Wicked Awesome BBQ food truck arrives

by Seamus Walsh | 9/30/16 1:00am

A new food truck has arrived on Dartmouth’s campus.

The Wicked Awesome BBQ truck started visiting campus in June and will continue to operate Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. either outside the Collis Center, the Hopkins Center or the Green through October. The truck sells classic barbecue foods like pulled pork, coleslaw and pulled chicken sandwiches. No stranger to the Dartmouth campus, Wicked Awesome BBQ occasionally operated a barbecue stand in the Tuck School of Business and on the Green over the last six years. The owner and chef, David Mcinnis, started the business in 2010 after working in restaurants for over 20 years. He said “a couple decades ago” he won three Best Clam Chowder of Boston awards.

Mcinnis started the business with only a smoker and a tent, setting up shop in public spaces, like the Green, and catering events of up to 650 people. After a year, in 2011, he hung up the tent and started operating a takeout and catering business about ten miles from campus in East Thetford, Vermont. Last year Mcinnis expanded again, this time acquiring a food truck. His wife operates it at Dartmouth on Thursdays and Fridays during the lunch rush while he mans the takeout joint in Vermont. The most popular items sold on campus are the pulled pork and chicken sandwiches.

“Probably because they are easy to eat on the go,” Mcinnis noted.

When asked how he makes his sauce, Mcinnis said he blends together a couple of commercial sauces and then “adds a few of my own ingredients.” But when asked for the recipe, he smirked.

“You’re not getting that one out of me!” he said.

Mcinnis said the two days at Dartmouth provide about 10 percent of his business’s weekly revenue. Although Hanover is small, he said that he observed that there is a large concentration of customers, ideal for a food truck. Mcinnis said the market could support more mobile food vendors, as long as vendors priced items with students’ budgets in mind.

Local regulations, however, have posed some problems for food trucks. To comply with Hanover’s parking laws food trucks must be moved every couple hours. Moving the truck proves difficult when oil is boiling and a line is waiting in front of the truck. In the winter Mcinnis said he plans on petitioning Hanover city council to adapt its laws to accommodate mobile vendors.

Other Dartmouth food trucks include TheBox, which serves locally-sourced Mediterranean cusine and Phnom Penh Sandwich Station, which serves Cambodian food.