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A Sun Devil-inspired food truck is heading towards ASU

ASU alumni, Alex Ladensack and Karin Ladensack, are set to open Smashin' Devil and operate near University campuses

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Alex Ladensack working at his food truck on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 in Tempe. 

From the logo on the side of the truck to the maroon and gold color scheme to the license plate that reads "SMSHN1," it's clear to passerby what Smashin' Devil is all about: a Sun Devil-inspired food truck selling hamburgers and burros. 

ASU alumni, Alex Ladensack and his wife, Karin Ladensack, are opening Smashin' Devil soon, either at the end of September or early October after pushing back their opening to ensure the truck is up to food operating standards. 

Students will be able to find the food truck during ASU Food Truck Fridays on the Downtown Campus and catering for private events, Alex Ladensack said.

The couple also intends on coming to most ASU football sporting events during tailgate hours once their food truck is up and running for students to enjoy burgers while watching the game. Alex Ladensack has also been working with ASU Health Services Food Safety to determine the next steps of being involved on campus and eventually allowing students to pay with Maroon & Gold Dollars

Both are extreme ASU fans. They own season passes to the University's football games, which helped spark the idea of a Sun Devil-themed food truck.

Alex Ladensack worked on his own burger recipe by using the smash burger technique and playing around with different ideas until he found one he enjoyed and was ready to sell to the public. 

"In terms of burgers in general, I've always liked cooking for my friends and family," Alex Ladensack said. "And I have messed around with the recipe and the burgers it's been a simple smash recipe."

The food truck uses local products from around the Arizona Valley ranging from their vegetables to the meat used to smash into their burgers, Alex Ladensack said. 

Smashin' Devil offers vegan and vegetarian options, with the impossible burger being something that Karin Ladensack and Alex Ladensack particularly enjoy. One feature the food truck also provides is its braille menus, something recommended by their friend, Peter Fischer.

Before starting his own food truck, Alex Ladensack worked in special education. “I taught math and science for the bulk of time. But I was teaching that life skill stuff on the side as well. I would teach some cooking class,” he said. 

Providing students with life skills like cooking is part of why he wants to hire student workers. Smashin’ Devil is currently hiring starting at $15 per hour and offering flexible schedules for ASU students.

Nick Becker, an ASU alumnus and college friend of Alex Ladensack, said he is "most excited just to see them being successful with all they have done because it was a deep passion. So to see him and for him to provide for, not just friends, but for the community as a whole and to create the whole atmosphere that he wants surrounding ASU game day and all that."

Becker was also involved in Smashin' Devil trial runs and got to taste the food firsthand to help the Ladensacks create their business. 

"Just about a year ago, he said he was gonna probably start doing the truck, and I told him if you ever need help, like flipping the burgers or anything, man, I'm totally up to help," Becker said.

Alex Ladensack and Becker said their favorite burger on the Smashin' Devil menu is the Breakfast Beast, a blend of chorizo and beef with Alex Ladensack’s Smashin’ Sauce and a fried egg. 

Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, Wyatt Myskow and Grace Copperthite.

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Kylie SabaCommunity Reporter

Kylie Saba is a reporter for the Community and Culture desk at the State Press. She embraces ASU life and is ready to report life as it happens. 

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