In the middle of the shady campus, along South Church Street, a delicious street food scene continues to grow. The most recent addition is Joe Spud’s Burger & Fries, which serves up giant burgers and fresh-made french fries that are hand-cut on the truck. I beat the student rush and stopped in to chat with Tom Ruddy, the Director of Operations, about burgers, fries and the growing food truck trend. I also took the opportunity to sample a burger and fries!
Joe Spud’s hand-cut fries are made from fresh, local potatoes and come in two sizes—regular and large. Cheese fries, bacon ranch fries or Philly cheese fries can also be had. To complement the fries, Joe Spud’s offers a selection of dipping sauces including Thai Chili Mayo and Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce. Out on the table, they carry a number of spices. In addition to the popular Old Bay seasoning, they offer harissa, tandoori, and cajun sea salt. Between the dipping sauces and the spices available, french fry lovers have plenty of options.
Burgers start at $5 and they offer a hearty selection of toppings. Cheese choices are American, Cheddar, Provolone or Philly Whiz, and will cost you a $1. Premium toppings—Fried Egg, Bacon, Sliced Avocado or Broccoli Rabe—are available for $1. In addition, Joe Spud’s offers free standard toppings, including a few unique choices like garlic-mushrooms and fresh jalapenos.
What’s sure to be popular is the choice of Spud Burgers—choose from Cheesy Joe, Philly Joe, BBQ Joe or the Good Morning Joe. The specialty burgers start at $8 with special toppings and french fries sandwiched between the burger and top roll.
I tried the Cheesy Joe, a 1/3 lb burger topped with cheddar and provolone cheeses, lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion and secret sauce. Oh yeah, the burger also has that layer of french fries. The burger is built on a Le Bus roll and comes with a very necessary wrapper, since this is one big burger for street food. It’s a beautiful burger, and a little intimidating to eat out on the sidewalk, but I took the challenge and dove in while Tom explained their plans for the mobile burger joint.
“We launched the truck three weeks ago, we’ve been practicing. We’ve had the concept for a couple of years,” Tom told me. Joe Spud’s is a new concept started by the owners of Mesa Fresh Mexican Grill. Mesa Fresh has two locations now—Wayne and Springfield, Delaware County. A Mesa Fresh food truck is launching soon.
“The food truck business is just getting started here,” Tom said. He noted the popularity of upscale food trucks in cities throughout the country, and how the trend is just starting in the suburbs. Tom recently attended the Night Market in Mt. Airy and said he’d like to see both Joe Spud’s and Mesa trucks serving at future events. After their hard work over the past few months, Tom is excited to showcase the Joe Spud’s truck on campus.
My burger was truly delicious and definitely filling. I love the softness of the roll, and was delighted it held together for the duration. The wrapper was perfect for containing any spilling, keeping the sidewalk clean. As I finished my burger, I mentioned to Tom that dinner wouldn’t be necessary at home that night.
Tom laughed and replied, “Once you eat this, you are probably good for most of the day. We want you to get a bang for your buck.” The students and non-students who venture on campus this fall, should be surprised and delighted with this new street food option.
Follow Joe Spud’s on Facebook for updates on their locations and events.