Terran Warden, A&E Columnist

Food is an important aspect of a college student’s life — money is put on LuteCards just for dining, mealtimes are important when scheduling classes and most social events revolve around food.

Pacific Lutheran University provides a large variety of dining options on-campus, including Old Main Market, Crave and Aglio. But, let’s face it: on-campus dining gets old.

The surrounding Parkland area has a great variety of food available for off-campus dining, including Chinese food, coffee shops, ice cream and Italian eateries.

I visited as many restaurants as my budget would allow, and came up with four places I want to go over and over again!

Pita Pit (921 Pacific Ave)

Pita Pit is a delicious restaurant that’s quick, fresh and tasty. It offers a 10 percent discount to all Lutes.

The concept of Pita Pit works like a Subway, except with pita bread.

There is no shortage of unique options to try — with meat pitas, vegetarian pitas, breakfast pitas and salads.

Pita Pit allows customers to customize pita fillings including meat, veggies, sauces and cheeses, so it has something for everyone.

One of the best parts of the quick and tasty meals at Pita Pit is that it offers healthy meal choices, which is important when combatting the “Freshman 15.”

Pita Pit is also a great choice for off-campus dining because they are open until midnight Fridays and Saturdays, so those late night cravings can be fulfilled.
My recommendation: the beef gyro with tzatziki and secret sauce.

Farrelli’s Gourmet Wood Fired Pizza (210 Garfield St. S)

Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza is an Italian restaurant focused on wood-fired pizzas. Farrelli’s also has a bar perfectly decorated for watching upcoming Seahawks games.

Farrelli’s offers a student discount pizza deal as well as the use of dining dollars on LuteCards, making it the perfect spot to use meal plans outside of the Commons. Students who show their PLU Student ID can get a slice of pizza and a soda for $4.99.

While Little Caesar’s offers an entire pizza for $5 further down on Pacific Ave, Farrelli’s pizza is delicious, high quality and customizable for the same price.
The slice is also a large portion, almost one-fifth of a pizza.

Besides the slice-and-a-soda option, the student discount is for any two-topping pizza of your choice from the list of toppings on the menu, which include multiple kinds of cheeses, meats and vegetables.

Farrelli’s works as a great way to get gourmet food on a budget. When I first walked in, I immediately thought it was the perfect place to take a date.

Farrelli’s also offers other options including sandwiches, salads and pastas, but not with a student discount.

Any pizza choice is sure to be great with quality dough and toppings, along with a great wood-fired cooking process.

Uni Teriyaki (212 Garfield St)

Uni Teriyaki is a fast and tasty Asian restaurant specializing in Teriyaki, Ramyun and Korean Bi Bim Bop. Not only is Asian food a crowd favorite, Uni Teriyaki executes these main dishes deliciously.

Although Uni Teriyaki does not offer student discounts, most dishes are reasonably priced, such as $4.99 for Ramyun or Chicken Teriyaki.

Uni Teriyaki also offers a wide assortment of appetizers and smaller dishes, like Gyoza and even Kimchi, a Korean staple.

What makes Uni Teriyaki different than the average teriyaki shop is the variety of Asian foods they offer. It includes Chinese, Korean and Japanese all in one place.

With a wide assortment of Asian dishes, this is another restaurant with something for everyone to enjoy.

My recommendation: the Korean Bi Bim Bop, as Bi Bim Bop is a difficult dish to find except for at specifically Korean restaurants or at my grandmother’s house and is a favorite among Koreans.

208 Garfield

Although 208 Garfield doesn’t offer student discounts, 208 Garfield is owned and operated by PLU so prices are reasonably set and affordable especially for what the restaurant offers, and they accept LuteBucks.

208 Garfield has menus inspired by the comfort foods of Italy, Spain and Scandinavia. For its meals, 208 uses locally grown and produced ingredients. Everything is quality made and even their sauces are made from scratch!

If you’re 21 or older, you can even try their beer and wine menus, offering only local drinks including some from Arch Terrace Wines – Terra Blanca Vinters in Benton, Wash.

Most meals are about $10, and 208 Garfield offers delicious, fresh and comforting warm paninis starting at only $5 and served all day!

My recommendation: the Ham with Bel Paese and Red Onion Panini for $5.

Other locations near campus

Taco Del Mar also offers 10 percent discounts.

Other restaurants around PLU include Reyna’s Mexican Restaurant, which used to provide a student discount menu, told me “A lot of our customers are not students, so we think it is unfair to give discounts to one majority of customers and not the other.”

Either way: off-campus dining can be affordable and incredibly delicious. Be sure to try these restaurants out!

UPDATE, DEC. 7, 2014: Subway no longer offers a 10 percent discount as originally reported in this story.

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