November 8, 2011

Campus dining facilities don’t make the grade

By Michelle Eigenheer–

Last year’s renovation of West Side came as a welcome change for students and staff when the finished product proved to be a definite improvement. The Ville Grill met rave reviews and a surge of actual diners. Three months into this semester, how are they and other campus food places measuring up?

While the Ville Grill definitely turned its reputation around, it doesn’t seem to be too worried about living up to its new identity. I’ve heard some students complain of queasiness after eating there. Another concern students have is the overabundance of salt in the food. There are also other complaints toward the Ville Grill, such as the cashiers, who have the tendency to be a little rude, and the rumor of the diner who found broken glass in her food.

However, the Ville Grill has its perks. It’s close to a lot of student housing, it’s one of the only places to use meal swipes and since it’s buffet-style, students get more for their money if they decide that food poisoning is an okay risk to take. The Ville Grill gets a solid D, and not an F, because even though they’re definitely not the best place, they’re really convenient for the average college student.

The Student Activity Center’s main cafeteria is another very convenient place for students to eat. It has several good menus to choose from, and a ton of dining space. Global Market allows you to use a meal swipe, and everything else is pretty reasonably priced. The Chinese food is good and you can’t go wrong with Chick-fil-A, but there is a downside – what kind of place closes at 2:30pm?

The time slot of the SAC’s food services makes it hard for a lot of students to get food between classes. If it weren’t for this, it’d be a nearly perfect place to grab lunch. As it is, this option gets a B-plus.

A few floors down, and the SAC also host a Subway. Subway gets a D. Not only can the sandwich artists never seem to hear what you’re saying, they don’t really care. Ask for something to not be toasted? Sorry, it’s going in anyway. Wanted something with just a little bit of lettuce? Nope, you get a whole salad. Then, after the trauma of putting together your foot long, there’s the inherently rude cashier to go through as well. Subway just gets a D.

Einstein Bros and Heine Bros are two very different coffee shops. Einstein Bros has great bagels and pretty good espresso drinks. The coffee bar has a lot of options, and the service is pretty good. In addition, the food is reasonably priced for what’s being purchased. Einstein Bros probably deserves an A.

Heine Bros has some good sandwiches, but their espresso drinks are really not even in the same league as Einstein’s – especially because the baristas at Heine Bros have a habit of using pre-steamed milk to make their drinks, which is just kind of gross. Also, they seem to suffer from the same rude-cashier syndrome as the Ville Grill and Subway. Heine Bros gets a B.

All in all, campus dining just isn’t that great. It’s much easier – and could save you some stomach upset – to head over to Cardinal Towne for some Jimmy John’s or Papalino’s. Those guys get A’s for being Awesome.

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Photo: Caitlin Williams/The Louisville Cardinal

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