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.

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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9 Awkward Situations That Happen When You're An Adult With A Child's Diet

Turning 21 and realizing that you also hate alcohol.

Do you, too, eat the same, simple foods that equate to those of a five year old's diet? Do you have to check the menu before going out with friends? Do you dream about pizza, chicken nuggets, and mac and cheese? Well, you're at the right article and I'm sure you can relate! Here are some things that happen when you're like me and can only eat like a child.

1. Going to Chipotle and watching your friend get all the toppings and you getting nothing but rice and chicken.

Who's more disappointed, you or the friend?

2. Buffets end up being the best option because then you know if there isn't anything you like to eat, you know you can depend on the kid's section!

3. ...but then you remember that you're spending good money on a buffet and you're just eating mac and cheese and chicken nuggets.

Well, this is a waste.

4. Being invited to a party and having to text the host what kind of food there will be, just in case you have to eat before you get there.


5. Meeting new people and they ask you why you can't just try new foods.

*sigh* I HAVE tried new foods. Sometimes I try an actual food, sometimes I eat the side salad that comes with my food. I just CAN'T HELP THIS. I DON'T KNOW WHY I'M LIKE THIS. JUST LET ME EAT MY PIZZA IN PEACE.

6. Sometimes you have both the picky eater lifestyle with the small appetite and you're judged hardcore for both eating children's food and not even finishing it.

Again... why am I like this.

7. You can hardcore relate to the viral videos of the crying kids with food.

Like the boy on Wife Swap who packed his bags and left home because the swapped mom got rid of his bacon, or the girl who cried because she can't stop dreaming about waffles. THEY HAVE THEIR FOODS THEY'RE COMFORTABLE WITH, JUST LET THEM HAVE IT, MAN.

8. Going out on dates is a struggle because you have to figure out when is a good time to talk about how you don't eat like an adult.

How about we just never go out to eat? That's a good way to never have to find out if that's not okay with the person you're dating. Yeah, we can just eat before we see each other.

9. Turning 21 and realizing that having the child's diet also includes hating the taste of alcohol.

What's the best thing I can get that actually tastes like alcohol but also has like... no strong taste of alcohol? Oh, nothing? Okay... Coca-cola it is, then...

All in all, the best thing about having this child's diet is having friends who don't care about what you eat and will gladly change dinner plans to go somewhere where you have something to eat... even if that means getting something off the kid's menu.

Cover Image Credit: Bruce Mars

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I'm Done Apologizing For Being A Picky Eater

Believe it or not, my eating habits inconvenience me more than you.

I distinctly remember being a small child, sitting at the dinner table and staring down at a plate of vegetables. Unlike many parents, mine had never demanded that I finish my meals before getting up from the table. They were too familiar with the consequences of that strategy to try it.

But this time, I ate the vegetables voluntarily. I was trying to be a good kid.

I promptly threw up, confirming the reason no one had made any strenuous efforts to introduce vegetables into my regular diet.

Plenty of little kids detest vegetables, even if not all of them have such visceral physical reactions to ingesting them. Most, however, grow out of it.

I have not. In my favorite college dining hall, there is an extensive salad bar. The only item I’ve ever consumed from it? Hard-boiled eggs. The rest, a colorful display of vegetables, nuts, and dressings, I watch enviously.

I wish I could put any of that in my mouth without gagging.

Being a picky eater comes with a certain level of shame. I’m forever fumbling through explanations of my preferences and trying to laugh along with whatever judgmental or ignorant responses come next. (On that note, I promise you won’t find a loophole when I tell you I eat zero vegetables. Not even if you list every single vegetable you’ve ever heard of. Yes, even carrots. Even corn. I meant what I said originally: zero vegetables.)

Eating at restaurants is a headache, especially if it’s with people who don’t know me very well—or worse, people to whom I’m trying to appear sophisticated, or at least mature. And eating at people’s homes is worse: Will I look rude if my plate is virtually empty?

Asking dining hall workers to serve me some but not all of the food offered at their stations is always awkward; I pray I won’t face an over-friendly server who cracks a joke about the nutritional value I’m missing. Even the quieter ones usually look me over and, with varying degrees of skepticism, confirm that I want pasta but not brussel sprouts, beef but not asparagus, tacos with meat and cheese but no lettuce or salsa.

Speaking of lettuce and salsa, ordering at assembly-line chains like Subway and Chipotle is a similar minefield of well-intentioned workers who either laugh at my minimalist preferences or question them. It’s embarrassing enough to order the bare-bones sandwich or taco without having to joke about my embarrassment afterwards.

Overall, I dread attending events with food, because I have to worry beforehand about whether I will go home hungry—and potentially chastised for my lack of flexibility.

I fully understand that my dietary issues pale in comparison to the struggles of people with allergies and religious restrictions, and those recovering from eating disorders, for whom eating in public is even more challenging.

And yet, I wonder why I endure more stigma than them. My situation is easier, and it’s infinitely more possible to power through if necessary. But it’s not more arbitrary. Different people have different taste buds—and mine are unusually quick to sound the “this might be poison” alarm. What tastes delicious or at least tolerable to the masses tastes disgusting to me. It’s not a choice; it’s an automatic sensory reaction.

But being a picky eater is still treated as a mark of childishness. Of being difficult. Even entitled. “Sorry, I don’t like it” is never a legitimate excuse; it’s always the beginning of a negotiation or an eye roll. If picky eaters would just try harder, these reactions imply, we would not be picky anymore.

Trust me, I understand I’ve probably inconvenienced or exasperated you if you’ve ever had to dine with me. But it’s plenty inconvenient for me, too. And on top of worrying about whether I will be able to enjoy eating, I’m worrying about inconveniencing you.

I assure you, if I could snap my fingers and rewire my gustatory system, I would. No questions asked.

But I can’t.

If an occasion involving food is really that important to you, I will eat what you offer and try to keep it down while maintaining a pleasant smile. If it’s not important, though, what do the contents of my plate matter?

Please let me be picky in peace.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Elli O. on Unsplash

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