While students are anticipating the opening of the new Chick-fil-A in the Presidential Court Building, another dining option is currently stealing the spotlight.

La Lola Loca, the neon green food truck often parked in front of Hess Hall and Neyland Stadium, has students raving about its Latin American cuisine.

“It’s fantastic,” said Jalila Maldonado, an undecided freshman. “I see (the truck) everywhere.”

Troy Anderson, retail director of operations for UT Dining, said that he has gotten all positive feedback from UT students, and even with the opening of Chick-fil-A just days away, he seemed confident that La Lola Loca’s business would remain unaffected.

Cody Burton, freshman in biological science, said, “(Food trucks) have become more convenient to the everyday student or person in general. I personally would rather eat at a food truck than the dining hall. It’s food on the go which is never a bad thing. The (TV) show ‘The Great Food Truck Race’ on the Food Network is bringing more attention about food trucks to people who generally haven’t had any experiences with them.”

The international spotlight cast upon these portable kitchens may be the very root of a growing trend. However, the view of this trend is not wholly positive.

“(Food trucks) only seem to be appearing in highly populated areas like college campuses, major cities or ... certain events,” said Taylor Thacker, freshman in kinesiology. “Fast food is easily obtainable and food trucks are not as popular. Food trucks tend to be less sanitary than restaurants due to the health requirements that have to be met at restaurants. Food trucks don’t offer as many options as a fast food restaurant would.”

Some students prefer the quick and affordable on-the-go option as opposed to trekking halfway across campus to eat at the dining hall or taking time out of their busy schedules to go to a sit-down restaurant. 

“The good thing about (La Lola Loca) is that it’s mobile so I can move it to where the people are,” replied Anderson when asked if he thought if the new Chick-fil-A would have any impact on the number of customers Lola’s will receive in the future.

La Lola Loca offers a wide range of meat-based tacos, bowls and burritos, including the popular “lola’rito,” an enormous burrito with rice, black beans, cilantro, tomatoes and cheese, packed with your choice of chicken, beef or pork.

“(It’s) a great combination of flavors,” said Anderson.

For those who prefer not to eat meat, the food truck provides vegetarian options with any burrito or bowl for $1.25 less for each dish. It also accepts Dining Dollars, a very attractive feature for students on a restrictive meal plan or budget.

To find La Lola Loca after class, check their Facebook page for their online weekly schedule, menu and prices. The truck is usually located in front of Hess Hall or Neyland Stadium between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.