ALBANY – Aladdin, the dining partner of Albany State University, celebrated the grand opening of Chilaca, a fast-casual Mexican brand, on Friday. Chilaca joins ASU’s family of retail dining brands that respond to national dining and food trends in higher education.

The strength and appeal of the Mexican restaurant segment in higher education led Aladdin, member of the Elior North America family of culinary management companies, to create their signature brand, described as more authentic then Tex-Mex. Students will enjoy tacos, burritos and bowls topped with their choice of fresh proteins and vegetables for lunch and dinner. Students can satisfy their spicy food cravings by visiting Chilaca Sunday-Thursday from 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

In other dining news, Aladdin recently unveiled a full-service Chick-fil-A, replacing a Chick-fil-A-Express, at the university. According to Amanda Patterson, Aladdin resident district manager, “The benefit is that we are already experienced with their brand standards and expectations. The full-service Chick-fil-A provides a server who personally takes their orders for all meal parts, which better serves the needs of our campus community.”

Hours of operation will be from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturdays.

Both venues are managed by Michael Byrum.

Other venues on campus include the university’s food truck, which offers something different by Executive Chef Mitchell Parker. The food truck opened last year and floats between the east and west campuses.

“What students like best about the truck is the rotating menu,” Patterson said. “We serve everything from burgers and grilled cheese to chicken wings and barbecue brisket over French fries. A favorite among students is the walking chicken and waffle. We make our waffle cones like an ice cream cone, and stuff it with chicken tenders. Students can select from three toppings on their walking chicken and waffle: hot, barbecue and honey sriracha. The kids love it.”

The truck features the Albany State logo and can be found at sporting events, on weekends and even during exams to give students an extra dining option during late-night study periods. Housing will also book the truck for activities.

“We want to share the excitement with the campus community and also encourage visitors from outside campus to enjoy our family of retail dining brands,” Patterson said.

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