Elizabethtown, PA: Mobile Dining Trucks Bring New Cuisines to Area

A sketch of a possible design for the J-Truk, Elizabethtown College's new food service truck on campus.

By Jordyn M. Howe | The Etownian

A sketch of a possible design for the J-Truk, Elizabethtown College's new food service truck on campus.

The food truck phenomenon is quickly sweeping the nation, as television shows such as “The Great Food Truck Race” debut on channels such as The Food Network. The trend is even present in Elizabethtown.

There are currently two food trucks that are making this area their home. The University of Pizza truck frequents the Elizabethtown Post Office Wednesdays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. Local Elizabethtown High School graduates Jake Elliott, 21, Mason Elliott, 19, and Zach Meyers, 19, are the owners and operators of this unique pizza truck.

As the truck continues to acquire regular customers, the owners hope it can become a staple of the community. “As far as our overall goals, we just want to say we created something that not only supports ourselves and our families, but also it is a great, fun thing for other families to enjoy everywhere we might be,” Meyers stated, one of the owners of the business.

The U of Pizza offers a wide variety of food truck staples: pizza, chicken wings, burgers, hot dogs and fries can be purchased at a reasonable price. After hearing about the pizza truck, I decided to stop by and grab a slice. I must say that I was not disappointed.

There were three criteria that I used to evaluate The U of Pizza’s pizza. The first aspect of the pizza that I examined was the crust. I look for two things when I eat pizza crust: texture and color. The U of Pizza’s crust had a subtle crunch on the outside with a slight chewiness on the inside.

Sauce and cheese were the next characteristics that I judged. The University of Pizza’s sauce was mild in flavor and the amount of sauce was sufficient: not too much, not too little. There was also a good portion of cheese on my slice that bubbled slightly as I saw an employee pull it from the truck’s pizza oven.

“There is something certainly special about us and our product. For one thing we are out of a truck; something you just do not see every day, and we feel that our pizza is just a great product with our sweet tasting dough and our sauce that just has just so much flavor to it,” Meyers said.

I rated The University of Pizza an eight out of ten. My slice was very enjoyable overall and possessed a certain homey quality that I loved. The pizza had a crunchy, but chewy crust, a good helping of sauce and a heaping amount of cheese. Overall, I would definitely recommend The University of Pizza’s mouth-watering slices to the students and faculty of Elizabethtown College.

The second and newest food truck that calls Etown its home is the College’s own J Truk. The truck makes its loop through campus Thursday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and accepts cash, charge or Jay Bucks in exchange for the truck’s fare. Although I have not had the opportunity to try all of the items that are listed on the menu, I did get the chance to sample the truck’s signature “Phat Jay” sandwich. When I received the sandwich, my first thoughts were that it looked like the perfect 2 a.m. snack, but I was sadly mistaken.

My friends and I all took a piece of The “Phat Jay” and found it to be extremely heavy and overly filling. The sandwich is a carb overload, containing breaded chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, French fries, cheese sauce and marinara sauce. Now imagine all of that breading piled onto a hot dog roll, a.k.a more bread. Not even the cheese or the marinara sauce could save the “Phat Jay” from the dryness that entered our mouths as we took our first bite of bread, bread and more bread. When I tried the sandwich, I instantly thought that it uses better suited for the hungry college student during the late night and weekend hours, but not necessarily at six in the evening when I sampled it.

“The ‘Phat Jay” was like a heart attack in my mouth. It was heavy, loaded with carbs, and extremely dry. I enjoyed the cheese fries, but wasn’t a fan of the sandwich as a whole,” junior Amanda Lazzarotti agreed.

I would rate the The “Phat Jay” a four out of ten. The sandwich may not be the perfect match for my tastes, but many other students may love it. I am looking forward to trying the various sandwich options that the truck plans to offer, but I do not think that I will be trying at the “Phat Jay” again

For more information about the food trucks, check them out online at www.theuofpizza.com and www.etown.edu/offices/dining/food-truck.aspx. Make sure to be on the lookout for the local food trucks and remember they aren’t your average meal on wheels!