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First Food Truck Festival falls short

First Food Truck Festival falls short

By Adam Lamper

Section: Arts

September 11, 2015

Located between the long line of students eagerly awaiting the chance to get a ticket for this year’s 24-Hour Musical and the savory tunes of How Deep Was the Ocean as they kicked off the Rose Art Museum’s “Lamplight Sessions” concert series, the Sept. 6 Food Truck Festival gave students a break from the monotony of the dining halls.

Students had the opportunity to grab a bite to eat from Rhythm ’n Wraps, Momogoose and even Sodexo’s own Street Grub, or to just enjoy the variety of games laid out across the grass, all sponsored by the Department of Student Activities. Though limited in number, the trucks most definitely delivered in flavor.

Momogoose was by far the most popular truck among the students, which comes as no surprise considering it was the winner of the Boston Food Truck Challenge in 2011. The company was founded in 1989 by MIT alumni, Loc Vo and Tiffany Pham, who believed the campus was lacking a source of authentic Vietnamese and South Asian cuisine. Momogoose places a high value on fresh, fast and flavorful food, avoiding artificial flavors and preservatives and using locally sourced ingredients wherever and whenever possible.

“The foods were fresh and healthy, and the ambience of being outdoors mingling with people while enjoying great food is absolutely inspiring,” which is a culture of social eating they aim to encourage with their business, Vo said about their past travels in Southeast Asia. Momogoose sponsors a special charity project every year with a portion of its proceeds, but the real reward is the overwhelmingly positive response from its customers. “In the end, it’s the fan emails that we get that really inspire us,” Vo said.

Rhythm ’n Wraps brought in its fair share of students as well, particularly those looking for gourmet vegetarian and vegan options. Co-founded by Aaron Cohen and Chef Oshinga, Rhythm ’n Wraps was “born from a lifelong love of food and music.” The duo is particularly inspired by Indian, Thai and Mexican cuisine, and takes a holistic approach to creating their food. Outside of Rhythm ’n Wraps, Oshinga manages and teaches at Neteru-Satsanga Society for Self-Realization, where he instructs on healthy eating, and draws connections between food, medicine and health. “We look at our food as medicine, and we enjoy providing the public with incredibly flavorful food which is also healthy,” Cohen said. Rhythm ’n Wraps is stationed at Harvard University Science Center every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and is looking forward to participating in many more local festivals in the near future.

Street Grub, though less exotic in flavor, catered toward students who craved food from the traditional, “All-American” food truck. Locally themed favorites such as the “South End Fenway Frank” and the “Beantown Grilled Cheese” sandwich were served up with loads of flavor and reasonable prices. Street Grub places a high value on giving back to the people, and donates a portion of its sales to charities that aim to end issues of hunger in the Greater Boston Area.

Though this year’s “festival” fell short of its hype, students were more than eager to give praise for that which was offered and suggestions for next year’s event. “It was nice to have vegetarian options,” said Rachel Bossuk ’18, as she and her peers enjoyed Momogoose’s signature sate dish and discussed possible trucks for next year from cold pressed juices to the classic ice cream truck. That being said, the festival was far from disappointing, but still leaves much to be desired for next year.

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