By Michael Bober
Holmes Dining Hall is the standard dining experience for the typical undergrad. But when you wish to expand your palate beyond Campus Pizza and Commuter Café, there are alternatives. In fact, there are at least seven local, non-chain eateries with student-friendly menus and prices.
Some might complain, “What about students who can’t drive?” But according to Commuter Affairs, about half of the undergraduate student body consists of commuters. And using figures provided by AnnMarie Caprio Dunton, the director for Housing and Residential Services, 36 percent of resident students have parking permits. For those who have no access to a vehicle, there’s carpooling and MART shuttles. Plus, numbers 1, 4, and 7 are all within easy walking distance. So there are no excuses!
Now, to the fun part:
1. Grillicious. Located at 560 John Fitch Highway, Fitchburg, Grillicious sits near its rival D’Angelo. They offer a large number of fantastic wraps and subs, but they are famous for its lemon-pepper steak wrap. Unfortunately, you must request this; only the lemon-pepper chicken wrap is listed (but is a worthy alternative). The head chef, who is always there, sure knows his way around a sandwich! The thick, clearly potato-derived chips are made in-house as the standard side, and are exceptional, and the locally produced chocolate milk is a tasty treat. Open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, they also deliver.
2. Tory’s Subs and Burritos. Tory’s is located at 58 Central Street in Leominster. Not only is it relatively easy to find, but also making the drive is completely worth it. This family-owned restaurant has served pizza, subs and burritos since 1968. Tory’s offers the best steak sub you will find between the Twin Cities. Open Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Just check out the menu online, and your mouth will start to water. http://www.thecheesesteakguys.com/menu_torys.htm
3. Athens Pizza. Located on Rt. 13 in Leominster (568 Main St.), Athens Pizza is hands down the best sit-down pizza restaurant in the area. It has been a favorite for many FSC students for years, and with its pleasant atmosphere, it’s a good place to chill with some friends. Athens offers tasty, thick pizza, which is also nicely priced (get the extra large for $11.95!).
A. Pizza King (on Rt. 12 in Leominster) offers a 50% discount for FSC students on Wednesdays. Why? According to Stefan Bej, one of the proprietors, if customers like the pizza, there’ll be repeat business. If you get the buffalo chicken pizza, you’ll definitely become a repeat customer.
B. Espresso Pizza (584 Main Street) makes its pizza sauce from orange zest to great success.
4. Wraps Plus. Close to FSC at 150 Main Street in Fitchburg Wraps Plus is at the intersection of Main Street and North Street. Formerly “Great Wraps”, it has not gotten any less great with the name change. Wraps Plus sells its namesake at low prices. Some have balked at the non-monstrous servings one finds at Tory’s, but the serving sizes are perfect and match the prices.
5. Ixtapa Cantina. Located across from the Wal-Mart at 308 Mass Ave in Lunenburg, Ixtapa Cantina is the finest Mexican restaurant around. With already low prices, the 20 percent discount for FSC students makes Ixtapa a no-brainer, and you can also go to the website and print out a 25 percent off coupon! http://www.ixtapa-cantina.com/
6. Singapore. Located at 170 Whalon St. (next to… Kappy’s), Singapore is a tasty, inexpensive Chinese restaurant that is open until 1 a.m., all the time. So when you and your buddies get that hankerin’ for lo mein at midnight, hop on over to Singapore for some good times.
7. City Hall Café. At 695 Main Street, Fitchburg, City Hall Café is situated across from, yes, City Hall. This easy-to-miss little place serves up a mean breakfast. Only open Monday through Friday until 2:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday until 1 p.m., City Hall Café provides the finest dining experience while its doors are open. Yum, yum. http://cityhallcafefitchburg.com/