Ebbtide Eats: Avanti Markets and Food Trucks

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Juan Páez

Winter quarter brought great changes to SCC in terms of food.

The campus’ cafeteria restaurants are no more, and hot meals are only available from food trucks from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The only dining options inside the PUB come with vending machines.

After a month of eating on campus and my wallet suffering along with it, here is an overview of some of the food I’ve enjoyed (or not).

Avanti Markets
The new Avanti Markets vending machines on campus are a peculiar experience. The warmth of human interaction that came with buying food from the cafeteria is gone, replaced by automation and cold meals.

In this review, I will only be discussing items that fall under the Avanti Markets brand.

Veggie Cheeseburger
This was the first entrée I ordered from the vending machines, and it was not a very pleasant experience. I don’t mind vegan options every now and then, but quite frankly, this was more than disappointing.

The vegan meat had an unnerving chewy texture, and the vegetables were uninspiring to say the least. This cost me around $5.

Turkey Breast Cream Cheese Bagel
Coming in at 400 calories, this little bagel was wholly disappointing. The turkey tasted funny (though I didn’t get sick) and the cream cheese was insipid.

The price was around $3.40, the standard cost for most of Avanti Markets’ smaller sandwich options available on campus. It still wasn’t worth it.

Buffalo Chicken Provolone Cheese Hoagie
If I had to describe this one in one word, it would be “weird.”

The chicken was spicy enough to notice, but not spicy enough to be enjoyable. It simply didn’t taste very good, and I don’t even remember tasting cheese in it. It cost me the same amount of money as the Turkey Breast Cream Cheese Bagel.

Summary
In short, I don’t think the sandwich options are worth it unless you’re in a hurry and need something quick to fuel up on your way to class. You save a few bucks when compared to the more expensive food truck options, yes, but at what cost to your taste buds?

Food Trucks
The food trucks are by far the most interesting and dynamic food option on campus, with a lineup that changes everyday. Maybe it’s Korean-Mexican fusion today. Perhaps it’s Thai food tomorrow. Who knows?

Actually, you can find out and plan ahead by visiting seattlefoodtruck.com and checking out the lineup for the rest of the month.

Plaza García Express
I had the $7 burrito, which comes with meat, rice, beans, cilantro, onions and your choice of meat (adobada, carne asada, chicken or carnitas). I ordered mine with chicken.

This burrito was excellent. The chicken was well-seasoned and the awesome refried beans and rice combo didn’t disappoint. The hot sauce complimented it perfectly.

In fact, I’d even say it trumps the burrito from local Mexican restaurant Taqueria El Sabor, which is also delicious. That speaks volumes.

Don Lucho’s Sandwiches
Don Lucho’s offers a variety of peruvian-style sandwiches, and each option can also be ordered as a rice bowl. I had the lomo saltado rice bowl. A very simple plate in its construction, it consisted of white rice and steak flamed with onions, tomatoes and lettuce.

The rice was distinctly South American; it immediately brought back memories of home in Ecuador.

The seasoning of the meat also took me back, as lomo saltado-style dishes are a very popular option for a quick dinner at home.

Mexicuban
One of the various fusion trucks making the rounds on campus, Mexicuban offers a delicious Cuban Sandwich for $10.

This is my pick for the best option out of all the food trucks I tried; the pickles, mustard and roasted pork complimented each other perfectly, but it was the pork that stole the show. I’m convinced that no one can cook pork like the Cubans do.

Summary
SCC’s food trucks are exciting and dynamic. It’s nice to keep yourself guessing as to what’s for lunch on any given day without checking the calendar, and waiting outside in terrible weather pays off for the quality of food that’s offered.

Everything I’ve tried has been very good. Pricier, yes, but worth it.