This past week, UC Riverside Dining services introduced the 32-foot Culinary Chameleon food truck as the newest addition to campus dining. Dining services are hopeful that the truck’s versatile menu will draw a large population of students seeking unique food items. The menu options will change based on customer feedback and popular options trending in the food truck industry. Students have responded favorably to the new truck whose debut—originally intended for Jan. 16—was postponed for two weeks.
“At times, I am extremely busy with classes, so I skip mid-day meals. But with the new food truck, I think I may just have the opportunity to grab something and be on my way,” stated Samantha Jamal, who noted that her back-to-back classes often prevented him from eating. “One thing I like about the Culinary Chameleon is that their prices aren’t that bad. They are not over-priced, so it makes sense to buy from the truck since the food is being cooked while you wait for your order.”
Another source of praise has stemmed from the truck’s aesthetic appeal and novel approach to dining. Jamal praised Dining Services for introducing a “hip” dining option, believing that this new addition to campus dining locations will successfully attract food truck followers. Fifth year student Alexi Suazo shared her feelings about the truck, saying, “When I walked past the physics building, I saw the large colorful truck and I thought there was an event going on. It did not occur to me that we now have a food truck. I think the truck’s size definitely succeeds in attracting people.”
The Culinary Chameleon’s menu consists of burritos, salad bowls, quesadillas and tacos; grilled chicken, shredded beef, pork carnitas, Kogi pork and a vegetarian option are offered for the menu items.
According to the UC Riverside Newsroom, the food truck includes a high performance kitchen, two security cameras, a pair of air conditioning units and a stereo system. The food truck cost $250,000, a hefty saving compared to building a new restaurant—an option which costs around $1.5 million.