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A Brand New Dining Experience

by Charlie Hambos ('14)

On January 17, students returned to campus to find a transformed cafeteria offering healthier and tastier dining options, thanks to the highly anticipated introduction of Chartwells, the new food service provider.

“Honestly, I thought it was like a dream,” said Evangelia Palis, a Hellenic College junior.

“My first reaction was definitely a big, all caps, WOW,” said Demetri Constantine, a junior Religious Studies major at Hellenic College.

“I was shocked and amazed at how wonderful the new facilities were,” Nicholas Mamey, a Holy Cross senior, said.

A few days before the students left for Winter Break, an e-mail was sent to the community welcoming Chartwells and their “Eat, Learn, Live” dining program. The cafeteria was closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 16 to allow the renovation and redesign to take place. The cafeteria re-opened on Jan. 17.

Students reacted positively to the presentation, variety, and quality of the new look and taste when they returned to campus. Now, the new menu options include Trattoria pizza and pasta, Menutainment selection of ethnic cuisines, Kitchen-Homestyle entrees with a vegetarian option at each meal, a self-serve deli and an expanded soup and salad bar.

Plans are also in the works for several “Events of Infusion,” where new and exciting dining options will be available in addition to the more permanent options. “Now, there is a lot more variety,” Constantine said, explaining that his previous choices were limited to a hot meal or the salad bar.

Overall, students couldn’t compare the previous chapter of the cafeteria to the new one. “I like that they are … adding more spices and are willing to try new things,” Palis said.

“The differences are greater than the similarities,” Constantine said. “It’s on a whole other level.”

“I was very impressed with the physical changes in the café and even more impressed with the quality of the food and professionalism of the staff,” said Michael Mercado, a senior in Holy Cross and Student Government President.

Another thing that is important for many students are the fasting options, which open up a whole new avenue of ingredients and international influences.

For Palis, the new cafeteria offers more options for fasting. The fruit and salad options are out all the time as well as the peanut butter and jelly.  “The thing that’s the best is the lemon water,” Palis said. 

The new dining services are also providing a morale boost. “I think that the student population is absolutely ecstatic about the changes,” Mercado said. 

Mercado believes that the new change in the cafeteria gives HCHC a new hope for a brighter and better future. “A positive change of attitude in the students can lead towards other things,” he said. “It gives a new view on how students see the school and the administration.”

“I think that everyone has seen a dramatic change in people’s attitudes. People are much more positive,” Mamey said. “It’s infinitely better.”