The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee met Monday to deliberate on the results of the recent food truck survey and to sample a potential new vendor for the Merchants-On-Points program.
The survey—which DUSDAC and Duke Student Government invited the student body to participate in on Mar. 27—closed Sunday. Members of DUSDAC discussed the results of the survey and the next steps in their process of determining which food trucks will be on campus next year. The committee also sampled from Serrano Delicafe, a local delicatessen.
“Over 10 percent of undergraduates responded,” said co-chair of DUSDAC Chris Taylor, a senior. “It is what I was hoping for optimistically.”
Taylor reported that through the end of the survey, the food trucks with the highest number of votes were Parlez-Vous Crepe and Foster’s on the Fly. The trucks with the lowest number of votes were Captain Poncho’s and Baguetteaboutit. As potential trucks for next year, Mac-Ur-Roni and Deli-icious had the most votes, while CJ’s Street Food and Bang Bang Banh Mi were among the trucks with the fewest votes.
Taylor said that the exact numbers for current vendors on campus were confidential.
DSG president-elect Lavanya Sunder, a sophomore, asked if the number of trucks on campus next year could be increased from seven to eight.
Taylor responded that the number of trucks is purposefully limited to seven, though he added that there could be an alternate truck on the list in case a truck needs to be replaced.
“Our highest commitment is to our vendors on campus because they have made the biggest financial sacrifice to be here on campus,” Taylor said. “We owe them a certain amount of business.”
The committee resolved that they would vote on next year’s seven food trucks and list for Merchants-On-Points at next week’s meeting.
The student survey results will be taken into account for the vote, but will not be the only determining factor.
Victor Serrano, owner of Serrano Delicafe—which opened in Brightleaf Square in August 2013—presented his food as a potential option to add to the merchants on points list for next year.
“Our menu is limited only by your imagination,” Serrano said. “We are a fully functioning deli.”
The deli has fresh bread on a daily basis, serves Boar’s Head meats and features fresh produce. Serrano’s is working to develop more gluten-free options, the owner said.
“I’ll also add that we have the best coffee in town,” Serrano noted.
Although Serrano’s currently offers delivery through Durham Takeout, Serrano said that students could directly call him for delivery at any time the deli is open with no surcharge. He added that the deli offers a 10 percent discount to people affiliated with Duke, which he referred to as the “family discount.”
“We can handle a lot more than we are getting,” Serrano said. “We’re small, but we’re working to expand.”
Serrano added that he had served members of the men's basketball team before games several times last season—and the team won each of the games.
Many DUSDAC members said that they enjoyed the food, but expressed concern that the deli was similar to Jimmy John’s—among the most popular Merchants-On-Points—as its primary products are sandwiches.
“There are many people who already do not like Jimmy John’s and then once people try this and realize it’s a lot better, they’ll [order] from here,” said junior Gregory LaHood. “I really like this guy and think he’d be fantastic.”
Co-chair of DUSDAC Caity Slattery, a senior, noted the reasonable prices, with most sandwiches ranging between seven and eight dollars.
During Serrano’s visit, Taylor asked Serrano if he would be interested in the possibility of a fair to raise awareness for Merchants-On-Points at the beginning of the fall semester.
“We would consider that an honor, you kidding?” Serrano said.