Locke’s Loft, Kelly Commons Marketplace, and Cafe 1853 are all key parts of a student’s diet at Manhattan College.
This year, Gourmet Dining has added a few changes that students will start seeing on campus.
Brian Weinstein, the resident district manager of Gourmet Dining has been with Manhattan College for almost a year now and has already made some big changes.
“Since the success of the Red Mango we are actually adding a second machine so we will have four flavors and that’s coming in October. Cafe 1853’s menu was revamped and we redesigned the whole menu adding some cool new things and took away some slow-moving things but kept the popular things that our students and faculty love here,” said Weinstein.
Kevan Oryani, junior psychology major, commented on her on-campus dining experience.
“I usually eat in Café 1853 because I am a commuter. I like the fact that my friends who really are mostly commuters can all hang out here together. It’s a nice feeling to have a place to meet up when everyone’s not in class,” said Oryani. “The staff here is really friendly and I just really like Café 1853 I don’t have any complaints. I like Diana, who usually serves coffee.She is really sweet and social and there’s a familiarity to the people here. Everybody is really approachable. Even though they work for gourmet dining they will stop and have a conversation with you and you can talk to them.”
Sophomore Kyle Hollenbaugh, an economics and finance major, said, “Cafe 1853 is the break I need when I’ve gotten sick of Locke’s and it’s a good way to spend dining dollars. Kelly is good, last year I took advantage of the free meal swipe and the food is always good and the pizza is always good the food is cheap and they always have a lot of good things to offer.”
Gourmet Dining and Weinstein also brought One Sushi and Tong’s Asian Cuisine to Kelly Commons last year.
Weinstein has continued making changes in the Commons this semester.
The deli menu now features Boar’s Head products and the grill station now houses a burrito bowl and taco bar. The pizza station also has a daily pasta option, offering vegan- and vegetarian-friendly sauces.
Along with the advancements in Kelly Commons and Café 1853, Weinstein has strived to improve Locke’s Loft.
“Locke’s is basically the heart of the dining program,” said Weinstein. “Mondays we like to focus on our super food and Tuesdays we like to do Hibachi and Wednesdays we love to do a steak night, Thursdays we love to do a seaport night with fresh seafood and Fridays are fair trade Fridays especially since we are coming into the month of October which is fair trade month, so we like to focus on it and promote to the students, faculty and the whole community on campus that we are a fair trade campus and promote the fair trade products.”
Locke’s serves about 3,500 to 4,000 meals to students and faculty on a daily basis. To meet the demand, Gourmet Dining has added a few new items, including more coffee urns, new flameless induction burners for cooking in the Home Kitchen and menu enhancements.
Fruits and vegetables are the biggest quantity order for Locke’s, so the staff tries to keep their orders stocked with local fresh produce.
“They make good food sometimes,” said Peter Halliday, a sophomore accounting major, “but I’d like to see consistency in Locke’s so I think they should do a rating at least after every dinner.”
Student satisfaction is one of the goals Gourmet Dining strives for. This semester, Weinsteinhelped incorporate a Hershey’s hard ice cream cart with six flavors, as well as a retail wall in the front entrance with beverages and snacks for students and faculty on the go.
Allison Berejka, a sophomore marketing major said, “I like that in Locke’s you can serve it yourself because at some other colleges you can’t really do that […] I also think that we could have higher quality foods, like the grilled chicken sometimes can be a little raw.”
Many student-athletes on campus get their daily nutrition from Locke’s, including sophomore lacrosse player, Caileigh Lampersberger.
“Locke’s has a good cereal selection and there’s usually grilled chicken which I love, and they have a good amount of fruits, and the salad bar is usually stocked, and I like the DIY station,” said Lampersberger.
“I don’t like that they don’t restock the food that often, and because there’s only a couple of meals, if you come in at like 2:00pm or something there’s not a lot of food left. They can be kind of slow to refill things up like if the milk or something is out it will usually be out for a while. I feel like they could have more hot meals or at least grilled chicken throughout the day because people have weird class schedules and times,” Lamersberger said.
Gourmet Dining has been and will continue to be hosting new events throughout the semester, including Monday Night Football at the Exhibition Station, hand rolled sushi on Oct. 11, National Pasta Day on Oct. 17, a costume contest with cash prizes, a pumpkin decorating contest and a themed menu with treats for Halloween.
“I hope everyone here at Manhattan College is happy with the food and my goal is to strive on good food with great customer service. I am very proud of my team at Manhattan College, my employees and I am proud to be here,” said Weinstein.