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Dinner: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Lauren Matich | Thursday, February 7, 2013

 

In the dead of a South Bend winter, a step taken into the blistering cold is not taken lightly. Often making the effort to don all of the gear necessary for trudging through salty snow that will eventually stain boot toes and wind so cold that ears ache is just not worth the time it takes. This quandary is especially typical around dinnertime, when the realization hits that I will have to leave the warmth of my room to eat something besides Lean Cuisine and vending machine snacks. Then I discovered delivery.

The different restaurants that extend delivery services in South Bend have gone far beyond my expectations. There is something for every hour of the day or night, every budget and every craving. A quick glance at the Urbanspoon delivery listing details the many pizzerias and Italian eateries in the area open later than the average restaurant, but if you’re in the mood for something a little more exotic, Dine-In Delivery has a great selection. According to a representative from the company, there is a noticeable upward trend in ethnic foods being a favorite among students.

Pad Thai from Siam Thai is one such favorite that makes a frequent appearance on campus. In addition to the expected dishes, the restaurant offers a variety of chicken, beef, tofu and even a few seafood dishes. While the menu isn’t as extensive as other more exotic options, Siam Thai sticks to the basics and does them well.

The India Garden is also gaining popularity with the younger crowd. A favorite across-the-board is the savory, spicy Chicken Tikka Masala, but unlike Siam Thai, there is no end to the spicy and exotic combinations on the extensive menu.  You have the choice between six different kinds of naan, along with a host of endless sides, appetizers, soups and desserts.

Aladdin’s Eatery fills in the gap between the infrequent Greek food rotations at the dining hall. The Mediterranean-style bistro has been contracted for less than a month in conjunction with the Dine-In Delivery Service, but sales have already taken off. The wide-ranging menu offers everything from pitas and party platters to shish kabobs and salads. Many options are also vegetarian and gluten free.

If you’ve been desperate enough to eat the purple-tinted refried beans from the dining hall, it’s time to call up Fiesta Tapatia.  The Mexican food dive serves mouthwatering burritos and offers a surprising number of combination plates with a taste of different traditional and authentic dishes. If the entrees don’t tempt you, the side dish options will. Fiesta Tapatia is a top-scorer in South Bend dining, and with generous entrees that average around eight dollars, it’s hard to beat. 

If you’re looking for something a little more familiar, you can’t go wrong with the staples. I recently ordered the Cheesy Royale Yum Yum Good Times burger from Mishawaka’s Houlihan’s, and needless to say, it lived up to its name. In addition to burgers promising good times, you’re sure to find something that whets your appetite on the menu of sandwiches, salads and home-style entrees. The well-known menus of Chili’s and T.G.I. Friday’s both are only a phone call or a click away through the delivery service as well.

Although not part of the Dine-In Delivery clientele, Einstein Bros. Bagels makes upwards of 50 individual deliveries to campus per week. Delivery services aren’t limited to large quantities or a catering menu, so an Ultimate Blueberry Smoothie and bagel to match really are just a call away.

The next time Eldorado casserole is the best option at North Dining Hall, glance over these delivery menus. On a cold snowy night, the ease of ordering a delicious dinner from a laptop is enticing to say the least. Stay inside, keep warm and indulge. You deserve it.