January 28, 2011

Campus Restaurants Serve Up New Features this Spring

Farinon Food Court offers deli sandwiches, wraps, grill standards, pizza, specials, and grab-and-go items.

Students returning to College Hill this spring have some exciting new features at their favorite on-campus dining locations. The College’s seven eateries cater to a wide variety of savvy student customers.

Already on the Farinon Student Restaurant menu, detailed nutritional information will become available in more locations. This fall, the Dining Services website introduced an interactive feature providing the nutritional value of each menu item in the student restaurants. Those who plan ahead can access the website to make more informed choices before heading out for a meal. There also will be LCD screens installed this spring at each food station displaying nutritional values. Menu items that meet vegetarian, vegan, or well-balanced requirements are highlighted.

Farinon Student Restaurant

Farinon Food Court will introduce the new Pandini’s restaurant, featuring traditional fare like pizza and baked pasta items as well as its signature labretti – a flatbread sandwich made of pizza dough and stuffed with meats, cheeses, vegetables, etc. This semester, the International Flavors station, a tribute to American Chinese food, will expand to include Thai cuisine.

“Thai cuisine is very fresh, very produce-driven, which is consistent with the nutritional needs our students are looking for,” explains Joseph Binotto, general manager of dining services. “These changes are really driven by our students. They’ve voiced potential improvements, along with positive and negative feedback, and we’ve turned that information into these improvements.”

Gilbert’s Café at Kirby Hall

The Dining Services team also devotes careful attention to students who have special dietary requirements. It provides nutritious options for students with food allergies that range from peanut or tree nut allergies to Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder that necessitates a gluten-free diet. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

“We’ve increased the scope of what we offer and how often those choices change,” says Kari Fazio, director of finance and business operations. “Those who have allergies are introduced to the individual chefs at each location and are encouraged to discuss their food options.”

Skillman Café

Adam Scheps ’11 and Matthew Scheps ’12 both experience Celiac Disease and say Lafayette’s Dining Services was one of the key factors in their college search. Adam was impressed with executive chef Mike Kramlich’s knowledge of gluten-free requirements during a campus visit.

“He told me they have substitute foods, such as gluten-free breads and pastas,” says Adam, a mathematics-economics major whose favorite location is Marquis Student Restaurant. “At each meal, I walk into the kitchen and talk to the chefs, who tell me what is safe for me on the regular lines and what to avoid. If the food on the line is gluten free, I go through the line. Otherwise, they either will have saved some of the main option before adding any gluten ingredients or they will make a different meal for me. For example, if it is a breaded chicken, they may have made some chicken without the breading for me. The chefs have always been very accommodating and helpful with allergies.”

Marquis Student Restaurant

Matthew’s favorite location also is Marquis Student Restaurant, especially since it serves gluten-free desserts. He urges anyone with a food allergy to discuss their options with Dining Services staff.

“The chefs are all very accommodating and willing to help out any way they can,” says Matthew, a civil engineering major. “The food served is just about the best of all the colleges I visited.”

Simon’s at Kamine Hall

posted in Extraordinary Campus, News and Features