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An open letter re: Greek Festival

Opinion | March 9, 2012

This letter is, first and foremost, intended to help the Greek Festival food truck parked at College Ave. and Talbot Ave. be the most successful food truck it can be.

We are not in any way proposing that unfettered free-market capitalism is the true and right way for the world to be, and we find free-market capitalism in its essence to be a bogus and often socially harmful process.

We are also not, in any way, calling out Moe’s. We like/love Moe’s and wish it the best. All that being said, we are really hurting as we watch this new food truck blow it in a big way, and we want to help.

We have seen this campus drunk and hungry, and we have seen it begging for another truck to light a proverbial fire under its late-night-food-option ass. Greek Festival is painfully, agonizingly close to being everything this campus needs—and more. If bald profit-making is not its aim, we support that philosophical tact, and we would say, let the truck lie fallow. But for this truck to fail to revolutionize this campus, particularly when it is so excruciatingly close to doing just that, would be a travesty.

So we propose three modest and attainable “shifts” to Greek Festival.

  1. Hours: This is our only non-negotiable point. This is a game-changer and a game-breaker. On Fridays and Saturdays at the very least, Greek Festival should be open between the hours of 11 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. Ideally, it should serve food from 11 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Hire anyone—even students—to work then. We’ve walked past the truck crew closing up shop around 6:30 p.m. on weeknights and around 11:30 p.m. on weekends. Not so festive.
  2. Public Relations: Painting the truck would be nice. Paint it anything, for any reason. Right now, it’s completely white and evokes the look of an FBI surveillance van. Other food trucks have also benefited from the presence of a menu somewhere on the exterior of their portable business. Greek Festival’s (very delicious and moderately-priced) menu is on bizarrely shaped menu cards in a deeply inconspicuous stack inside the truck. Which brings us to the final and most heart-wrenching point…
  3. Menu: They’re really close on this one. OK, it’s a Greek Festival—greasy Grecian meats are fully present and accounted for. This campus loves hot, crispy meat late at night; that’s no secret. But we have a sneaking suspicion that some of you reading this may either personally know a vegetarian or are one yourself. Right now, Greek Festival offers this group one option: the intriguingly titled “Steak Fries.” These fries come, as advertised, thick but with almost no adornment. A cursory skim of the menu reveals something called “Kafteri (Hot Feta Cheese),” and we spoke to them about this point. “Kafteri,” we found out, is a delicious feta-based spread that commonly adorns these very steak fries in a hedonistic and Hellenic, or Greek, style. Without getting into it too much, Greek Festival (in their own words) does not ever actually sell Kafteri, despite its presence on the menu.

Let us close with this sad idea, and we’ll be damned if this isn’t the only thing on your brain for at least 20 minutes after finishing this article, or the next time you’re drunk walking anywhere near College Ave., Talbot Ave., Moe’s, or anywhere else. According to a Greek Festival employee (who shall remain anonymous), food trucks in Greece commonly sell all manner of delicious fries, topped with all kinds of exciting accoutrement. You can bet your bottom drachma there’s Kafteri on those menus and a whole lot more. This is all according to the employees of Greek Festival themselves. And here come the seven words that are gonna ruin your day: What if Tufts had a fries truck?

 

Greek Festival, you’re selling a good product, at a good price, in a good location, and we’re sure you’re good people.

But now more than ever, we need to ask ourselves: What does it take to be great?

 

 

Signed,
Aaron Ratoff and Luke Pyenson