3 Inexpensive Yet Iconic Places To Eat At In The Bay Area

3 Inexpensive Yet Iconic Places To Eat At In The Bay Area

Food, food and some more food.
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Just like almost everyone ever, my life revolves around food. From eating pancakes from McDonald's to gourmet lobster mac and cheese, it’s likely that I’ve tried a plethora of food from different places. Although I am pescatarian, and meat is out of the question for me, it doesn’t stop me from eating everything that is possible for me to eat.

Luckily, the Bay Area is one of the most diverse places you can ever imagine to be in. Our Mexican food is absolutely fuego, our Italian and French cuisine is as genuine as can be and we have a wide range of fantastic traditional Asian restaurants dotting our cities. But for now, I’ll be talking about three fantastic must-go places here in the Bay Area. They’re not especially too expensive (which is great for us not-so-wealthy college folk), yet they taste like food paradise.

1. La Victoria Taqueria

If you’re from the Bay Area and you’re reading this, you probably already knew I was going to talk about this. Locals call it La Vic’s, and it’s absolutely amazing. La Vic’s, across the street from San Jose State University, is a Mexican eatery that has no rival. The food is just so great. It’s easy, it’s quick (only if you don’t come during rush hour) and it isn’t super expensive. It’s your neighborhood friendly, hard-working staff, and I can’t appreciate them enough for dealing with the mass waves of starving college students. Although the place itself is very small and sometimes cramped, it’s surely overlooked after you try one of their tacos, burritos or, some of my friends’ personal favorites, their carne asada fries. This is the best place to have a taste of California Mexican food; it’s one of the main reasons why I would brave the sometimes daunting struggle that is driving and parking in San Jose.


*Breathes heavily*

2. Ike's Place

A lot of people overlook Ike’s. But once you try one of their sandwiches, you’ll keep coming back. One of the main reasons as to why I like Ike’s is how they have such a diverse range of different sandwiches that fit almost every type of customer there can be. There are numerous Ike’s all over the Bay, so you most likely have one somewhat near you. The exciting part is that there are different sandwiches in different branches. You can find the Go Sharks! sandwich in the Santa Clara branch, yet you won’t find it in the Walnut Creek branch. Ike’s also names their sandwiches, and sometimes I like to browse their website reading them (one of their sandwiches is called “I Wish I Was A Little Bit Taller,” which makes me want it, not going to lie). There are also a multitude of vegan and vegetarian options for those who want a hearty sandwich but are having a hard time finding good sandwich spots that are more than just “cheese and lettuce” on bread!


Ike, you're a genius.

3. Go Fish Poke Bar

Poke originates from Hawaii, and it is typically is a raw salad with ahi tuna as a base marinated with various Asian sauces, some oils, candle nut and peppers and onions. It’s usually served as an appetizer in Hawaiian households and restaurants, but it has been transformed into a mash of amazing, mouthwatering goodness. Not many people know about Poke, but it has started to become a very popular dish. Go Fish Poke Bar is the holy grail of serving up fresh, reliable Poke. Many call it the "Asian Chipotle," as you can choose from salmon, tuna, crab, tofu and even scallops to be mixed in the concoction of Poke that you can choose. There are even different bases, such as brown rice and noodles to choose from, and even toppings like masago (fish eggs) and furikake (Japanese seasoning usually made of seaweed and sesame). You also have a choice of sauce that the Poke is mixed into! Even though the bowl is filled to the brim, and it looks like you can never finish it, trust me, it’s so good that you will. Go Fish Poke Bar is probably my favorite place to eat right now, and I can’t imagine a life without it!


It's art.

"A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand." — Barbara Johnson

Cover Image Credit: Pinimg.com

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11 Pasta Recipes For EVERY Broke College Student

Here's how college students can save time and money on food (maybe not carbs, though).
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As a college student that loves pasta, I’ve learned some creative things to do with it on a restricted budget and with limited resources.

The average price of name brand pasta is anywhere from $0.10 an ounce to $0.25 an ounce. Be sure to look for sales and coupons as this could potentially lead to free pasta.

Pasta may also be cooked in a microwave, making it an easy way to save money and time!

Here are the top 11 pasta recipes that I've created.

Note: Many of these recipes are for an individual serving, but you can easily multiply them for occasions when you need to cook for more than yourself.

1. Five-Minute Sauce

This is one of my favorites due to how simple it is and how it isn't just for pasta!

Ingredients:

1 (6 ounces) can tomato sauce

1 (6 ounces) can tomato paste

¼ tsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. onion powder

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in a pan and cook until sauce comes to a boil. Remove from heat and then store in a resealable container until ready to use. You could also freeze the sauce in ice cube trays, pop out cubes and place in a plastic bag to continue freezing.

Bonus: For pizza, use about five cubes per large pizza and microwave before spreading.

2. Cheesy Mug Mac

Homemade mac-and-cheese always tastes better than the stuff from a box!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup (1 ounce) pasta

3/4 cup (6 ounces) water, cold

4 tbsp. milk

1/4 tsp. cornstarch

4 tsp. cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and pepper

Instructions:

Add the macaroni and water to a large microwavable mug or bowl – you'll need a large mug as the water will boil up. Microwave for roughly three and a half minutes (timing is based on a 1200W microwave). The pasta should be fully cooked.

Pour out the remaining water. Stir in the milk, cornstarch and shredded cheese and microwave for 60 seconds to create your sauce. Stir well, season with salt and pepper and enjoy.

