SAC’s New Snack Truck Serves Hot Cheeto Elotes and Mangoneadas

SAC students look through menu options at El Pepino Loco. / Noemi Mosqueda / el Don

El Pepino Loco — a food truck that sells Mexican snacks and drinks like elotes, Tostilocos and mangoneadas — is the latest addition to the limited food options on campus.

Owned by former Santa Ana College student Victor Torres, El Pepino Loco opened in its new designated spot in the Village on Wednesday and promises regular lunchtime hours Monday through Thursday for the rest of the semester. The truck used to park just outside of campus on Washington Street, where students would line up for their spicy, sweet and tangy treats.

“The construction workers, students and even staff would tell us to move into the college. That is when we decided to get the permits and get a spot here on campus,” Torres said.

Visitors can expect plenty of twists on Mexican fruteria treats, including fruit cups and esquites sprinkled in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbs. Sandia locas and piña locas — watermelon or pineapples cut in half and filled with fresh fruit, tamarind candy and Japanese peanuts — are a sweet and refreshing option for fall. The truck’s top seller, the mangoneada, is prepared with chamoy sauce, sliced mango topped with chili and finished with a tamarind straw. The truck is also an affordable food option, with the majority of items under $10.

El Pepino Loco will be parked inside The Village Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. this semester and potentially next semester. Torres said he plans to acquire a second truck so they can keep business permanent at SAC, while offering their services at other locations.

Due to the heavy construction on campus, the only place to get hot food before the arrival of El Pepino Loco was from the taco truck stationed behind the Neally Library in the northwest corner of Parking Lot 6. Pre-packaged food, like chips and sandwiches, are sold at the Don Express and the Don Bookstore.

SAC allows any food truck with the right permits and insurance to sell on campus.

Faith Hernandez contributed to this report.

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