Budget-Friendly Bites: On Campus, Episode 1

Us students are always looking for ways to save money, so I want to do a segment on economical, affordable food places. Let's start off right at home, on the U of A campus. I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with HUB Mall by now...(fortunately or unfortunately).

Technically, it would be much less expensive and healthier to bring your own food every day, but realistically...not gonna happen. Even for me, someone not so big on fast food, I still buy food once in a while because I forget to bring my lunch or my snacks or both.

Today, I learned that 4 classes in one day really works up an appetite. I was so hungry, I had to do that sucking in and pressing my stomach during my last lecture so that it wouldn't growl (as violently). I hate that annoying person sitting in the back seat that pretends not to notice the belching beast protruding from his or her abdomen. I hate it even more when I have to be that person. :(

Back on topic...This afternoon, I decided to satiate my hunger with a salad. In HUB Mall, there are three places that provide decent salads, but of course they all differ in price. I'll do little features on the other two, but today, I opted for the middle man, "The Jacket Potato Man". I know, I know. Sounds super weird. Why would I go to a jacket potato man not to get a jacket potato? Well, this place is run by an Asian lady (big surprise there), and aside from her baked potatoes layered with sour cream, cheese, and all the fixings, she serves a homey beef curry, and a few different salads. The Jacket Potato Man is probably one of the only food places in HUB that doesn't reek of grease and oil and fat.
The Jacket Potato Man. Complete with a tuxedo, fancy shoes, and a hat!
The salad I ordered was a small "Plain Salad". For $5, you get a small boxful of fresh lettuce, crisp tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions, sliced almonds, and these strange little wavy "croutons" reminiscent of an Asian noodle snack. I always order my salad dressing on the side so that if the salad is overdressed, it's totally my own fault. She makes this homemade balsamic vinaigrette that's slightly more on the sweet side. I couldn't really tell what was in it because a) I was hungry and it tasted good and b) I'm not good at identifying things in a homogeneous liquid. It's hard to tell from my picture, but these salads are not pre-packaged. She will assemble the salad right in front of you when you order it! I really should learn her name so that I don't have to keep using generic pronouns...

The small salad doesn't look like a lot, but I always have to shovel over half of the salad into the other side of the box so that I have space to toss my salad in dressing. Not bad for a healthy $5 snack on campus! I will warn you though. I am a girl and I love veggies, so for some of you, this may not calm your stomach a whole lot. But fear not! More good, cheap eats are soon to follow! :)


The Jacket Potato Man on Urbanspoon

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