by Maret Williamson
Take a walk through the College of Charleston campus and you will discover many iconic spots: the Cistern Yard, Porters Lodge, historic homes, Cougar Mall — and the food cart at Glebe and George streets belonging to the ever-present “hot dog guy.”
So, who is this campus fixture?
The entrepreneur behind the recognizable food stand is Antelmo Garcia, or “Moe” as he is better known to his customers.
Garcia, originally from Mexico City, is now in his 10th year serving hot dogs, hamburgers, snacks and other treats for the hordes of hungry Cougars who line up at his cart between classes.
His days start early as he begins setting up shop at 7 a.m. to serve breakfast.
After unhitching the cart from his pickup truck, he rolls it out to Glebe Street, parking it in the shade of a red and white tailgate tent. He fires up the grill, sets up coolers packed with cold drinks, and lines up a colorful arrangement of condiments. A classic whiteboard menu, sticky note orders, and a Sharpie give the stand old-school charm and attract a steady stream of customers.
Garcia estimates that CofC students make up about 60 percent of his customer base. Over the years he has formed friendships with many members of the campus community and he has even hired a few as student employees.
“I love what I do,” says Garcia. “These people make me happy.”
While he loves being on campus and providing a valuable service, Garcia’s family is never far from his thoughts. After all, Angel’s Food Service is named after his son Angel, and menu staples carry the names of family members, such as the “Amy” (one hot dog, one sausage, chips and a drink) and the “Julia” (one hot dog, chips and a drink). There are also specials named after fraternities and a meal deal called “Cougar Kids” (two hot dogs, chips and a drink).
Garcia says it’s important to him to keep his menu selections affordable for the “starving student.” Most items cost less than five bucks.
“I’ve been coming here for almost a year now,” student Allie Harderer says as she waits nearby for her grilled cheeseburger order. “I love the food and Moe.”
It’s not unusual for Garcia to chat with customers and friends in both Spanish and English while preparing their orders, habitually clicking his hotdog tongs together all the while.
And don’t be surprised if he asks you to pose with your hot-off-the grill meal so he can post it on his company’s social media platforms.
“Moe is a hard worker, great boss, and he shows up every single day ready to work,” says student employee Ben Hall. “Everyone loves him.”
Maret Williamson is a junior from Greenville, South Carolina, studying communication and marketing at the College of Charleston. She is also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.