Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jotthe Kannappan: I live to eat.

So I have this obsession. With this thing called food. And I have come to realize that Stanford doesn't have all that much of it.

I mean there are dining halls that serve decent food that is palatable enough, there is the godliness of Ike's, and then there are chain restaurants like Starbucks and Panda Express that reside in Tressider. What has come to my attention though, is that Stanford has almost no small businesses that sell food. The exception, of course, is that Coupa was a small business in 1930, when it was established in Palo Alto. One could also argue that Treehouse and CoHo are small businesses, but I wouldn't think of them as small businesses so much as Stanford operations.

What astounds me about the situation, though, is that in an area as diverse as the Bay Area, we don't have small ethnic eateries on campus (though the Thai place near the psychology building is great). I thought about this because 13 of us crammed in to a tiny little Mediterranean place today, and it was arguably the best Greek food I have ever had. The amazing part of this store, though, is that everything is made from scratch, and it is essentially a single-man business. 

I understand there are logistical difficulties of have eateries as such on campus because of the huge student population that would surely overwhelm small vendors, but it would also add so much culinary quality to the university. I can imagine that plenty of small eatery owners would love to sell food to college students simply because of the sheer amount we consume. 

Though some may argue that great food is just a few minutes bike away on University Avenue, I think that there should be WAY more ethnic food on campus. After all, many people come to Stanford for its incredible diversity. Stanford is in the Silicon Valley, one of the most diverse places in the world. Why aren't we exploiting that? Students should have a taste (definitely pun intended) of the delectable and diverse society that surrounds it. 

Though I am fascinated with this idea, it may just be my taste buds talking. There are surely logistics to be figured out, but I still think it's something worth considering. 

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