Everyone wins in Food Truck Wars

On Sept. 29, The Row hosted the second annual Food Truck Wars between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. With 10 different food trucks lining 28th Street, customers were sure to find something to suit their taste buds. Hundreds of USC Greek and non-Greek students took time out of their Thursdays to attend.

Cheer Burger Truck | Photo courtesy of Claire Preising

The event, sponsored by USC’s Interfraternity Council, USC’s Panhellenic Council and Chewse.com, a catering company formerly known as Dish Dash LA, donated 10 percent of proceeds to Troy Camp. The IFC and PHC each sponsored five different food trucks to compete for a special trophy.

Last year’s inaugural Food Truck Wars was a highly successful event that pitted the east side of the Row against the west, while this year’s event focused more on the Greek community as a whole. The competition aspect, however, was not completely lost this year; even the owners of the trucks were swept up in the idea of fraternities vs. sororities.

“Everyone gets naturally competitive in an event like this,” said Bill Kelly, found of Smokin’ Willie’s BBQ. “It’s a great idea, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

George's Greek Truck | Photo courtesy of Claire Preising

Smokin’ Willie’s BBQ truck, sponsored by the IFC, was a major draw for many students. Though the truck has only been operating for a year and a half, Smokin’ Willie’s is a well-established barbecue sauce brand.

The truck served up thick hoagie rolls layered with meat choices of pulled pork, spicy or classic chicken, and meatball. It also had less-traditional items such as BBQ tacos and sliders, served with the quintessential BBQ side dishes of baked beans, cole slaw or potato salad. A pulled chicken sandwich with coleslaw and a soda cost $8.50.

Other IFC-sponsored trucks included Slammin’ Sliders, Uncle Lau’s Island BBQ, Longboard’s Ice Cream and Macho Nacho. Longboard’s Ice Cream was particularly popular, boasting hand-dipped ice cream bars and frozen bananas with more than a dozen topping choices, including Pop Rocks and Fruity Pebbles.

The PHC provided some quality competition with its food truck picks. The Buttermilk Truck took up its usual position in front of Gamma Phi Beta, while Cheer Burger, George’s Greek Gyro Truck, Lake Street Creamery and Sweet E’s parked outside of Alpha Chi Omega and Delta Tau Delta.

Mach Nacho Truck | Photo courtesy of Claire Preising

Many were willing to hand out samples on request, and George’s Greek Gyro Truck gained fans with large platters of pita and beef gyro, which the food truck passed out to the waiting crowds.

Sweet E’s, which specializes in miniature baked goods, boasted a drool-worthy window display of sweet treats. The truck showcased tiny cupcakes in various flavors, such as vanilla chocolate-chip cookie dough, blue velvet, cookies and cream and Mexican chocolate churro.

In addition, the bakery sold chocolate-dipped pretzels, rice crispies and Oreos. The truck has been mentioned in Eater LA, OK Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Each cupcake was $1.50, while other treats were slightly higher in price.

The 10 food trucks were very popular throughout the evening, some more than others. The success of the event means that Troy Camp’s hopes for enough funds to send a group of children to Disneyland this month might be realized.

Stay tuned for updates and the final results of this year’s Food Truck Wars.