By Mike Strecker | NOLA.com
Among all the great college memories you treasure, chances are your university’s meal plan is not at the top of the list. But it’s likely Tulane students are never going to forget theirs.
Gumbo, shrimp po’boys, and red beans and rice are just some of the New Orleans classics trucking across the uptown campus when Roulez NOLA Comfort Food – the first food truck in the nation available exclusively for university meal plan subscribers – rolls.
Staffed by a six-member crew, Roulez’s menu also includes catfish po’boys, blackened chicken Caesar salad, red bean and fried chicken wraps, and chicken and sausage jambalaya.
Stirring up any alma mater memories?
If not, you aren’t alone. Roulez’s menu is a far cry from the fare provided by college meal plans most of us endured, which specialized in variations on the theme of chicken fried steak as the main entrée and unnatural couplings like shredded carrot and raisin salad as a side.
Tulane students on the other hand eat up Roulez’s daily offerings of local favorites, which for many is actually exotic fare. After all, Tulane’s class of 2019 is composed of students from 46 states and 30 foreign countries, and the average first-year Tulane student is more than 930 miles away from home.
But, while out-of-town scholars may not know jambalaya from Jujubes the first time they belly up to Roulez, they soon are noshing like natives.
“Tulane students can’t get enough of the local cuisine,” said Tulane University Dining Services by Sodexo general manager Tom Beckmann. “New Orleans is one of the world’s best food cities, and Roulez allows us to bring the best of our city’s cuisine to Tulane students throughout campus, wherever they might be.”
To keep track of Roulez’s global position, Tulane students can turn to something else most of us don’t remember from our college days – the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts of Tulane Dining Services.
Although it is the first meal plan based food truck to operate on a college campus, Roulez is actually the second food truck serving the Tulane community. The Ironsides Waffles rolling restaurant, which alternates between Tulane’s uptown and downtown campuses, offers an amazing array of New Orleans delicacies piled high on a waffle.
This is definitely not your father’s Eggo. We’re talking Patton’s hot sausage dressed with sliced cheddar cheese, arugula, tomato, red onions and pickle chips finished with a Creole mustard aioli.
Sound tempting? Well, Ironsides is not limited to students enrolled on Tulane’s meal plan so faculty, staff and visitors can give its offerings the old college try, too.
Ironsides, which also serves Nutella and banana waffles, breakfast waffles and much more, has gained the notice of the culinary world, as well. Food Management magazine bestowed its Best Menu award on Ironsides, and it was among the top 10 list of “Hottest Food Trucks” by Eater New Orleans, who dubbed it a “waffle-palooza.”
Roulez and Ironsides’ popularity reflects the rising stature of food trucks nationwide fueled, in part, by television series such as Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.” Roulez and Ironsides also reflect the enduring scrumptiousness of New Orleans’ homegrown cuisine and another reason why Tulane students from Massachusetts to Metairie are proud to call NOLA home.