In love with The Love Bus: campus food truck review

Vandy Campus Dining’s newest initiative, the food truck campaign, is finally underway. Here’s our take on the first of these trucks: The Love Bus.

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Isabella Wetzka

The Love Bus burger, brought to campus by a VSG and Campus Dining intiative.

Isabella Wetzka

Campus dining has lately become a hotly debated issue on campus, given the recent changes implemented due to COVID-19 regulations and precautions. However, regardless of your opinion on these rules, it is hard to deny the appeal of the newest campus dining initiative: food trucks. 

Initially, Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) and Campus Dining had partnered to bring food trucks to Vanderbilt back in the spring. This initiative was understandably suspended, but it has since been picked back up, with two different food trucks parked behind Buttrick Hall, in front of the Bishop Johnson Black Cultural Center (BCC) , from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT every weekday. They accept Meal Money and Commodore Cash, so these food trucks are the perfect opportunity to get convenient off-campus flavors right on campus.  

The initiative debuted Sept. 7 with two scheduled trucks: Califarmia and The Love Bus. When analyzing the menus on the Vandy Campus Dining Instagram account, the “Coconut Bang-Bang Bowl” from Califarmia caught my attention. The other menu items displayed an appealing mixed theme of sweet, spicy and refreshing. 

Even with a mask on, I could smell the sweetness of cooking food as I was greeted by a kind and helpful Campus Dining worker, who showed me where to stand in line and informed me that sadly Califarmia had to cancel at the last minute. I was disappointed, but the amazing smell of the food being cooked at The Love Bus quickly cheered me up. 

Love Bus pictured outside the back of Buttrick Hall. (Isabella Wetzka)

The workers created an intuitive system to keep the line socially distanced, and, after a brief wait, it was my turn to order. The Love Bus is a colorful and quirky food truck that gave off a “peace and love” 1960s vibe—exactly how I pictured a food truck called The Love Bus to look. The menu was a classic barbecue menu that featured six items, including a vegetarian option. 

I could see the truck chef’s happy smile despite the mask, and she recommended the Cowboy Nachos with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, melted cheese, jalapeños and sour cream, but I ended up choosing the Smoked Bacon Bomb Burger with gouda cheese and caramelized onions. Everything on the menu looked delicious, but as a burger aficionado, I could not pass up the opportunity to try The Love Bus’s specialty hamburger.

It was super hot out, and I wasn’t really in the mood for barbecue at first, but all previous notions were off the table as soon as I saw my burger. It was wrapped in bacon and had the perfect ratio of lettuce, grilled onions and sweet barbecue sauce. It was huge, and I only managed to eat half of it—for anyone who wants a good, substantial meal, this will not disappoint. The Smoked Bacon Bomb Burger came with hand-cut fries that were the perfect combination of crispy outside and soft inside. They were seasoned perfectly and tasted heavenly. 

Overall, this meal was 100 percent worth the walk from my off-campus apartment. Given the short wait-time and delicious food, it would be even more worthwhile for people living on campus or going to in-person classes. The Love Bus’ quirky appeal and great menu makes it a fun and accessible lunch destination for any hungry student.