What can $5 buy these days? Sure, off the hill, you can probably get a few Bahn Mi, or a yummy bowl of noodles, but with the captive audience at SFU, there are few real food bargains to be found.
Enter the SFU Veggie Lunch:
Almost operating like a secret society, every Tuesday and Wednesday, a man (whom you can read about more about here) sets up in the area below the coffee shop in the Maggie Benston Centre with a set selection of food items and a bunch of books about vegetarianism on display. The lunch technically operates on a donation basis, but everyone brings in $5 at least for the meal.
So, what do you get for $5 here?
- A big scoop of rice that is fragrant, though a bit chewy,
- Two veggie curries (today was chickpeas and zucchini in a mild tomato/bean sauce, and a potato and green pea curry that was very well seasoned with lots of yellow curry and turmeric),
- A big spoonful of sweet halva (which I think is made with corn flour, raisins); and,
- A huge piece of spice cake with a light frosting.
- Oh, and you also get a cup of drink, which is like a cold hibiscus/rosehip and ginger tea.
Please note: I bring my own plate, so this may be a bit bigger than what you get if you use a disposable one there, but still, this is a huge amount of food, and technically it’s an “all you can eat”.
While I have no illusions that this is a “get food and eat” set up, it is a bit weird to experience this yourself. The lack of interaction between the diners and the dude who makes/serves the food adds to the mystique perhaps, but I personally feel more at ease enjoying my lunch elsewhere. In short, yes, this is a good lunch, and I feel good about choosing a vegetarian option and supporting this unique, though a bit wacky, arrangement at SFU.