It’s that time again. The mid-semester monotony is upon us. Students mull in a zombie-like state from class to class, the excitement of the new school year has simmered to a lull, and worst of all, you’re keeping Taco Bell in business by eating the same burrito day after day.
If you think you’ve exhausted your eating options in Temple’s dining halls, fear not. Temple’s campus boasts a variety of different lunch trucks and food vendors to keep your taste buds guessing. These are a few of our favorites:
Bagels and More…
Everyone is sick of eating food at the cafeteria. If I have one more mouthful of a waffle with a Temple T staring up at me, I think I might throw up. It seems a waste to use sacred Diamond Dollars on food that is terrible and loses its appeal after the first few days of school.
The food in the Student Center isn’t much better. It becomes very monotonous to have to stand in the same line, everyday, just to get a bagel smeared with day-old cream cheese. There have to be better options to this so-called “food” that we are served day in and day out.
Enter the Bagel Hut, located on Montgomery Street, just outside of Ritter Hall. The Bagel Hut offers much more than bagels. Savory soups, sizzling salads and scrumptious sandwiches top off the menu. It is also one of the few vendors that offers hummus, a nice bagel spread alternative to cream cheese.
The location is convenient because it is just moments from virtually any location on campus. The food is reasonably priced, and of course, they take Diamond Dollars, which is always a plus. The owners know their regulars, and can even remember certain orders. It has a nice family appeal, because the owners are husband and wife, and are extremely accommodating to Temple students.
The next time you’re hungry and not sure where to eat, try the Bagel Hut. It will surely brighten your day.
Pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza
Fame’s Pizza, one of the many eateries along the vending pad outside Anderson Hall, always has a lengthy line during the lunch hour rush, and there’s a reason for that.
Most people would automatically gravitate toward the adjacent pizza place with a shorter line, but Fame’s has something that no other eatery does. That specific “something” isn’t quite tangible, but it’s enough to make people sacrifice being late to their classes as long as they have a slice of Fame’s in their stomachs.
Some pizza places are stingy with cheese, but not Fame’s. Its slices have just the right amount of cheese and sauce to create the perfect combination, which is normally hard to come by. A plain slice of pizza with a drink will only set you back $2.25.
If a single slice just won’t do, Fame’s has satisfying combo meals that include a sandwich, fries and a drink. Prices range from $5 to $6. This place is a must-stop pit stop for anyone coming to or from Anderson or Gladfelter Hall. With fast and friendly Service and no strain on your wallet, there’s no way that Fame’s Pizza should be missed.
A melting pot on 12th
Have you ever wanted to have hummus with your burrito? No? Guess that’s just me.
But if you did, Anna’s Middle Eastern and Mexican would be your one-stop lunch truck solution just south of Norris Street on 12th. Although it’s a mystery why the two kinds of food are being offered side by side, Anna is hands down the best for whichever ethnic food craving has hit you.
The burritos are packed with meat, veggies and real beans, not just some paste. Having to decide between beef, chicken, combo or steak confounds me at every visit. I haven’t tried the veggie burrito, only because I have to balance out all the vegans on our staff. The other Mexican offerings are also good.
Anna’s falafels and lentil soup are just the thing if you are looking for fine Middle Eastern lunch truck dining. My favorite though is the kabobs. The grilled meat comes with rice, pita and hummus, a full-blown meal for about $5. The truck also offers a variety of pita wraps, a nice change from all the spinach/sun-dried tomato/flavor of the week tortillas all wraps seem to come in these days.
Skip Taco Bell and Humus Gong (ok, I made that up) and get your eat on at Anna’s.
– Brian White
French food that won’t cost an arm and a frog leg
Forget about Freedom Fries and your crazy, French-hating uncle and admit that French food is good food. The Creperie at Temple serves up a wide selection of familiar foods wrapped up in a unique French pastry.
Located in a clean and friendly vending truck on the corner of 13th and Norris streets, The Creperie offers an array of warm and mouth-watering French crepes, along with coffee and soft drinks; a perfect stop for any meal or snack.
