Suggestions Through 3/21/18


"How much separation is there between the vegan and the meat meal preparations? Are there separate pots and kitchen utensils for each?"

Good question! Employees are trained in best practices to maintain separation between vegan and meat items. The degree of separation depends on the item and area in which it is prepared. While most items are prepared using shared equipment (ovens, steamers, kettles), meat and vegan meal items are prepared separately and kitchen equipment and utensils that come in direct contact with food are cleaned and sanitized between each use. For some items made to order, at the grills for example, there are either designated areas or equipment for the preparation of vegan items. 
 
"I would like for one day to have this Bolivian Salteña dish. https://www.thespruce.com/bolivian-style-beef-empanadas-3029698"
 
This looks like a delicious recipe! However the preparation time is very high - 7 1/2 hours for a small batch. We typically need to make at least 250 portions of a recipe to last through one meal service - so this recipe probably won't work for our production needs. But thank you, and we will keep on the lookout for yummy empanadas that we can either make more quickly, or purchase pre-made.
 
"I really love the udon noodle bar that we had a couple of weeks ago! I wish we had that more frequently."
 
Good News! Udon Bar is being served Friday 3/23 at the Saute Station for lunch!
 
"I would love it if homestyle had gluten free options more frequently (they're usually great!). It felt like last year/semester it happened much more often. Eating bun-less Cooler sandwiches and grill options gets pretty monotonous. Also, on several occasions, dining staff have gotten gluten free confused with vegan or something else ... When in doubt I ask servers to please find out from the kitchen. But my numerous close calls over the years don't exactly inspire confidence."
 
Many times the Homestyle option is GF without the bun. You may get GF bread at the sandwich station if you like (and the Cooler carries GF bread too!) That said, we have some great GF options coming up the weeks of March 25 and April 1. We try very earnestly to train all employees in the various nuances of vegan, gluten free, lactose free, etc., but it is a large crew and not everyone is at the same level. The station signs are made by a limited number of knowledgable employees, so we suggest referring to the signage first, and asking a chef or supervisor if you have questions. And kudos to you for asking the servers to make certain - they are also instructed to ask a chef when they are in doubt.
 
"The sopes the other day were literally inedible because they were hard/not cooked. Please fix that!!"
 
We're sorry - and thanks for letting us know. We'll look into our cooking procedures and see what went wrong. 
 
"Could their also be a stir fry of the day for people who don't have time to stand in line?"
 
Unlike Pasta of the Day, which is all made ahead each morning and keeps well in warmers, stir fry noodle dishes do not hold well, they congeal quickly. Stir fry would need to be made in smaller batches (one pan at a time), and unfortunately our heavy production schedule doesn't allow for that. 
 
"Can y'all make sure to mention if shellfish is in certain seafood dishes? (sauces and soups)"
 
We think we do - but please bring it to the attention of a chef or supervisor if you think we have made an error. We identify shellfish either with the abbreviation (SF), or by naming the shellfish. Examples: Seafood Chowder (SF)  or: Lobster Bisque.
 
"The to go containers for half orders at the pasta bar melt!!!!!!"
Hmm...we've been using the same containers for decades, because of their high heat tolerance. Unless you were microwaving the container or put it in/on a very hot device it shouldn't melt. If you ever experience this again, could you please bring it to the attention of a manager on duty please, so we can investigate?
 
"It kills me that the pesto at the pasta bar isn't vegan! Is there any way we could get vegan pesto seeing as the pasta bar already offers cheese as a topping anyway and doesn't really need that in the pesto sauce as well?"
 
We don't make the Pesto Sauce, we purchase a pre-made product. We checked with our suppliers and can't find one without cheese, at least not in bulk containers. If you have a suggested brand we would be happy to do more research. 
 
"Hi there! I've noticed a lot of the dressings recently at the speciality salad station are not vegan. I was wondering what is in them that isn't vegan I.e the champagne vinaigrette. Also, could there be potentially more of an effort made to keep the dressings vegan? And finally, I was wondering why some of the soy meat options have the (l) symbol? It's difficult when that happens because it limits the vegan options in the MP. Thank you so much! "
 
The Champagne Vinaigrette we buy-in is vegan. Occasionally we will make a Champagne Vinaigrette from scratch that contains milk. While many of the salad dressings at the specialty salad station ARE vegan, here's a suggestion that may help you on the days when they are not. You may order your salad without dressing, and get the vegan dressing from the salad bar ;-)
 
Many of the soy meat options we serve are fully prepared items, purchased frozen.  Most of these contain either dairy or dairy biproducts (i.e. nonfat dry milk, whey protein). We are continually on the lookout for new vegan products, but many that can be found in grocery stores are not available in bulk packaging. 
 
"It would be greatly appreciated if you could bring back mac and cheese bar."
 
We will - as part of our "Senior Wish" program. Look for it coming on a Friday this semester!
 
"Can y'all make chicken and dumplings (and a vegetarian version) sometime soon? It's cold!!"
 
The weather has been mighty chilly lately indeed. Just our luck we'd menu Chicken & Dumplings in the next few weeks and it turns hot! That said, we'll put your suggestion in the hopper - but what would a vegetarian version look like??
 
"I think it would be cool to keep some york peppermint patties and kit kat in the freezer/fridge because theyre more enjoyable that way."
 
Yum! But we have limited freezer/refrigerator display case. You'll need to take them to your room and use that itty-bitty freezer section ;-)))
 
"What is going to be the situation for students keeping passover?"
 
Everything you need to know should be here on our website. If you have any questions, please let us know!