Students break down the ins and outs of dining on campus

Tayler Reviere Verninas | Feature Editor

Although students most likely do not choose to attend the University of San Diego for its gourmet dining spots, it is still a great incentive for enrolling here. According to the Princeton review, USD is ranked number 18 for best food on a college campus.

The fresh faces of many new Toreros on campus will be salivating over the delicious (and nutritious!) eateries throughout campus. For hungry and angry students, sometimes called ‘hangry,’ who are looking for a meal that will fulfill their dietary needs, here is the 411 on Student Dining and how the Torero meal plans work.

The Student Life Pavilion (SLP), is where Toreros will find an array of 12 different stations to choose from. The Tapenade station provides Mediterranean dishes that consists of mashed potatoes, green beans, and some sort of poultry. The Sea Salt station features classic American foods such as hamburgers and rosemary chicken sandwiches. The Maiz counter offers authentic Mexican food with homemade tortillas.

According to Pavilion Dining, Nori Now is the Japanese cuisine with sushi, sashimi, and bento boxes, while the Mu Shu station provides Chinese wok stir-fry options. Lemon Grass features traditional Vietnamese meals such as pho and noodles. Heirloom Cucina is the popular brick oven station that creates wood-fired pizza with different toppings, piadines (different salad arrangements on top of a thin layer of wheat dough), and various casseroles.

According to Dining Services website, the Chives station contains two salad bars, while Bay Leaf offers warm soups, chilis, and stews – including organic and vegetarian options. The Out of the Box! station contains an assortment of cereals with various toppings and La Tarte has an array of specialty desserts from pudding to pie to creme brulee.

Students try to create a variety by venturing to other on campus spots for dinner. For example, trying the Mongolian Barbeque at La Paloma or the chili bowls at Missions cafe might be a nice surprise compared to the more traditional options.

USD student Jenna Matin enjoys eating at the SLP, however, she wishes there were more consistent options for different types of foods.

“Sometimes I do not like eating at the SLP because they do not always offer spaghetti with meatballs, lasagna, or ravioli for dinner,” Matin said. “Basically, they are missing an Italian section, which I love so much!”

The SLP also features the Secret Ingredient section which is a live cooking station featuring a different dish every day.

Sophomore Amy Maltz reflects on her experience freshman year at the SLP.

“The Secret Ingredient section had some interesting and creative options,” Maltz said. “My favorite dish from there was the shrimp mac and cheese.”

When Toreros sign up for their meal plan, they can access it via their Torero I.D. Card.

As explained on the Dining Services website, Meal Plan meals may be used at Pavilion Dining for dinner daily and brunch on the weekends. Toreros are allowed to swipe for dinner Monday through Sunday and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

A swipe means for each period of time the SLP is open, a student is free to eat as much as he or she wants. During that time, one point will be deducted from the amount of meal swipes a student has depending on their specific meal plan. There is no refund for leftover meal swipes at the end of the semester so students should take advantage of every meal swipe. Also, meal ‘swipes’ do not carry over from fall to spring semester, however, Dining Dollars do carry over.

Dining Dollars are another important feature of the meal plan that can be used at any dining location on campus outside of the the SLP when swipes are being used. Students usually use Dining Dollars to purchase food that are not purchasable by meal swipes.

Sophomore, Jack Sheffield enjoys using his Dining Dollars on campus.

“Dining Dollars makes it easy to buy little snacks rather than using a meal swipe and getting a full meal,” Sheffield said. “They are convenient because you can use them anywhere on campus.”

So whether Toreros are craving the California Burrito from Bert’s Bistro, fro-yo from Blue Spoon, or an Uptown Turkey sandwich from TuMerc, students will experience an entirely new level of college dining at every corner.