Top 5 Rat Hacks

If you’re on a meal plan, you know that it gets monotonous to have the same meals week after week. You take the same path to each of your favorite stations in the Rat so often that you could do it in your sleep. And during breakfast, you normally do. Well, it’s time to add some new meals into your repertoire! Using the foods that are usually offered in the Rat, you can invent your own dishes. Here are five of our favorite “Rat hacks.”

Burrito Bowl
When the trek out to the East Memphis Chipotle is just too far and your wallet is just too empty, grab a large salad bowl from the salad station and make your own burrito bowl.  First, fill your bowl with a big scoop of rice—the green zone and the wok are your best bet.  Next, fill up your bowl with some beans from the green or home zones.  For your protein, get creative! Grab some taco meat from the Mongolian grill, grilled chicken breast, or even pork loin or turkey from the home zone. Top it off with some vegetables from the green zone, then head over to the salad bar for some toppings like onions, green peppers, lettuce, and black olives. If you want to spice it up, add some taco seasoning or crushed red peppers. Finish off your burrito bowl with some ranch dressing, salsa, or hot sauce, and congratulate yourself on a high-protein, Chipotle-inspired dinner that only cost you a swipe.

Cheese Fries
On those long stressful days of studying, when it won’t stop raining, or when today simply isn’t your day, sometimes all you want are some cheese fries. They’re good for the soul. Lucky for you, the Rat has the supplies for making cheese fries almost every day.  Simply grab a plate of fries from the home zone and head over to the salad bar for some garnishes. Top the fries with everything from onions and tomatoes to bacon bits and jalapeños.  Then smother them with some shredded mozzarella or a slice of American cheese. Next, head over to the microwave and cook your creation until the cheese has melted—around 20 seconds. Finish off your fries with a side of ranch dressing, and imagine you’re at Huey’s. What could be better than that?

Panini
Sure, sandwiches are nice and consistent. But when you’re tired of that basic ham and cheese sandwich you’ve made from the self-serve sandwich station for the third night in a row, it’s time for an upgrade. First, use all of your creative juices to construct a gourmet sandwich. Grab some pulled pork from the home zone, a piece of roast, or mix and match sandwich meats to make a club sandwich. Don’t forget to use the salad bar’s toppings. Then transform your ordinary sandwich into a delicious panini with the waffle maker. Simply spray both sides of the waffle iron to prevent your sandwich from sticking, then stick your sandwich in between the iron. Let it cook for about a minute or until the bread looks toasted. With paninis, the possibilities are endless. Vegetarian? No problem. Spice up a grilled cheese by adding some spinach, onions, and tomatoes. Want a dessert panini? Stick a banana, peanut butter, and honey sandwich on the waffle maker. You won’t be disappointed.

Chicken and Waffles
Fried Chicken and Waffles. It’s the meal that graces brunch menus all across Memphis. The one you crave after a long Saturday night. Well, fried chicken and waffles aren’t just for the weekend anymore! On Friday lunches, throw your weekly helping of the Rat’s finest fried chicken on top of a ready-made waffle for a meal that is both incredibly satisfying and distinctly Memphis.

Breakfast Bagel
From made-to-order omelets to Ms. Laverne’s cheesy eggs, everyone knows that breakfast at the Rat is always a delicious experience—for those motivated to get up before 10 a.m. But if you throw in a bagel, you can kick your breakfast routine up another notch. Start out by putting the bagel of your choice in the toaster. While it is cooking, fill up a plate with some toppings. For your base, grab some scrambled eggs, a sunny side-up egg, or even an omelet. Now make your way over to the home zone for some sausage or bacon. Put everything in between your toasted bagel, and enjoy your delicious breakfast sandwich. Maybe now you’ll be motivated to get out of bed before the crack of noon.