Experience Culture Off Campus with Food

Many times I find myself staring at the different choices we have at the cafeteria without knowing what to get next, and I am sure I am not the only one. Although we have some variety in the cafeteria, having the same options every day can become a tedious routine. Because of this, I went off-campus and walked to see what other options we have in case we want to try something different. Doing so, I found some interesting places that you may want to check out.


One of the restaurants I found walking around PCCC is Pupusa Loca. I have to mention it only took me a few seconds to find it. This restaurant serves food from El Salvador and it has been open for about 15 years. They also serve common dishes like sandwiches and salchipapas. Most customers agreed saying that the food has the true flavors of Salvadoran food.


Pupusa Loca offers a variety of food, from simple dishes like chicken tenders with fries to the classic grilled chicken breast to grilled steak or T-bone steaks. The House Specialties are the pupusas, which are similar to the arepas from Venezuela. Theses pupusas are made of rice flour or corn flour, and the can be filled with cheese, fried pork, shrimp or chicken. Their food is considered authentic food, and this is especially because all the chefs are Salvadorean.

This place in general looks very comfy in the inside. The pupusas range from $2 to $3, so they are very affordable. Also, they offer a $9 lunch menu from 11 am to 3pm, which includes an appetizer, entrée and a drink. The best part is that is only a few meters away from PCCC on Market Street. According to my GPS, the restaurant is 1-minute-walk away from PCCC. From my experience, I would say 30 seconds. Pupusa Loca seems pretty convenient for those who do not want or do not have the time to walk more.



Another place I have found, the least expensive one, is Mom’s Fried Chicken. This small place serves a buffet of purely Dominican food. It opened around two years ago and since then it has been full of clients.


From a healthy oatmeal breakfast, to the classic rice and beans, and plantains to pork, steak and fish, Mom’s Fried chicken is the perfect place to get delicious food at an economic price. The House Specialties are the empanadas. They have different types of empanadas, like chicken, beef, pork, cheese, and others. It is also important that the food at Mom’s Fried Chicken is all cooked by Dominican chefs.

Although the place is pretty tiny, the food is amazing. I have tried the empanadas and they are delicious. The best part? They are $1 each. I personally love the fact that empanadas are this cheap since I have empanadas pretty much all the time. Breakfasts also start at $1 with oatmeal, and $3 smoothies. The buffet starts at $4.99 and it includes a portion of rice and beans with either pork, chicken, steak, fish, etc. According to Google Maps, Mom’s Fried Chicken is 6 minutes away by foot. This place is certainly convenient if you want something cheap and close to school.


If you are into Dominican, Peruvian, Spanish or Italian food, D’Classico is a good option. This restaurant has been opened for several years, and they served Italian food. However, the owners of the place changed two years ago. They kept parts of the original menu, but they also introduced Dominican food and Peruvian food.



D’Classico’s menu has different types of food. The Italian section on the menu includes pasta, like Fettuccini Alfredo and Penne vodka. The Spanish section includes paella, Valenciana, Marinera, etc. The chefs working at D’Classico are from Peru and Dominican Republic. Therefore, their specialties are Dominican and Peruvian food. They are said to have best Mofongos in town and their Peruvian dishes, especially the Ceviche and Lomo Saltado, are exceptional.

I have eaten many times at D’Classico and I have to say their spicy sauce is the best one I have had in Paterson so far. For Peruvian people, like me, spicy sauces mark a crucial difference on food, so it is something to keep in mind if you like spicy food. Although this restaurant is not the most economic one, they offer a Lunch Special from Monday through Friday from 12pm to 3pm. This only costs $9 and includes an appetizer, a Peruvian dish entrée, and a beverage. They also have Happy Hour from 4pm to 7pm, where you can find Fried calamari, Chicken Wings or Quesadillas at $6. According to Google Maps, D’Classico is just a 9-minute walk from PCCCC. Definitely a good option if you want good quality food and a diverse menu.


Located in the heart of Downtown Paterson, D’Carbon offers traditional Peruvian dishes at an economic price. This place has been open for about 5 years. Although they serve Peruvian food mostly, their menu also includes simple food like French fries, tostones, and salads.

From small appetizers like Papa a la Huancaina (potatoes covered in Huancaina sauce) to their signature dish, Pollo a la Brasa, D’Carbon offers delicious and fresh food in just a matter of a few minutes. They sell Pollo a la Brasa in different portions and it is served with either French fries or Arroz Chaufa. They also serve breakfast during the day, and dishes that are enough for tow or more like the Jalea or Parrilla D’Carbon. Although the cooks are all Mexican, the Peruvian seasoning is found in all dishes, and all of them are well-served portions.


Every day of the week, from 11:30 to 4pm, they offer a 7$ menu which includes an appetizer, an entrée and a soda. You would find seven different dishes to choose as an entrée every day and they can even save you a menu until 5pm if you let them know in advance. According to Google Maps, D’Carbon is only 10 minutes away from PCCC. D’Carbon is definitely a good option if you want to find an economic menu close to school.

Having taken advantage of PCCC being located so close to downtown Paterson, I have found some interesting places that I did not even know about before, like Pupusa Loca, which is right next to school. These restaurants offer a varied cuisine, from Dominican and Peruvian to Salvadoran and Italian. The places we have at school are obviously great and economic, but for someone like me who stays in school all day and gets food there every day, new places sound incredibly exciting. So now you know, if you want to try something different, there a many options that are very close to school and also are delicious and economic.

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