Good campus food shakes things up

Campus food truck
The Magic Carpet Food Truck still serves up the veggie-friendly magic — and it has the lines to prove it.

Campuses aren’t typically hailed for their culinary treasures, but it only takes one student, administrator or entrepreneur — or all three working together — to create tasty alternatives to the bland dining-hall experience. Here are three of this year’s movers and shakers on the campus cuisine scene.

Fairfield University
Dana August, a 2011 graduate, was an ardent advocate for healthy eating during her time at Fairfield University. One of this student sustainability coordinator’s proposed initiatives, the Fairfield University Campus Garden, has been up and running since 2010.

Every week students deliver produce to their campus dinning hall, as well as host a summer Lunch in the Garden series, not to mention the ever-popular November garlic planting festivities.

University of Pennsylvania
A fixture on the University of Pennsylvania campus, the Magic Carpet truck was serving up vegan and vegetarian fare long before it was chic. When the truck opened in 1984, there were few, if any, veggie options in the UPenn dining halls. Times have changed, but a long line still forms at the corner of 34th and Walnut and snakes around the corner.

“The vegan crowd has really grown. That’s helped us,” says co-owner Dean Varvoutis. “But, actually, vegetarians have only ever been about 25 percent of our business. Students hear about us early on, and it’s repeat business the whole time.” Varvoutis and his partner Deborah Carson recently opened a Magic Carpet Jr. truck nearby to keep up with demand.

University of Delaware
According to CollegeXpress, more than 70 colleges nationwide offer kosher meal options. U of D plans to add itself to that list in 2015, and the school is sure to make a big splash in the kosher community while doing so. Not only will its new dining center feature a kosher station, the university has also committed to hiring a certified mashgiach (food supervisor) to oversee all the food preparation.

Here are the 15 best colleges for food in America for 2013:

1. Bowdoin College, Maine
2. Washington University, Missouri
3. Virginia Tech, Virginia
4. Emory University, Georgia
5. UCLA, California
6. Cornell University, New York
7. UMass Amherst, Massachusetts
8. Kennesaw State University, Georgia
9. Tufts University, Massachusetts
10. Yale University, Connecticut
11. St. Olaf College, Minnesota
12. Northwestern University, Illinois
13. Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania
14. Occidental College, California
15. Grinnell College, Iowa

Source: The Daily Meal


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