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Food trucks tie Tex-Mex roots to campus

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CW/ Scarlet VanMeter

CW/ Scarlet VanMeter

CW/ Scarlet VanMeter

Audrey Ferguson, Contributing Writer

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The Tide isn’t the only thing that rolls at The University of Alabama. Students see food trucks rolling across campus every day.

The trucks not only provide convenient, fast-paced accessibility for students to grab a bite to eat between class and work, but they are also cost-efficient. The trucks accept Bama Cash and Dining Dollars, and most meals fall around $9.00.

Based on student response and the large crowds congregating around the trucks during lunchtime, Local Roots and Little Poblano are two of the most popular food trucks on campus.

The trucks’ owner, Dustin Spruill said he wanted to provide two dynamic food trucks on campus to offer a variety of foods for a variety of student preferences.

Spruill, a Tuscaloosa native, was inspired to create both Local Roots and Little Poblano by the culture of Austin, Texas – particularly the food. After about a year of dreaming and planning, he and his wife brought the concept of Local Roots to life, rolling out their first truck in 2016.

“Local Roots was our first passion, and it was more of a success than we expected,” Spruill said. “I’ve also always loved Mexican food, and our executive chef had a background in traditional Mexican food. Now two years in, we’ve opened our second concept, Little Poblano,” he said.

Little Poblano came to campus for the first time this semester. Spruill prides his recipes on the fact that they’re made from scratch and with love.

“There is nothing that we buy that is pre-made,” Spruill said. “We make about 300 or 400 tortillas a day.”

Dustin Spruill, the owner of Local Roots and Little Poblano, shows off one of the trucks’ Tex-Mex dishes. CW/ Scarlet VanMeter

The food truck’s kitchen may be small, but the chef running it is a big deal. Executive Chef Brandon Wiman put his 13 years of professional experience to developing menus with variety.

“I went to the Culinary Institute of America in New York,” Wiman said. “I’ve worked for Chris Hastings and several other pretty well-known chefs in the Southeast.”

The food trucks stop at several different locations throughout campus so everyone has an opportunity to experience their on-the-go cuisine.

“I think we offer something that’s very authentic,” Spruill said. “It’s exciting, and we try to make it a fun, high-quality experience.”

Miller Fitts, a junior majoring in public relations, said the trucks bring more than food to the campus.

“Alabama is special because the University is a place of influence,” Fitts said. ”The trucks offer a hip and classic energy to the campus.”

A complete schedule for all food trucks, including times and locations on campus, can be found at bamadining.ua.edu.

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Food trucks tie Tex-Mex roots to campus