Asian cuisine, organic station part of new Cafe

By on April 16, 2008

Eating day after day at the same location with the same spread of edibles is just one of the many facets of dorm dwelling. Because of this element of college life, it is no wonder that the suggestion board in the cafeteria displays pleas for change.

Fortunately for the Quinnipiac student body, the cafeteria will be undergoing major changes. Most students now know that the cafeteria will be doubling in size, but what eateries will fill the additional space?

Director of dining services, Joseph Tobin, expects that the grill and Culinary Table will remain, but they will be expanded and include a wider variety of choices. The salad bar will also increase in size. “We’re looking to adapt and change what we already including interchanging equipment, we will be able to change the variety of food more often,” Tobin said.

Though it is difficult to be sure in this early planning period, Tobin believes that the Italian cuisine at Mama Leone’s will be served under a new name. He said that the Mama Leone’s franchise has limited food options which may not satisfy the students’ desire for variety.

Tobin said students can also look forward to a full-size Starbucks. He added that he believes the new, larger cafeteria will double as additional study space since the library is so overrun. The plans propose that the Starbucks is to include a window facing the dining room, so it can remain open later than the rest of the cafeteria.

Asian cuisine fare will also be added. Tobin said that the company hopes to include a Chinese food area much like a Panda Express, but at a higher quality. A sushi bar may also be possible.

“Being health conscious is big with students these days,” Tobin said. The people of Chartwell’s have taken note of that. The company plans on purchasing as much locally grown produce and meat as they can without a major price increase.

Tobin said that, by far, the biggest project will be the addition of a large O’Naturals-a healthy sandwich bistro based out of Portland, Maine. He expects that this new station will take up a large part of the new space.

The size of Zia Juice may decrease, but health enthusiasts should be happy with the choice.

Chartwell’s has a franchising contract with the restaurant. The O’Naturals Web site states that it was created by its founders, Mac McCabe and Gary Hirshberg (also a founder of the organic yogurt brand, Stonyfield Farm), “to provide delicious quick, natural and organic foods.” The menu exhibits an array of flatbread sandwiches, pizza, salads and noodle dishes.

Tobin said that he’s excited to have the additional space, for the increasing size of the student body demands the upgrade. He added that he does not foresee a price increase due to the expansion.

And when the results of the Chartwell’s survey arrive, Tobin and others who are planning what food services will be provided can use the opinions of more than 1,000 participants. The results will help plan cuisine changes in the Bobcat Den and new York Hill campus.

“Students basically drive everything we do,” Tobin said. “We don’t get any of the money until you buy something and it goes through the cash register.we need to make our food as high-quality as we can for you to buy it.”


About Rhiannon Adams