By Ann Tarleton
The “Nacho Average Food Truck” at Anderson High is a xx-ft-long food trailer anchored under the graceful live oaks in the center of campus. This month of October marks its first birthday. Proud after its infant year of apparent success, it is also adding new Vietnamese foods to its popular Mexican food menu.
The anything-but-average food trailer serves as both a stand-alone food venue and a fifth serving line. As such, it lightens the load on the main cafeteria during lunch at the Balcones-area high school.
Former principal, Donna Houser, who recently retired, is credited with making the trailer “happen”. It seems to be well liked by students, faculty, and community. Like its lunch menu, there is nothing plain about the trailer. It is painted to mimic the Austin Skyline, a design by Anderson 2015 graduate, Clio Harralson.
In the fashion of a standard menu rotation, the Nacho Average food choices now rotate between Mexican cuisine and an array of Vietnamese options. About 100 students and staff dine daily at the trailer during the school’s single lunch period.
Since its opening, the trailer has offered its dishes to attract students from a variety of cultures. Houser’s creative idea gave Anderson High the privilege of having the state’s second food trailer on a Texas school campus.
Students enrolled in the Lifetime Nutrition and Wellness classes helped to select the food options on the multi-cultural menus. Made up of about 30 students, a focus group comprised of various ethnic and age groups sampled and gave feedback on foods served by the school food service personnel. Items in favor with the group then became part of the menu choices.
The Food Service Department at the high school prepares all of the food for the food trailer. All members of the food staff go through a training program led by either District Chef, Louis Ortiz, or Food Manager, Laura Stansel, who also oversees the food truck and its two other employees. Area supervisor for the truck is Wendi Caudill.
For more information about the food truck and its operation, contact either AISD Food Service Director, Anneliese Tanner, at 512-414-0228 or District Chef Louis Ortiz at 512-414-0260.