This fall will mark my 10th year (dear god) as a member of ASU’s community (student to employee). For the past year and half, since I’ve been out of the athletics bubble on north campus, my eyes have been open to all the unique dining options on campus. I’m going to share a few of my favorites in today’s Food Friday post.
My favorite place to treat myself on campus is Engrained. Located on the second floor of the Memorial Union, the cafe-style restaurant was created upon ASU’s goals of sustainability by using local and organic ingredients. Their menu, which is always delicious, changes biweekly and features a variety of salads, grill items, pizza and sushi. With both indoor and outdoor seating, it is a perfect place to take a potential student, your parents or meet friends and colleagues. Engrained also has bar seating, which is perfect if you want to eat your lunch in solace with a good book, or study if you are a student.
Tip: The sushi is surprisingly amazing!
Sometimes, we can’t afford to treat ourselves to restaurant quality food but still would like a different and decent lunch. For days like this, I recommend either Sacks or E2. Sacks has been “mastering the art of sandwicherie” in Tempe the past 22 years and one its locations is right on ASU’s main campus. Featuring impressive sandwiches, salads, pastas and soups, it is a place you enjoy your meal inside or get it to go.
Tip: Don’t forget about this place! I hadn’t been here in years when I suddenly remembered it last week.
E2 is the little sister cafe of Engrained. Along with standard coffees and teas, E2 also boasts salads, wraps and pastries on its menu. The sandwiches are hit or miss but the salads are always quite tasty. While there is no indoor seating, plenty of tables and chairs are located outside.
Tip: Their bagel chips are fantastic, but note that you only get them with the sandwich/wrap specials.
Along with brick and motar options, ASU jumped on the food truck bandwagon with a couple different options. The first is Fàn Boy Food Truck. Unlike the other options I’ve listed, Fàn Boy will appear at all four ASU campus. Using social media (Twitter and Facebook) to broadcast their location for the day, the food truck serves Asian fusion-based rice bowls and other Asian style cuisine. Customers build their own bowl picking two choices of starch (rice, fried rice, vegetables), one choice of protein (chicken, beef, tempura chicken), sauce (teriyaki, spice teriyaki, TKO) and two toppings (ninja dust, sesame seeds, green onion, pineapple sauce). It is delicious and a fun alternative to your standard MU fare.
Tip: My bowl = stir fry chicken, rice, vegetables, TKO sauce (kimchee, seoul sauce, garlic kewpie), ninja dust, sesame seeds.
Fàn Boy is not the only food truck that swings by ASU. Every Wednesday, Park and Transit sponsors a mini Food Truck Block Party on North campus. Food trucks in attendance include Short Leash Hot Dogs, Hey Joe!, Sandra Dee Catering, Mojo Bowl, and more. Since it is on North campus, I haven’t visited as often as I would like but enjoy it every time I go.
In fall 2007 (literally right after I graduated), a group of students formed a farmers market on campus. The idea has grown and now every other Tuesday during the fall and spring semester, local farmers and vendors come to campus to sell their produce, products and crafts at ASU’s Farmers Market. It is awesome because not only can you stock up on local veggies, cheese curds and hummus, but you can also visit the food vendors on site. Ordinarily you have the choice of hand pies (very delicious), Greek, BBQ and tamales. All of the vendors are great and it lovely to enjoy your lunch break browsing through the vendors.
Tip: Save room for dessert and buy a creme brûlée from Torched Goodness, you won’t regret it.
Next time you are hungry on ASU’s campus, don’t just turn to Chick fil A or Subway. Try out some of the above options and actually enjoy your lunch.