Spring, finally — so I can sit outside and do math on the Terrace, one of the great perks of working at UW. (Photo snapped by my laptop cam in mid-blog!) Warm weather also means the return of the food carts to Library Mall. There are two newcomers this year — FIB (Italian beef) and Santa Fe Trailer (New Mex-Mex.) I tried the Italian beef today: tasty, though the “dipped” version, submerged in the au jus before serving, was a little too soggy to eat as a sandwich per se. I’m looking forward to trying Santa Fe Trailer; Mexican food from the carts is otherwise limited to Senor Pepper’s, which you can tell by the name — right? — is a bit disappointing. If you’re a newcomer to the carts, the best one is Kakilima, the Indonesian cart. Buraka (East African) and Taste of Jamaica are also very good. Many people like Zen Sushi, which serves some interesting non-standard Japanese lunch stuff (like curry noodles) but isn’t my bag. The Chinese and Vietnamese carts are, well, OK. The Vietnamese cart is called “I’m Here,” which is on the one hand charming but on the other hand honestly articulates the only reason to eat there. The Sukho Thai cart, alas, is gone. Well, not exactly — I just learned from the linked article that Santa Fe Trailer is in fact the same physical cart as Sukho Thai, sold, renovated, and festooned with green chilis. Now if I can just convince them to keep selling crazy noodles!
Did you ever hear of a McDonald’s directly adjoining a college campus that couldn’t stay in business? It happened to ours. The wide variety of appealing, superfast lunch choices on the Mall must be one of the reasons.