The menu offers “Sweet” crepes ($3.25) such as Apple Caramel and Honey Banana, as well as a variety of others prepared with your choice of mixed fruit, chocolate, nuts or whipped cream.
“The French-Mex” category ($4.25) of the menu is comprised of the same traditional recipes and ingredients used to make tortillas, only they’re served with the unique French flare of The Creperie. These include grilled chicken, roasted turkey, ham and even seafood tortillas, served with a wide choice of dressings, vegetables and sauces. “Savory” specialties like the Pizza Crepe ($4.25) are satisfying to even the hungriest of mouths and like all other menu items are low-priced, fast and delicious.
Customers have their choice between white, wheat or herb crepes, and the ingredients of each menu selection can be modified to suit your liking – all you have to do is ask. In addition, a special is offered every day.
You can purchase one crepe and a soft drink for only $5. A sample of the crepes is not the only thing that will leave a good taste in your mouth. The chefs are extremely friendly and welcoming, and the portions served are large, satisfying, inexpensive and consistently delicious.
So stop by The Creperie at Temple during your next stroll down Norris Street, and bring your appetite. I promise you that your first time will not be your last.
The hours of The Creperie at Temple run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
– Gina Sicilia
A Temple tradition
From humble beginnings as a small lunch truck on Berks Mall, to today’s spot on the pad outside of Anderson Hall, Richie’s Deli and Pizza has been setting the standard for food at Temple for almost three decades.
The father-son team of Richie Jr. and Richie III serves up classic American fare, along with new favorites like buffalo chicken wraps and fresh, delectable salads. What keeps so many students and faculty members coming back?
“It’s all about speed and personality.” explained Richie III.
And of course, the coffee. Richie’s serves up an astonishing amount of Temple’s finest java every morning. Add a tasty pastry and a Daily News and you’re set for the day.
Before you’re up for your 8:40, Richie is already awake, preparing for yet another busy day. You can even catch breakfast early on a Saturday morning after a night out on the town. Just another Temple tradition going strong.
– L.K. Murray
Deep South on North Broad
Popeye’s has been the chicken joint of choice on campus for a while. But just across from Popeye’s on Broad Street in front of Progress Plaza is the BBQ truck, Temple’s best-kept secret.
Although the hours are irregular (Most often Monday, Wednesday and Friday until 3 p.m.), the food more than makes up for it. Fall-off-the-bone tender barbecue chicken, meaty ribs and amazing collard greens make the food a cut above campus food trucks.
The best choice? The $5 rib “sandwich:” A slab of beef or pork ribs, two sides and a slice of white bread to sop up all the sauce. Eat, gain 10 pounds and be happy for the rest of your life.
– Neal Ungerleider
Best Hangover Cure
Philadelphia bars have been pretty hip to the restorative powers of Red Bull for a while. The energy drink contains caffeine and the natural stimulant (bull testicles) taurine, and most importantly, tastes great mixed with vodka. While there isn’t a place to get vodka and Red Bulls on campus (yet), there is Tai’s Vietnamese Food, where $3 gets you a super-sized liter of lemonade, with, most importantly, a container of Red Bull to mix in. Drink it down and watch that hangover go away.
See, all cured.
– Neal Ungerleider
The corner of 13th and Norris streets holds a world of sensory delights: the smell of bacon frying, the sight of flashing Christmas lights and the sounds of WXPN.
But what really matters at the Love Truck is the taste.
For nine years, Greg DeWald has been serving up food to Temple students that satisfies the body and soul. This semester the Love Truck is back with a revamped menu and new commissary boss, Bill Dolan.
The measure of a good lunch truck in Philadelphia is based on two things: the breakfast sandwich and the cheesesteak. The love truck excels at both.
A breakfast sandwich is the perfect wake-up after a long night of studying or partying. Fluffy eggs and gooey cheese, seasoned to perfection atop a warm, crispy roll is one of life’s little rewards.
