UI dining halls begin two-menu rotation

By Michael Logli

This year, University dining services has employed a new two-menu system in residence halls.

The new system caters to students by giving them variety and choice every meal, said Kirsten Ruby, assistant director for housing and marketing.

“It’s a way to find your favorite things and try some new things,” Ruby said.

On this system, students in Gregory, Florida Avenue and Busey-Evans dining halls will eat completely different meals than students in Lincoln Avenue and Allen, Illinois Street and Peabody dining halls.

The menu items rotate every four weeks, but Ruby said that student favorites like chicken strips will still be served more than once a week for different meals.

“We got some favorites, but we put them around,” Ruby said.

Some students returning to the residence halls said they enjoyed the variety the new menus provide. One student did not even realize that the system was in place until he looked at the dining Web site.

“I went online, and I was like, ‘What’s up with that?'” said Tim Schulz, sophomore in Engineering.

There will also be other additions to different dining halls around campus by the end of September.

Starting Wednesday, Sept. 12, Allen Hall’s north dining hall will hold Kosher Kitchen each Wednesday, a new specialty restaurant offering Kosher foods.

Illinois Street will have a grill available to students for lunch, allowing them to grill mushrooms and other food items to put on sandwiches, Ruby said.

Illinois Street and Florida Avenue will also receive a panini press so students can make their own sandwiches for lunch and dinner.

Weeknights at Peabody, a pizza and pasta bar will be available to students, allowing them to put their choice of toppings on pizza or customize their pasta dishes. Staff will bake the items for students, Ruby said.

Ruby said that advertisements for these developments should start appearing in dining halls soon, but students already seem happy about the changes.

“It’s better than eating cold sandwiches,” said Heather August, sophomore in Engineering.

Ruby said dining services will also be providing an online nutritional database program called EatSmart.

The program will give students a complete list of ingredients and the nutritional value of the selected item on the menu.

It can also be used to calculate a meal in advance to determine the nutritional value of a meal. This program currently has no launch date.