Notes: Cooking time will vary greatly depending on your microwave and the width and depth of the mug. Always keep a close eye on your mug while in the microwave so it doesn’t overflow or overcook.

3. Microwave Spaghetti

This is a great way to use the five-minute sauce from number one!

Ingredients:

1/4 lb. lean ground beef, cooked

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic flakes

1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp. Kosher salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. sugar

Premade five-minute sauce

1/4 cup parmesan

Parsley to taste

2 ounces pasta, cooked

Instructions:

Layer ingredients into a microwavable mug and repeat until the mug is full. Cook on high in a microwave until the cheese is melted.

4. Creamy Chicken Alfredo

Who doesn't love Alfredo? It's basically mac-and-cheese for adults!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 small can chicken, cooked, do not drain

1/8 tsp. Kosher salt

Black pepper to taste

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. garlic flakes

2 ounces fettuccini, partially cooked

1/2 cup parmesan

2 ounces cream cheese

Parsley for garnish

Instructions:

Coat mug with olive oil, mix rest of olive oil with rest of ingredients and put into microwave mug. Heat until cheese is melted. Stir and heat until fettuccini is completely done.

5. Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Buffalo chicken + pasta = the perfect combination when you can't decide what to eat.

Ingredients:

1 small can chicken

1/2 c. penne pasta

1/8 c. buffalo wing sauce

1/4 c. chunky blue cheese dressing

Parsley or chives, chopped for garnish

Instructions:

Cook the pasta according to package directions or in a microwave, then drain. While the pasta is cooking, cook the chicken in buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese dressing. Add pasta, mix well, garnish and serve.

6. Mason Jar Pasta

This is an adorable and easy way to take your lunch with you or give a gift to someone! Feel free to try different recipes in the jars.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar dressing

6 grape tomatoes

1/2 cup mozzarella

2 ounces whole grain pasta, cooked

2 cup baby spinach

1 quart-size mason jar

Instructions:

Place ingredients into the mason jar starting with dressing, then tomatoes, mozzarella, pasta and spinach. Place the lid on the jar and close tight. Shake the jar to mix the ingredients and pour into a bowl to eat. This will last 5-7 days in the fridge!

7. Parmesan Prosciutto Pasta

Take a trip to Italy the cheap way with this easy Parmesan Prosciutto Pasta!

Ingredients:

2 ounces cooked elbow pasta

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving

1 ounces prosciutto

1 cup arugula

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Layer all ingredients in a microwave-safe mug and then cook until the cheese is melted using two-minute intervals. Top with parmesan and enjoy!

8. Italian Bacon Pasta

Bacon, pasta and cheese? Yes, please!

Ingredients:

2 ounces pasta, cooked

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. oil

12 sliced cherry tomatoes

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 slices of bacon, cooked

2 tbsp. feta cheese

2 tbsp. cream cheese

Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together then place in a microwavable mug. Heat until the cheese is melted, stirring every minute to prevent scorching.

9. Eggs And Bacon Noodles

Who says you can't have pasta for breakfast?

Ingredients:

1 pack instant ramen, seasoning packet discarded

1 tsp. olive oil

2 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2" pieces

1 tsp. garlic

1 egg

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Instructions:

Boil noodles according to package instructions. Save 1/4 cup of cooking water to loosen sauce later if needed. Drain noodles and toss with olive oil so they don't stick. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon pieces until brown and crisp.

Add the noodles to the skillet and toss with the bacon until the noodles are coated in the bacon fat. Turn off the heat. Beat eggs with fork and mix them into the pasta with parmesan cheese.

10. Veggie LoMein

Who needs takeout when you can make your own?

Ingredients:

2 ounces angel hair pasta

4 ounces fresh or frozen stir-fry vegetables

1/2 tsp. sesame oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 tbsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. lime or lemon juice

1/8 tsp. sriracha sauce (optional)

Instructions:

Microwave the pasta in a microwave-safe bowl and set aside. In a microwave-safe dish, cook the vegetables until thawed or warmed using two-minute intervals. In a bowl, combine your sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon or lime juice, sriracha sauce (if desired) and sugar.

Add more sugar if you like your sauce sweeter, taste sauce and go from there. Add the pasta to the vegetables then pour your sauce over the top. Toss to coat and microwave again for about two minutes.

11. Creamy Asparagus Pasta

This is a great way to use asparagus! Even if it's not your favorite vegetable, the cream makes it amazing!

Ingredients:

½ tsp. olive oil

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin ribbons

2 tbsp. onion flakes

2 tsp. garlic powder

½ lb. asparagus, cut on a bias into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 ounces grated parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. chives

2 ounces rigatoni, cooked

Instructions:

Cook the prosciutto in olive oil until crisp, add onion, garlic and asparagus. Toss and stir frequently until asparagus just starts to turn tender. Add cream and parmesan and cook until cream thickens, stirring often.

Season with salt and pepper and then add rigatoni. Garnish with lemon juice, chives and the remaining parmesan cheese.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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5 Things I Am Thankful For This Thanksgiving

These are in no specific order.

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Sometimes we forget to really sit down and think about what we are grateful for in this life, and these are just a few things.

1. Football:

Especially since its rivalry weekend, Ummm Boomer Sooner? Roll Tide? Go Blue?


2. My friends that have become my family:

To ones here in Oklahoma, all the way to the ones home in New York.


3. My Family:

I know there's a lot of us.


4. My Church:

Thank you for accepting me with open arms, always.


5. My Life:


And there are so many more, but that would be the equivalent of a 20-page paper.

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