For quite some time now, the UBC food scene has consistently been more and more disappointing. Students find themselves paying more and more for food of lesser quality and quantity. For many of us who are already paying thousands of dollars in rent and tuition, it would be nice to finally have an on-campus restaurant with a decent deal.
But change is on the horizon as a number of new restaurants are sprouting up across campus. The real question is whether or not they will finally give the starving students of UBC the cheap and good food that they’ve been craving for.
A bunch of the new restaurants will be opening at the base of the new apartment building on University Boulevard in the coming weeks, including Taiwanese street food place Bao Down, Mexican restaurant Tacomio and Joe Pizza. JJ Bean and Nori have already opened.
But some new places are also popping up in the Nest itself, replacing what used to be go-to vegetarian spot Palate, the frozen yogurt shop Qoola and the decent but usually underwhelming burger joint Flip Side.
I Wanna… Iguana Taco... I Want a Taco… Whatever it’s called has already moved into the basement of the Nest and taken over what was once Flip Side. In it, they’re serving up Mexican classics like burritos, quesadillas, as well as meat and veggie tacos.
In the buildup to its opening, The Ubyssey wasn’t expecting too much from Iwana Taco. Especially when it comes to Mexican food, we’ve all been let down too many times before. As some of you may remember last year, The Ubyssey went on a long but ultimately doomed quest to find a decent quesadilla on campus. Our search took us to the Soup Kitchen, the Gallery 2.0 and others — but in the end, we returned to our cubicles empty handed.
Despite expectations, I Wanna Taco is surprisingly good.
Obviously it’s not the best Mexican food in Vancouver, but for a campus spot, it’s not too shabby. I Wanna Taco brings forward a simple and classic Mexican-style menu mixed in with some healthy and fresh British Columbian ingredients, including Ocean Wise certified fish.
The best thing on the menu are by far the tacos. The tortillas themselves are actual fresh corn tortillas instead of the cheap store-bought fake tortillas that were anticipated to be served.
The burritos are also pretty good and they get you the most bang for your buck. They may not be of Chipotle-level quality or taste, but they might be some of the best news deals on campus. For $7.50 or $8, you can get a decently sized beef, cumin chicken, vegetarian, or shrimp burrito. Again, it’s not the cheapest eat in the city, but it’s the best price you’ll find on our lovely but unfathomably overpriced campus.
The best deal to get is the four tacos for $10, in which you can choose between beef, fish, cumin chicken, shrimp, mushroom and other options. And the best of them is the fish taco. It’s actually good quality fish with a surprisingly nice mayo sauce and fresh veggies. Tacos are priced at $3 a piece if you don’t get the four for ten deal.
The quesadillas — which we’ve already established as something the culture section cares about more than freedom of the press — are also decent. There are vegetarian and carnivorous options available, and they are priced between $6.50 and $9.00.
If Iwana Taco is a sign for what’s to come to UBC’s food scene then you better get excited. We might soon be free from having to meal-prep every weekend because we’re getting sick of buying the same old boring food.