The rise of Welch and Stanton avenues’ food trucks

Isaac Schrock, sophomore in agricultural business, sets up the Superdog stand on Welch Ave. on Nov. 14. Superdog sells a variety of types of hot dogs.

Kendall Sharp

Welch Avenue and Stanton Avenue are home to many well-known food trucks. Many Iowa State students plan which food they will eat before their night begins. Here are some of Welch Avenue and Stanton’s notable food trucks.

Fajita Man

At the end of May 2017, the original owner of Fajita Man, known as Fajita Man Mark, put the cart up for sale on Facebook. 

Entrepreneurial work for a late-night food service or food truck was always the goal for Chris Fisher, so he contacted the seller. Fisher and the original owner talked all summer about how to run the Fajita Man cart.

In August, Fisher decided to purchase the cart.

Fisher first worked with SuperDog and Gyro Stand the year before he started managing Fajita Man. SuperDog provided Fisher the experience he needed to reach his goal.

“It’s the funnest job in the world, no two days are ever the same,” Fisher said.

He said that Fajita Man’s culture and employees are so unique and amazing. Together, they sell 200 to 300 fajitas on their busiest nights.

“People are willing to wait a little longer because they know the business and they know me and they’re always getting the same person,” Fisher said.

At the moment, Fajita Man’s cart is not out. Fisher dislocated his shoulder and is unable to work the cart.

Fisher said the hope is for another person to take over the cart. He is looking to sell the cart and have fajitas sold on Welch Avenue again soon.

 “I had a bunch of people chanting at me, like a line of fifty people chanting at me Fajita Man Chris,” Fisher said. “That was so awesome, I’ll never forget that.” 


Macubana began in August 2014, the semester before founder, Herbert Dardano, graduated from Iowa State.

Dardano said he always had a passion for cooking. He worked at Café Beaudelaire as a cook for the duration of his college career.

After completing his Agronomy degree, he said he didn’t know what to do.

“The idea of having people be able to see what I’m doing really drives me,” Dardano said. “So people can see the process of coming up with the final product.”

Dardano said when he first started the cart he knew it was going to be a fryer.

“I used to do that in high school in Central America, but obviously rules are different there,” Dardano said. “I wondered why no one has one here. I went to the city and told them I have experience and so far, so good.”

Dardano planned to cook fries and empanadas, similar to Café Beaudelaire. But a week before opening, his partner, the owner of Café Beaudelaire, and Dardano were discussing the idea of fried mac n cheese. 

“On opening day, we came up with 20 orders and it took forever,” Dardano said. “It’s a long process, everything is made from scratch.”

First, it takes about 12 hours to make the mac n cheese. Then, they have to batter and fry it.

“It’s exciting to be a part of something that stuck with the crowd,” Dardano said. “You’d think that when it’s super cold people wouldn’t want to wait, but people do. That’s probably one of the best feelings that people are willing to wait for the product we are making.”

SuperDog/ Gyro Cart 

SuperDog started back in 2004. A couple of guys started selling hotdogs on the corner of Welch Avenue. Not long after, they wanted to move on and pursue something else. Between 2005 and 2006, the cart was purchased and became what is known as SuperDog. 

SuperDog is currently the longest running food cart on Welch Avenue. The manager, Chad Watkins, started working at SuperDog in 2006. He worked part time for eight years and took occasional breaks. 

“The person who was managing SuperDog before I was, was trying to move onto something else,” Watkins said. “And since I had been working off and on for eight years, they decided to ask me to help manage it. A couple years later they asked me to be a partner as well.” 

Watkins has been managing SuperDog since 2014. He also manages Gyro Stand, north of SuperDog.

“Super dog is more popular,” Watkins said. “It’s a more fun experience for a lot of people to see us flip sauce bottles and move around to get everything done in an assembly line. It’s really organized chaos. It looks weird to anyone on the outside but we all know what’s happening on the inside.” 

Watkins said sales fluctuate depending on what else is going on. There have been new restaurants opening on Lincoln Way that have cut into their sales a little bit in the last couple of years.

“That’ll change over the next five to ten years,” Watkins said. “Some will stay and some will go. We will have other competition and then we won’t have competition for a little bit.”

On a busy night, SuperDog sells anywhere from 300 to 500 hotdogs and Gyro Stand sells anywhere from 150 to 250 gyros.

“The carts in general are just fun,” Watkins said. “The way it was described to me at one point in time is you’re hosting the party but you’re not drinking. And that’s true. That’s what it feels like. Everyone that comes in our line is excited to be there. They make a choice to watch us do this fun thing and eat this food that’s really good but not the most unique or most special thing in Ames.”

Watkins said SuperDog employees demand the best out of their customers. He said they have an impact on the people they serve at night so they ask customers to be their best selves.

“No cutting in line, treat your neighbor the way you want to be treated… those values are important to us,” Watkins said. “They’re important for what we stand for as a business.”

Before Watkins started working at the gyro stand, he said there were incidents with Veisha that caused a riot in 2004. Gyro Stand employees had to close down the cart because they couldn’t be there safely anymore. A group of 10 to 15 people surrounded the gyro cart and helped the workers push the cart safely into a truck.

They were just people who were fans of the foods and just felt it was the right thing to do and it was a cool thing to hear,” Watkins said.