If you’re going out on campus, former University of Illinois students have just what you need to satisfy those drunken tastebuds.
Through the inebriated haze on campus, follow the yellow Cracked Truck. Two graduates from the University of Illinois (Jeremy Mandell and Daniel Krause) and one from Southern Illinois University (Sean Baird) decided to launch the Cracked Truck when they saw the lack of late night food options on the Illinois flagship campus. To save bar rats from hitting the hay on stomachs full of nothing but alcohol, the guys park the truck conveniently in the middle of the campus bar scene.
Unless people are willing to go Mardi-Gras style for a free pizza on the way home or settle for another cold sub from Jimmy John’s, Cracked Truck has the drunk food scene covered with hash browns, bacon and egg sandwiches among other tasty options. If you’re not a meat-eater, no worries, because the Cracked trio designed a menu inclusive of all tastes. Try the vegasm: sauteed spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, hash browns, a fried egg, sharp cheddar or pepper-jack cheese and your choice of basil pesto or spicy chipotle pesto.
But it’s not just about breakfast sandwiches at Cracked. It also serves up some serious tots. Currently, the tot selection includes crispy tots (the classic tot), Parmesan truffle tots (for the fancy folk), white cheddar bacon tots and yes, sweet potato tots.
Best of all, the guys make sure to keep their food local and fresh. “We wanted to stay true to the core of the sandwich, which we feel is the bread and the meat,” said Krause in a May 2013 interview. “We want it to be as local and as fresh as possible.” The guys advertise their local vendors on the truck, so you know where your food is coming from.
The Cracked Truck gets 5 stars because this food tastes like it should not be coming out of a truck, but rather a gourmet kitchen.
Address and Hours of Operation: Outside of Joe’s Brewery at 5th St. and Green Street from 12am-3am on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Between 3rd St. and 4th St., across from the 309 Green apartment building from 12am-3am on Thursday-Saturday
Close to the Bardeen (engineering) Quad during the weekdays from 8am-3:30pm Monday-Friday