The Pony Express is the only food truck operated by any Kentucky university and has received a mostly positive reception from its customers.
Kensie Wagner, senior from Evansville, Ind., visits the Pony Express nearly every Monday when it is stationed behind the Oakley Applied Science Building where she works. She said it is convenient for her to simply walk out the back door, grab a quick lunch and get back to work or her studies.
“It’s better food, it’s not as crowded, it’s closer and I think it’s cheaper,” Wagner said.
Students are finding the Pony Express as a fast and easy way to satisfy their hunger cravings during the busy school day.
Glynn Jones, junior from Huntsville, Ala., was a first-time visitor to the Pony Express when he saw the truck and stopped to get lunch between classes, he said.
“There are less people here than in the Thoroughbred Room, and it’s right beside my classroom building,” Jones said.
The friendliness of the staff and variety of the menu are things some students and faculty say they enjoy about the University’s food truck.
Pony Express employee June Siegrist said, “We’ve gotten a great response this semester. With all the burgers, chicken, salads, and wraps, students seem to love us.”
Siegrist said the food truck travels to different sides of campus in order to cater to students and faculty who do not have time to travel to Winslow or to the T-Room for their meals.
Siegrist said the Biological Sciences Building and J. Jones Chemistry Building seem to be very popular with the Pony Express because the closest dining option for those students and faculty is across campus.
Kris Cole, junior from Murray, said it was nice to be able to walk outside from work, quickly grab a bite to eat and go back inside.
“I have flex dollars only, so the Pony Express or the T-Room is really the best place for me,” Cole said. “At the T-Room, I tend to load up on everything and spend around $10, but at the Pony Express I get a good meal for $4 to $6.”
Timothy Bruce, department chef manager, said he has received great comments about the truck from students and faculty.
Even with all the positive comments, he said Dining Services is always looking at changing menu items and is hopefully expanding into a second shift which will extend operating hours into the evening.
Bruce said offering evening hours may broaden the Pony Express’ reach off campus as well.
“We’re definitely looking into bringing the Pony Express to the Evo villages (Campus Evolution Villages) where students can use their Flex dollars easily,” he said.
He said one unique aspect of the Pony Express is that it takes flex dollars.
“It expands the service that dining on campus has already provided and helps students out with mobile eating by using money they’ve already bought, so to speak,” Bruce said.
Barbara Like is an administrative assistant at the Counseling Center and she said the Pony Express is a great option for dining on campus.
Like said, “The friendliness of the staff aboard the Pony Express is great. They know my order every time I walk up.”
Like also said she wishes there was more than one food truck on campus because she enjoys it so much.
“It would be great if it were here every day for us to visit,” she said. “It’s nice because a lot of faculty and students get out of their cars and stop and get food on their way to wherever they’re going on campus.”
Said Paula Amols, director of Dining Services and Racer Hospitality: “I’m delighted at the great reception the truck has gotten from everyone and that we are continuing to look at how we can expand and improve our services to better serve the community.”
Story by Alex Mahrenholz, Contributing writer