West Terrace Cafe
West Commons, San Diego State University
Granted, it's a stretch putting school cafeterias and college food halls on any "Best" list. And these days most campuses have a scattering of fast-food franchises and call it a day at that. And, let's face it, a bunch of broke students? Distracted profs? Basic burgerites or venal vegans? But at SDSU's West Commons, they not only give you a $6.99 deal , they give the greatest gift of all: a guarantee to overstuff you with the evening's fare. Chicken, casserole, or manicotti were on the menu one recent evening (pick one). On the other hand, you can come back like Oliver Twist and ask for more -- and pick what you didn't have first time around. Have as many sides as you like -- brown rice, carrots, corn -- soups such as chicken and rice, and extras like baked potatoes with hot cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Plus a salad bar. And a groaning dessert table with treats such as tiramisu, apple-raisin tart, upside-down pineapple cake.