Healthy Eating Alternatives on a Campus Full of Outlet-Stealers


A few days ago, I was at Peet’s Coffee (which, for some reason is much more appealing than its predecessor, Diedrich’s Coffee), mindlessly sipping my latte while glaring (not so subtly) at two guys hogging the outlet. My computer had run out of battery life, I was in dire need of a wireless connection and my only hope of connecting to the outside world was that tiny little piece of electric energy.
I was willing to bet that I needed that outlet more than them. After all, the wireless had suddenly stopped working in my apartment, so that outlet was my only hope. The glaring went on for about a half-hour and the telepathic messages I sent to these outlet-stealers apparently didn’t work. After one last glare, I decided to leave and ran into Betsy, a drama acquaintance.
“Ali, I was wondering if you could maybe write about the healthiest place to eat on campus? I really don’t know where to go,” Betsy said. Since lately my life is more boring than usual, I was grateful for the idea. Due to the fact that more and more people of all ages seem to be swinging the vegetarian/vegan way, I figured I’d discuss it.
When I heard about the new Student Center, I was hoping for a healthy alternative to Wendy’s, Quizno’s and Tortilla Express. After all, if you’re going to create a new center, you’d better add something that’s good for you. Thank goodness for Greens-to-Go. It may be small and hard to spot with the fabulous new pub and huge food court, but I assure you it’s there—the friendly neighbor of Bene Pizza & Pasta. The best part is you get to build your own salad through an assembly line, from the type of lettuce all the way to the dressing (and yes, there is fat-free vinaigrette).
However, this place isn’t just for vegetarians. They also have steak, chicken and fish to top off your meal, and the vegetables are always fresh and rotate based on what has come in that week (they say you can only choose six, but it’s pretty easy to add on more for free. I, of course, didn’t tell you that). As for the price, it’s not too expensive. Expect to spend between $5 and $6. If you’re on the go and just don’t have time to customize your salad, the section to the left provides several salads and other meals that you can literally grab and go. It goes without saying that this is clearly the healthiest retail dining spot on campus, and it’s actually really good.
I have also noticed the huge strides that UC Irvine Dining has made over the past few years. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was eating greasy food from the Commons and once in a while “splurging” and making the trek to Brandywine for a legitimate meal. Looking back, I realize how crappy that food was, especially after my friend Pat accidentally broke the frozen yogurt machine (don’t ask). Now I see nutrition facts posted on individual items and “Organics to Go” at the Zot-N-Go market. How refreshing.
So maybe I do owe the outlet-stealers for the timing of their wireless gluttony because otherwise I don’t think I’d have anything to write about. Betsy, I hope this answers your question!
Now I am proud to say that I am the one hogging the outlet and couldn’t be happier. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel just a bit of satisfaction at the fact that now I am the one getting glares. Tough life.

In this article