UCR food truck disappears, new Jalapeño’s restaurant disappoints

Graphic by Gordon Huang

UC Riverside Dining Services remain in disarray as the future of two key investments–the Culinary Chameleon Food Truck and Jalapeño’s Restaurant (under construction)—have become jeopardized. In an apparent backfiring of its namesake, the Culinary Chameleon’s camouflage system has stumped any attempts to locate the $250,000 truck. Meanwhile, students have begun to protest against the HUB’s opening of Jalapeño’s Restaurant, whose menu will feature exotic foods such as kangaroo and alligator meat.

“We probably should have given the truck a paint job based on a more visible animal, like a zebra. Better yet, we should have probably just painted the truck solid colors,” lamented a campus official who was among the original supporters of the chameleon design. Rumors around campus have suggested that the truck is located either at the botanical gardens or the Box Springs Mountains, where the truck’s camouflage properties would be most effective.“I was hiking up to the C when I noticed a giant boulder moving towards me; it turned out to be the food truck in disguise. Luckily, the truck was open so I bought a burrito,” stated a UC Riverside student in an interview with the Highlander.

University administrators will soon utilize unmanned drones to help facilitate the search process.While the student’s burrito was likely composed of chicken or steak, the same cannot be said of the menu items at Jalapeño’s Restaurant. Jalapeño’s was originally intended to build upon the success of its sister restaurant, Habanero’s, but has failed to gain positive interest from students; independent polls have revealed that 99 percent of the campus population is opposed to the new restaurant.

The controversy surrounding the restaurant has been exacerbated due to a recent incident in which an employee suffered minor wounds from an alligator bite.Jalapeño’s had planned to advertise its menu items under creative names such as Gator Gyros, Outback Omelets and Beastly Burritos. The creative names and other publicity efforts, however, have gone unappreciated. “Why don’t we take the same menu at Habanero’s and put it in Jalapeño’s?” inquired a fourth-year business major. “Kangaroo and alligator? Seriously? I just want a chicken burrito.” It is uncertain whether the university will re-consider its numerous contracts with kangaroo and alligator meat vendors.

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