep up the high quality and freshness of the food it will be a big hit for the UB community.”

Students will be able to pay using campus cash, dining dollars, cash and credit cards. Meal exchanges will not be accepted.

“It’s a big campus, big college, but it’s not that big though,” Coats said. “It’s still a captive audience. We had to be flexible and keep it fresh for them. When we designed it, we didn’t design it to a menu. We designed it to be able to produce anything.”

             

email: features@ubspectrum.com

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