The availability of food alternatives for those with food allergies or sensitivities has increased rapidly in recent years, and UCSD’s on-campus eateries are no exception. But is UCSD able to provide food alternatives that serve these needs and TASTE good as well? How do these alternative dishes stack up to their counterparts?
In order to tackle this question, I utilized a very scientific approach centered around taco-eating at Revelle College’s “64 Degrees” Dining facility.
The “Taqueria” station features four varieties of street-style tacos, notably a vegan alternative using a “Gardein Fishless Fish Patty”. As someone who eats meat with most meals, I was initially uncertain that I would enjoy the vegan option as thoroughly as the traditional tacos.
The “Taco Trio” features three tacos piled high with guacamole, onions, cilantro, and salsa in a fashion that screams, “I should definitely use a fork, but am going to use my hands anyway.” I chose one carnitas, one pollo asado, and one fishless-fish taco.
This was my favorite HDH meal in recent memory. I found the vegan fish to be the second-best option after the pollo asado, more a result of the chicken’s tremendous flavor than the fish being subpar. It had a flaky coating and tasted like fish, but just wasn’t as heavily seasoned.
So to address the initial question before settling into a food coma, students can certainly live both a vegan AND tasty lifestyle on campus. And while I won’t be adopting a vegan lifestyle, I wouldn’t be mad at a plate of three “64 Degrees” fishless-fish tacos either. My curiosity was satisfied, and my taste buds too!
Let us know what you think about UCSD’s vegan alternatives in the comments!