Editor’s Desk -Pleasant Surprises from Gourmet Dining

By Melanie Perez

The food in the SUB cafeteria served by Gourmet Dining has been surprisingly good lately.  I left for Wroxton, and when I came back, it seemed like everything had changed for the better with Gourmet Dining – with a wider range of foods and a new meal plan.

There is a more balanced array of options that cater to a wider range of diets than they’ve had in previous semesters.  In any given day, Gourmet Dining offers burgers, pasta and pizza – on the “less-healthy” spectrum – in addition to more food options that fall on the “healthy” spectrum.

There is a permanent “World’s Fare” section – ironically positioned between the pizza and ice cream stations – that for the first two weeks of school dedicated to Mediterranean foods like baba ghanoush (eggplant dip), hummus (chickpea dip), and tabbouleh (tomatoes, parsley, mint, etc.).  They have also had a selection of chips and salsas, as well as cheeses and meats.  The World’s Fare selection changes on a cycle.

This is especially nice for students who are either completely vegetarian or have dietary restrictions regarding certain meats.

Gourmet Dining has also implemented a way for students to text the chefs anonymously, thus allowing them to give honest feedback without fear of repercussions.

The new meal plan for commuters was long overdue.   The new commuter meal plan is $99 and allows 10 swipes per week in the SUB cafeteria, as well as 5 snack swipes – each swipe allows a choice of any 20oz bottled Pepsi beverage or Grande drip coffee from an on-campus Starbucks, as well as any bakery item, granola bar, piece of hand fruit, or bag of chips – at either Jeepers or the Dickinson Hall Café, and $25 in Flex.

The Equinox, as a collective, has written many articles regarding issues we have with Gourmet Dining.  There have been issues with opening times, food quality, lack of nutrition labels, lack of vegetarian options, lack of varied meal plan options, etc.

Hopefully this semester will bring about new changes like food allergy warning labels and vegetarian “meats”.

Students shouldn’t have to ask if certain foods contain certain allergens.  Some students are new to their allergies and don’t know that some of their favorite foods might contain allergens (like Pad Thai, which contains peanuts).

And the tofu in the SUB cafeteria isn’t cutting it. Maybe try vegetarian “meats” like those found in the Gardein brand – it tastes way better than tofu.

Gourmet Dining is by no means perfect, but they’ve come a long way, especially within the last year.  It’s nice to see that they’re listening to the students’ feedback and doing something about it.