At lunchtime, DeWald cooks up a cheesesteak that rivals any South Philly institution, but for those who prefer their meals meatless, the Love Truck offers several vegetarian alternatives. Vegetarian selections include veggie hoagies, veggie burgers and a killer eggplant parm.
“We’re an old fashioned stand with old fashioned mores,” DeWald said.
“We live in a world of fast production. [We] keep you here for five minutes to get to know you.”
The old adage “good things come to those who wait” definitely applies here. Everything at the Love Truck is fresh and made to order, so be patient. Come for the food, stay for the love.
– L.K. Murray
All aboard the Orient Express
A delicious menu, efficient service and inexpensive prices. That is all you can ask for when ordering from a lunch truck or hut, and that is exactly what you get from the Oriental Express, located at 12th and Berks streets.
The Oriental Express may have the best combination of both quality and quantity when it comes to lunch trucks or huts that serve Chinese food on campus.
Unlike other Chinese lunch trucks or huts, the food served at the Oriental Express is never overcooked or undercooked. Whether your preference is chicken, shrimp, beef, tofu or vegetables, you will find that not one piece has a scorched or a raw taste to it when cooked. Instead, whenever you take a bite, the food slowly melts in your mouth, leaving you craving more.
When it comes to prices, they are definitely fair considering the high quality of the food. You can get an entire platter with your choice of white rice, fried rice or noodles for less than $5.
What is even more pleasing is that you do not have to wait long for your order to be cooked.
Considering the long and overcrowded lines that usually develop between lunch hours, a person normally does not have to wait more than five minutes for his or her order to come through. Service at the Orient Express definitely lives up to the name.
– Jonathan Vann
It is impossible to miss the long line of crusty eyes neatly herding in front of Gabby’s cart for that first cup of coffee every morning.
Located at the intersection of 13th Street and Berks Mall in front of Founder’s Garden, this small cart offers a good selection for breakfast and an even better selection for lunch deals from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lunch is by far the best menu that Gabby’s cart has to offer. Where else on campus can you get a meatball sub for $2 or chicken Parmesan on a roll for $2.50?
She also offers classic favorites like hamburgers, cheesesteaks, hoagies and even kielbasi. The best bang for your buck, however, is easily the two hot dogs, a can of soda and a bag of chips for $3.
Although I don’t think the breakfast menu is as good as the lunch menu, breakfast sales say otherwise. Gabby sells an awful lot of bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches – her personal favorite – every morning. Because of the demand for her $2 bestseller, Gabby uses 37 dozen eggs and 20 pounds of bacon per day!After working her cart for three and a half years, Gabby has her routine down. Unlike the trucks on Montgomery Avenue, you will never have to move aside and wait while your turkey sandwich is made. Gabby and her co-workers are fast, yet friendly.
So check out Gabby’s cart. You can’t go wrong with the meatball sub, especially when you are in a rush.
– Joe Gettler
Traditional Asian fare
Located between the Student Center and Weiss Hall on 13th Street, Chacha satisfies Temple students’ appetites by providing traditional Korean and Japanese foods. If you are really hungry, Chacha is the place to go. You can order the Kalbi combo. It’s Korean-style BBQ beef ribs with fried chicken and dumplings for $5.75.
The food truck also welcomes you with many veggie meals such as eight pieces o Veggie California Roll for $2.95 or a vegetarian lunch consisting of tofu and fresh vegetables for $4.45. You can also get a hot a cup of green tea or brown rice tea for 70 cents.
The most recommended food at Chacha is Soon Doo Boo ($3.95), a spicy Korean soup with soft tofu. Hot peppers encourage your appetite. The combination of onions, eggs and small shrimp enrich the taste of the soup. If it is too hot for you, steamed white rice and slices of cucumbers ease the spiciness. Except for noodles, most foods come with steamed white rice.
The truck is very popular, especially among international students from Korea and Japan, so during lunchtime, expect to wait for more than 10 minutes for your order. Chacha is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from Monday to Friday.
– Toshi Horiuchi