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Sizzling griddle caters to student culinary passion

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Sizzling griddle caters to student culinary passion

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Kaiwen Wang, Staff Writer

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Known among the Central community as the year’s premier music fiesta, Central Palooza ordinarily provides a platform to showcase the music talents at the home of the Buttons. However, this unique tradition at Central Catholic now has just installed fresh flavors and custom culinary finesse thanks to Senior Zach Arndt who fired up a show last Thursday night, not onstage in front of the mic, but on a griddle instead.

“Food brings people together,” said the future chef, whose slider burger joint, ‘Poppa Zarndt’s’, embraced the peak of Central Palooza’s hype during the event. For those of you who missed out on some of the best sliders San Antonio has to offer, this mini-burger is a courageous innovation by Central Catholic student Zach Arndt. Featuring two original signature sliders, the ‘Red Hot OG’, and the ‘Bacon Cheezy’, Arndt’s custom crafted mini-burgers quickly became a major tasty attraction to the crowd.

“The preparation took me about 12 hours on the day before,” said Chef Zach. “We got 450 sliders and about 60 pounds of beef.” Hand-prepared ingredients not only captured the savoriness of beef patties but also encapsulated the special personal care of Arndt. Sitting right next to the performing stage of Central Palooza, Arndt’s booth also offered the convenience and locality that no other restaurant in the 210 has to give. “They (the burgers) are local and made by familiar faces,” said Senior Luis Jaen, who helped out at the booth. “Zach also has a good reputation in cooking and people trust his food,” Jaen added.

The success of the evening’s turnout is not calculated from the total dollar bills collected, but rather what is reflected in the satisfying smiles on the faces of happy customers seen savoring the sliders. Contrary to the fancy food truck nearby, Poppa Zarndt’s booth is a bit more humble, and comes with more student-friendly price tags. Focusing on what is beyond the material itself, Chef Arndt said he just wants to “make people happy through cooking.”

The slider itself is truly the main factor behind the success of ‘Poppa Zarndt’s’. Under the careful hands of Chef Arndt, the enormously popular smell of beef sizzling on the griddle is able to reach out to the crowd yards away. As soon as the classic and sacred trinity of bacon, cheese and beef slowly mingle in your mouth, you will understand why the popular “Bacon Cheezy” slider is the top-seller of the day. “The combination of all flavors is just amazing,” commented Senior Jesus Parker after trying out the “Bacon Cheezy” slider on Thursday.

Embellished with Frank’s Red Hot sauce, the innovative “Red Hot OG” slider is also remarkable because of the slightly kicky flavor that flourishes throughout every delicious bite of the entire slider. “It is different from other food, and people want to try something new,” said Senior Colin Johnson who also helped out at the booth on Thursday.

This pioneering culinary contribution could not have been accomplished without Zach Arndt’s persistant enthusiasm when it comes to cooking. “I have had the idea of cooking something for the students for years,” said the future chef, and added, “Central Palooza is a big platform, and there is more a student can offer.” Adding new ingredients to Central’s tradition in this music festival, Arndt is indeed “paving a path for students to showcase their talents” in all perspectives. “There is a stage for everyone,” the Senior added.

Kaiwen Wang

Kaiwen Wang

Kaiwen Wang

Kaiwen Wang

Kaiwen Wang

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Sizzling griddle caters to student culinary passion