DU Field Notes: Alumni-Owned Food Trucks
In this series, the DU Newsroom introduces readers to the world outside campus by exploring Denver and the near beyond.
University of Denver graduates sure know how to chow down. Whether it’s sweet or savory, dinner or drinks, DU alumni have left an indelibly delicious mark on the local food scene. Just check out this list of alumni-owned eateries in town. And then use the Crimson and Gold Trail to explore them at a discount.
Though Denver dining rooms are reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, caution offers the perfect excuse to visit some of the eclectic food trucks founded by DU alumni. Visit their websites to discover just where they are dishing up delicacies on any given day.
The alumnus: Ryan McLean (BS ’16)
On the menu: Wood-fired pizza, salads, charcuterie
Looking like a log cabin on wheels, Mountain Crust rolls into a different neighborhood every day, serving up gourmet personal pizzas with a local flair — like the Boulder BBQ chicken, Telluride Thai and Breckenridge Bomb.
The Ginger Pig
The alumna: Natascha Hess (JD ’06)
On the menu: Char siu (Cantonese barbecue pork), rice bowls, spicy Sichuan chicken
The Asian street-style food at The Ginger Pig comes from Natascha Hess’ study abroad experience in Beijing, where her host family taught her to prepare meals that incorporate the ginger root. In 2018, Westword named it Denver's best food truck.
The Ethiopian Food Truck
The alum: Feiten Gebre-Michael (MSW ’15)
On the menu: Chicken and beef tibs (an African version of fajitas), Sambusa, lentils and vegetables simmered in spices
Feiten Gebre-Michael teamed up with Yoseph Assefa to create the Ethiopian Food Truck and serve the flavors they grew up on. Popular Ethiopian vegetarian dishes complement made-to-order meat options, all of which come with injera, a traditional flatbread.
Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery
The alumni: Ben Jacobs (BA ’05) and Matt Chandra (BA ’05)
On the menu: Tacos, fry bread, indigenous grains, bison
Tocabe, which means “blue” in the Osage language, started in 2009 as Colorado’s first and only authentic American Indian eatery. Now, it’s taking its show on the road, bringing its locally sourced, personalized tacos and bowls to diners across the metro area.