By CARA CASTILLO, Staff Writer
Beginning this Fall semester of 2013, University of Michigan-Dearborn students’ dining options will be expanding in numerous ways. With the school’s decision to use Sodexo as their food vendor, students will be able to find many new options while grabbing a snack between classes, catching a quick breakfast, or having dinner. With old favorites such as Subway returning in addition to the highly anticipated new campus Starbucks and Grille @ Dearborn, there seems to be something for everyone whether they be Coke or Pepsi fans, vegetarians or meat lovers.
UM-D conducted extensive research to learn what changes would best benefit the students, staff and guests.
“We wanted to offer a good variety that would be inclusive of a multitude of different dietary needs,” said Susan Matheson, the general manager of Sodexo at UM-D.
Offering variety began with the decision to make UM-D’s campus dual pour, now serving both Pepsi and Coke at various vending machines on campus as well as at the dining locations.
“I feel great about it!” said sophomore Janelle Hamood after learning the school had become a double-pour campus. “Some students only like Coke products and were just thirsty all day!”
As in the past, Subway will continue to operate at the McKinley Cafe, located in the University Center. The Cafe will now also feature the Grille @ Dearborn which will serve everything from hamburgers, grilled and fried chicken, Philly Cheesesteak, hamburgers and quesadillas to vegetarian options such as black bean burgers, French fries, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
The Grille’s neighbor, Slice of Life, will serve up homemade pizza, meatball subs, and baked pasta dishes. And for students who are looking for a healthier option, Mindful will be working in collaboration with MHealthy to offer a menu with lower calories and fat content while maintaining fresh flavor.
Another quick and healthy option for students is the new Simply to Go station, also located in the McKinley Cafe. This station will consist of packaged salads, sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, fruits and vegetables which are always made fresh and kept for a maximum of 2 days. “We want to make sure the salad or sandwich you purchase are of high quality and freshness,” said Matheson about the new station.
Perhaps one of the most highly anticipated changes to the dining options at UM-D is the addition of a Starbucks in the University Center. This is a great, new option for students who don’t have time to run up Michigan Avenue between classes or on a break.
The students who spend most of their time at the Fairlane Center are also in luck as new dining options come their way. Fairlane will be the first in the state to have Sandella’s Flatbread Restaurant.
“We are very excited to bring Sandella’s to UM-D,” Matheson said. Sandella’s features flatbread pizza, burritos, rice bowls, paninis, quesadillas and soups.
“Sandella’s also offers their menus with your health in mind. All Menu items offer the Calorie Content and there are offerings that work with the Weight Watchers program,” Matheson said.
One of the biggest changes to the dining options at UM-D will be the hours of operation. After observation and talking to students, it was decided that the dining locations would close during the slow afternoon hours before reopening for students to get dinner before their evening classes begin.
The McKinley Cafe will be open 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 pm on Friday.
Fairlane South Sandella’s hours will be 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. only.