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Oy Vey is a campus nosh

KEVIN B. KLAUS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Yesterday afternoon geography graduate student David Ross eats at the Oy Vey Cafˇ for his first time. When asked what he thought about his potato soup and spinach quiche, he commented "tasty."
By Orli Ben-Dor
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 4, 2003

Oy Vey Caf¸ makes the Student Union Memorial Center seem like chopped liver.

That's right, Union Shmunion. The completed SUMC ÷ admittedly an impressive and exciting addition to this campus ÷ cannot, even in its full glory, compare to the hidden treasure that is Oy Vey Caf¸.

The caf¸, located in the Hillel building, accepts CatCards and offers students ÷ and no, this isn't an oxymoron ÷ a tasty and healthy alternative to the hustle and bustle of the corporate dining playground we call our student union. Skip the Big Mac or On Deck sandwich and try a nice-sized dish at Oy Vey Caf¸. Your wallet won't suffer with everything on the menu under $6.

Oy Vey has a shaded patio that would be great for catching up on reading during a lunch break or schmoozing with friends in a quiet, less frenzied lunch spot. Whether you decide to eat inside or al fresco, be sure to bring your appetite.

Low Down
Oy Vey Cafe is in the Hillel Building.
Open Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Salad Sampler ($5.95) allows you to choose three of the following: egg salad, tuna, hummus or eggplant salad (like a baba ghanoush). I chose the egg salad, hummus and eggplant. All three heaping helpings came over a bed of fresh, full greens with cucumbers and tomatoes. Make sure to bring gum or mints for that order. The garlic in the hummus and baba ghanoush can seriously prevent you from making any new friends this semester.

If you feel like noshing on something heartier, try the Moroccan Spinach Pie. A quiche meets casserole, the spinach pie, baked with spinach, eggs and a few cheeses, bursts with flavor. The dish, at $5.50, comes with your choice of soup or salad also, making it near impossible for anyone to kvetch about not being full by the end of lunch.

Like any traditional, Jewish-rooted caf¸,

Eat it

The worst is going into a restaurant and having no idea what the menu says. Here are some helpful hints next time you eat Middle Eastern.
  • Felafel: Deep fried balls of ground chick peas
  • Pita: Flat bread, when cut forms a pocket
  • Baba ghanoush: Eggplant puree with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic
  • Hummus: Mashed chick peas with lemon juice, garlic and olive or sesame oil, often made with tahini
  • Lox: Smoked salmon
  • Spanakopita: A greek dish made with phyllo-dough crust stuffed with a saut¸ed spinach, onions eggs, feta cheese and seasoning
    Speak it

    Nosh: snack, munch
    Oy Vey: Oh my!
    Meshugga: crazy
    Kvetch: whine, complain
    Shmear: coat, spread
    Shtick: piece or bit
    Schmooz: chat, talk
  • Oy Vey Caf¸ offers bagels with cream cheese ÷ smear it on ÷ and lox, a staple of Jewish fare. But breakfast is only served from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

    If Middle Eastern food isn't your shtick, Oy Vey Caf¸ can still strike your fancy. Besides other Middle eastern dishes like Spanakopita, Mediterranean Pasta Salad and Stuffed Pita sandwiches, Oy Vey offers Caesar salad, veggie burgers, wraps, burritos, quesadillas, a pesto pasta and even a cold Thai pasta, to name a few of the more mainstream dishes. Apart from the permanent menu, the caf¸ has daily specials like falafel Wednesdays.

    Oy Vey flaunts plenty of options for washing down all the food, too. It sells Naked juices, Ice Tea and ÷ drum roll, please ÷ Coke products! For those die-hard fans, can you believe that on the UA campus you can order a fountain Coca-cola and still use your CatCard to pay? It's true!

    If all this doesn't convince you to try this place, then Oy vey! You must be Meshugga!

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