Food trucks provide place for students to make memories

Morgan-Taylor Thomas

As they slurped their freshly made pasta underneath twinkling string lights, Amy Deaton and her freshman year roommates knew they had found their favorite eatery in a new city they now called home. 

“We didn’t go out to eat that much (freshman year),” said Deaton, a marketing and radio-television-film junior. “It feels kind of further away from campus, so it was just sort of relaxing being with my best friends.”

Now, Deaton said she and her friends look forward to making a monthly visit to Patrizi’s Italian food truck to relive those nostalgic moments from freshman year. 

As a way to support local businesses and venture off campus, some students have made lifelong memories at food trucks across Austin.  

Deaton said the authenticity of Patrizi’s food continuously brings her and her friends to the ordering window at 2307 Manor Road. She said Patrizi’s makes their pasta fresh every morning before serving it from their food truck.

“They even have people in line with you who are almost like your consultants,” Deaton said. “They make sure you know spice levels, sauces and all that stuff. Everything has such distinct flavors that a lot of times when we go, we each get something different and share.”

Sitting around a picnic table, Lexi Briley and her friends hung out for the first time when they ordered Mediterreanean food at the food truck Gyro Delicious on 2011 Whitis Avenue. Biochemistry freshman Briley said it is now the group’s favorite. 

“They say breaking bread with your friends is a really good way to sit and have a more casual conversation about life or how your day is going,” Briley said. “It’s a really good way to ease the tension because you have something you can do when the silence gets awkward.” 

Neuroscience graduate Savannah Baimbridge said she and her friends enjoy going to Trippy Buck Coffee behind the University Co-op. She said the way the owner tries to get to know his customers makes her and her friends feel welcomed. 

“We really like the local business aspect of it and know when we spend our money there, it’s going to a family instead of a huge corporation,” Baimbridge said. 

Baimbridge said between the affordability of a $3 cup of joe and the friendliness of the Trippy Buck Coffee owner, their experience is that much more enjoyable. 

“He really likes to get to know his customers,” Baimbridge said. “Two months ago, he was talking about how he and his wife were going on their honeymoon … (so) it’s really nice to just kind of go and make a relationship with the person that you buy your coffee from.”

For students like Deaton, Briley and Baimbridge, food trucks aren't just about the food — they’re about the people and the community formed between customers and owners. 

“It's honestly just made us more aware that we really want to support the local businesses,” Baimbridge said. “So we made an effort to look and see what are the small businesses we can support in Austin, especially during the pandemic. We all love (eating at food trucks) anyways, so that won us over.”