To some, it’s the Marketplace Café. For others, it’s “that burger place.”
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian calls it the Triple B.
Burgers. Breakfast. Burritos.
Nestled between the Campus Center and the Student Union – directly across from the University Store in the place formerly known as “Let’s Break Rice Together” – the Triple B opened last fall. Snatching Burgers 101 from the Hatch eatery and Tamales from the Blue Wall Café, the Triple B brings together the best of both worlds, plus a bonus.
For those who crave breakfast food at any hour of the day, the Triple B offers an affordable menu of items under $6. There’s the “Breakfast Special,” which includes two eggs any style, toast, breakfast potatoes and a choice of bacon or sausage. A three-egg omelet can also be ordered and there are two options for breakfast sandwiches to take on the go.
If Baby Berk is in transit and a burger is on the brain, Burgers 101 will satisfy the need with quality patties. The burgers, which are of a medium moisture and satisfying taste, come in single or double combos ($6.25 and $7.75, respectively) with hand-cut locally grown french fries and a fountain drink. For those who don’t like the beef, the store also offers turkey and veggie burger options. An array of toppings is offered, including four cheese options, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers and mushrooms. In addition to ketchup and mustard, burger-eaters can ask for A1 Burger Sauce, BBQ sauce or mayonnaise.
Lovers of Mexican food who don’t feel like making the trek into town can enjoy a burrito or taco salad at Tamales. The choices begin with the tortilla, as customers can select from a variety of options: sun dried tomato, jalapeño, whole wheat, spinach or flour. As for the contents of the tortilla, that’s up to the customer, as Tamales will personally create each burrito to request. Not feeling a burrito? Substitute the tortilla for a taco bowl or simply ask for the taco salad in a Styrofoam bowl. All menu options are under $7.50, with vegetarian options for a dollar cheaper.
It’s hard to judge just how long the wait for the food may take. Those ordering Tamales can be in and out within five minutes, but Burgers 101 customers should anticipate longer wait times. Depending on the time of day, it may take as long as 20 minutes for the burgers to be ready. Breakfast orders can be quick, but sometimes are forgotten in the chaos of burger making.
There are no line queues at the Triple B, which occasionally causes confusion. It’s unclear whether people are in line to order or waiting for their food to be made. Workers at the Burgers 101 store handle all breakfast orders, which can cause the lines to overlap. And because of the lack of space between the food and the registers, people who are ready to pay may not be able to do so with ease.
The fountain drink stands are located outside the registers, and are often unreliable. Drinks are not mixed properly or may release just water. Dinner customers may need to BYOI because the ice dispensers rarely work. Some students have been known to desperately scoop up deposited melting ice on the tray beneath the machine. Others have taken their empty cups and gone to the Blue Wall.
The Triple B offers a decent amount of tables in a spacious seating area. But during meal times they are often full, forcing students to go elsewhere to enjoy their food. Also conspicuously absent are salt and pepper shakers. There have been some nights when there were only a few in the entire café.
Like the Blue Wall, the Triple B also sells coffee, a selection of juices, chips, candy and other snacks. Students can use their YCMP swipes, as well as pay with cash or credit card. It is open Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
With only a few pitfalls, the Triple B is a step in the right direction for UMass on-campus eating options. It provides a delicious and varied experience and is something different than the pizza and fried food options available at the Blue Wall.