Students may have another option for Southern homestyle cooking in the near future. 

The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee sampled items Thursday evening from the food truck "Let’s Eat Homestyle." The truck has been in operation since Oct. 2017 and is based in Durham, said Celestine Stamper, a representative from Let’s Eat Homestyle.

“Our food truck is making everything homestyle,” she said. “So we cook all our food homestyle, and all of our sides are homemade. We don’t use the can.”

Entrées from the food truck include wings, pork chops and various types of fried fish, according to the signage on the food truck. The menu also features a number of sides, such as macaroni and cheese, green beans, collards, potato salad and fried okra.

The current price for an entrée is $6, while each side costs $2.89. A full dinner—which is composed of an entrée, two sides and hushpuppies—costs $10.50.

Stamper touted the sides as the items that “set [Let’s Eat Homestyle] apart from the other food trucks." The sides generally remain the same from day to day, although there may occasionally be a special entrée, such as salsa chicken, she said.

Water and fountain drinks are also available, in addition to banana or strawberry pudding—costing $4—for dessert.

Stamper explained that the company originally started as a catering business with the goal of eventually purchasing a location for a restaurant. However, due to a lack of available locations in Durham, she noted that Let’s Eat Homestyle adopted its current form of a food truck instead.

Several DUSDAC members raised concerns about the availability of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, noting that none of the entrées were vegetarian.

In response, Stamper said that the coleslaw, potato salad, okra, green beans and macaroni and cheese were all vegetarian. There is also a vegetarian plate available that consists of several sides, she added. 

But DUSDAC co-chair Julia Medine, a senior, noted that few people are likely to stand in line just to get sides. Vegan options are also limited, since the macaroni and cheese, potato salad and coleslaw all contain dairy.

The wait times to receive food can also vary depending on the entrée and the time of day, Stamper said, with the duration being anywhere from three to five minutes over a standard lunch hour or around 10 minutes for a cook-to-order scenario.

Another concern shared by several DUSDAC members centered on sustainability issues, as one of the food truck locations is next to Environmental Hall.

“We’re willing to work with people on our menu and other different things,” Stamper said. “For example, we went to the Central Park Rodeo, and we couldn’t use styrofoam, so we had to accommodate.”

Stamper also said some of the food, including the collard greens, comes from local vendors at the farmer’s market.

Sophomore and committee member Maddie Manning described her first impression of the food truck as “Skillet on wheels,” referring to the Southern-style eatery in the Brodhead Center. But Medine clarified that the food trucks are more tailored to students living away from West Campus, such as those who reside in the 300 Swift apartment complex.

“We’re not just servicing West Campus,” she said. “If anything, the food trucks right now are more important for Swift than they are for West.”

DUSDAC will continue to hear from prospective food trucks in the coming weeks to find a suitable vendor for an opening in the food truck lineup.