5 Places to Use the ‘Berg Discount Downtown
Date: Feb 18, 2016
by Taylor Gibb, Class of 2016
Hi there! My name is Taylor Gibb, and I’m a current senior at Muhlenberg College, but this semester, I was lucky enough to secure a position working for marketing and social media at the Allentown Chamber of Commerce.
My job has allowed me to immerse myself in the culture of downtown, and I was shocked to discover how many great restaurants are within just a few minutes of campus! With this in mind, I wrote this article to help my fellow Mules branch out, and take advantage of all the opportunities right outside our door!
Between Pizza Rustica night at the CR, Pasta Monday at the Mule Express, and 2am Bagel Bombs at the GQ, you can’t deny that our campus is well-fed. But this time of year, the once-cozy “‘Berg Bubble” can start to feel stifling, and cause a kind of culinary cabin fever that even Wokabilities can’t fix.
However, there’s no need to resign yourself to Cup-O’ Noodles just yet! Unbeknownst to most Mules, there’s an entire bustling restaurant scene downtown, complete with seafood, Chinese, cheesesteaks, and everything in-between. The best part? Many Hamilton District restaurants offer up to 20% off of your order just for showing student ID!
So what are you waiting for? Below, I’ve listed 5 discounted restaurants to get you started, but with so many options just a few minutes from campus, there’s no excuse not to break out of the “bubble”. And don’t worry, I pinky swear that Awa won’t mind.
1. The Dime (in The Renaissance Hotel)
Planning a stylish night out with friends that won’t break the bank? Look no further than The Dime-aptly named both for its affordability, and its arguable status as a “perfect ten”.
Choose from an extensive list of locally-sourced, fresh food ranging from tempting small bites to burgers big enough to satisfy even the hungriest frat bro. Plus, for those old enough to imbibe, The Dime offers a $5 “Mule of the Day” every happy hour-talk about school spirit!
2. Island in the Sun, 921 W. Hamilton Street
If your experience with Carribean culture is limited to dreadlocks, steel drums, and Sig Ep’s annual beach party, it’s definitely time to check out Hamilton Street’s Island in the Sun restaurant. Voted the “Best Jamaican Cuisine in the Lehigh Valley”, this inviting eatery features authentic creations courtesy of Chef Charles-a Jamaican native who’s not afraid to spice up tradition.
The restaurant offers lunch deals every day of the week, and even stays open late so you can get your fix of jerk chicken, rum cake, or oxtail stew even after a big night out. Trust me, nothing says “after party” like a steaming plate of curry chicken and pineapple!
3. Hook Seafood and Grille, 22 N 6th Street
“Starving College Student” and “Fresh-Caught Lobster Tail” are two phrases that don’t seem to belong in the same sentence together, much less as a suggestion for dinner. At Hook, however, our ‘Berg discount means that even the most frugal freshman can dine on crab legs, mussels, and scallops galore-all for what it would typically cost for a large pie from The Tavern.
If the vast array of coastal cuisine isn’t enough to convince you, I’d bet that dessert like a decadent duo of soufflés or the cheeky “Irish Car Bomb” Sunday will have you “Hooked” before you know it-pun intended.
4. Garden Gate Natural Foods, 17 S 9th Street
Do you find you’re still fending off the “freshman fifteen” well into your junior year? I have to say, even though mozzarella sticks hit the spot at 3am, after one too many nights ended surrounded by empty containers of “Mule Sauce,” I feel your pain.
Luckily, Garden Gate Natural foods is just a hop, skip and a jump from campus, and offers delicious, wholesome meal options to get you back on track (without having to set foot on the actual track, of course).
5. Centro, 530 Hamilton Street
Fact: college students LOVE pizza. There’s something about the perfect combo of crispy carbs, sweet sauce, and melted mozzarella that tugs at the heartstrings of even the most jaded undergrad. However, getting pizza in college shouldn’t be limited to a sad slice of pepperoni grabbed from the back of the CR. That’s where Centro comes in.
With rustic brick walls, enchanting mood lighting, and artwork featuring classic Hollywood legends like Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, Centro is certainly more “Roman Holiday” than “Little Ceasar’s.” That’s certainly not a bad thing when you can fill your plate with offerings like beer-braised wild boar flatbread, or genuine Italian-style pies so crispy you’ll think you’re in the Arezzo program-no Commedia training required.
To find out more about the Muhlenberg Restaurant Discount program, visit http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/aboutus/tour/restaurant.html
For more excellent downtown eateries, don’t forget to check out the Downtown Allentown page at http://www.downtownallentown.com/