In recent years, NDNU residents have begun to discuss the lack of creativity and spontaneity in the cafeteria’s dish selection. While the menu is meant to appeal to a wide variety of cultures and food preferences such as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free, residents have started to grow tired of the same dishes day after day, arguing that the “food is not as diverse as the student body,” as stated by resident assistant and upperclassman Angelica Perales.
Although the cafeteria supervisor, Susan Mamlok, bases the variety of dishes on ingredients available in the local area, she stated that the menu is “mainly prepared based on the needs of board students” and prices the dishes to accommodate the student meal plans and stay in competition with local food providers.
Despite the fact that a decent portion of the three main parties on campus, including residents, commuters and faculty, agree that the quality of the food is much higher compared to surrounding schools, residents argues that now is the time for change in the cafeteria menu.
After speaking to several residents, commuters and faculty, two suggestions came up in the discussions.
First, students recommended having special days to reinvigorate the student body’s interest in the café, such as Taco Tuesdays, where Latino cuisine such as plataño, fish tacos and carnitas burritos are served for certain meals, or Spaghetti Night Fridays, where students can enjoy freshly-prepared garlic bread, pasta and caesar salads for evening meals.
Many also suggested inviting local restaurants, such as Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop and Curry Up Now, to sell their products on campus on select days and give back to both the retail and academic communities. For those who want to contribute to the cafeteria’s development, Susan Mamlok has provided a suggestion box for the student body and faculty to recommend dishes and ideas to further advance the high quality of the food and services offered by Bon Appétit.
The NDNU Dining Hall eagerly awaits the dinner rush in Belmont, California on Monday, Oct. 5th, 2015. (AP Photo/James Hargrave)