Every Tuesday after my noon class I walk over to the Engineering 2 circle and get in line for the Cruz N Gourmet food truck. Conveniently located on Science Hill at the Engineering 2 circle, Cruz N Gourmet makes stops at UCSC on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 11am until 2:15pm. Kathy Wallace, expediter and co-founder of the food truck, can be heard shouting out finished orders and handing plates of hot, fresh food to eager students. Kathy and co-founder Daric Wallace moved to Santa Cruz in 2008, and founded Cruz N Gourmet in April 2011. The menu features a delicious selection of simple, filling, dishes that showcase the pairs culinary excellence. In addition to being conveniently located at one of the busiest locations on campus, grabbing a bite from Cruz N Gourmet is also a great way to support a local business while getting a fresh and healthy meal.
If you're trying Cruz N Gourmet for the first time, I'd suggest the Southwest Chicken Burrito. The Southwest Chicken Burrito can be served as a rice bowl, wrap, or taco. I prefer it as a rice bowl and it is by far my favorite dish on the menu. It's so good, I've had a hard time convincing myself to try other things on the menu. The chipotle cream is tangy and compliments the marinated chicken well. I usually do not like corn salsa, but in this dish it works superbly and helps add sweetness to the rice.
The Louisiana Hot Link is great if you want something quick, yet hearty to eat. Cruz N Gourmet splits the link before grilling it, so all the shredded pepper jack cheese and sauteed onions are included in every bite of hot link. I usually add some brown mustard to give it an extra kick.
Typically I prefer fish and chicken as my protein in a meal, but the Sweet Indonesian Pulled Pork is delicious. More than the pulled pork, I've fallen head over heels for the creamy sesame slaw on the side. It's sweet, creamy, and crispy. The pulled pork can be saltier than I'd prefer, so a bite of the slaw along with the pork balances out the meal. The slaw is also this dynamite soft purple color that really pops on the plate. Like the Southwest Chicken Burrito, the Pulled Pork can be served as a rice bowl, taco, or wrap.
The Cruz N Gourmet menu also features vegetarian dishes, like mushroom quesadillas and garden burgers. There is a 6$ requirement with debit/ credit card transactions, so I'd suggest paying with cash. The menu changes with the seasons, so make sure to check out Cruz N Gourmet's website to see what is currently on the menu.
Do you frequent any food trucks on the UCSC campus or around Santa Cruz? Share your stories and favorites in the comments section below!