The Food of Monmouth

The food at Monmouth University never fails to surprise us. Gourmet Dining is very creative with the food that they provide for the students and staff.

As a freshman living on campus with a car, I still choose to eat the food offered on campus. One reason is that I don’t have to pay anything out of pocket once I buy a meal plan at the beginning of the year. I believe that saving money will get me to great places in the future, so I try to practice good spending habits whenever possible.

On campus, there are quite a few options to grab food from. I believe that the dining hall is one of the most popular places to eat on campus and one reason is that they are open the latest. In the dining hall, everything is buffet style, which means that you stay as long as you like and eat as much as you want. Every once in a while, Gourmet Dining comes up with creative ideas to make lunch and dinner a little more interesting.

They have seven food stations at the dining hall, including a pizza station, a deli station, the chef’s table, the grill, the dietitian stand, the sushi station, and the dessert station. They also have a small station for fruits, yogurt, and cereal, which is my favorite station if I had to choose. One day during lunch hours, they had a Ramen bar with various toppings you could add to your soup creations and there was a great turn out from students.

Gourmet Dining also has cuisine nights once and a while and I think that is the issue that most people have because they would like to see them happen more frequently.

Jenifer Yax-Monray, a freshman business student, said, “I like that they have cuisine nights, but what I dislike is that it’s a once-a-month thing.” Jenifer, along with many other students, wants to see events like this more consistently. After you’ve been at a school for a while, you want to be able to depend on the food they serve. Most students rely on the food provided by the University because they don’t have transportation, especially freshmen.

After eating the same food everyday, you can start to get tired of it. I have come to realize that most students would like Gourmet Dining to serve something different because of how often we have to eat here, but keep the same events and specials that students know they enjoy.

The great thing about Monmouth is that they are very open to suggestions. They make sure to include all students in terms of the food and drinks they offer. The milk options are very diverse and it’s obvious that the school thought about everyone. One thing that caught my attention is that they offer almond and oat milk for students who follow a vegan diet and/or are lactose intolerant.

The only issue that I currently have is that we have been out of almond milk for months now. This is something I have heard a few people complain about, but I didn’t think it would cause any major problems. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people on campus who prefer almond milk. When the dining hall doesn’t have it and can’t offer it to the students that prefer it or need it due to dietary restrictions, that can be a problem.

After speaking with a few people on campus, most students indicated that they enjoy eating in our Student Center’s food court. Nedeshka Ruiz, a freshman marine and environment biology policy student, said, “My favorite place is the Student Center. I like how they try to make different kinds of food from different places.” Ruiz also mentioned that she’s a picky eater, so she appreciates how much they try to offer different food options.

Dunkin’ is another big appeal to the Student Center. Many students love their morning coffee with a donut on the side. In the early afternoon the line gets chaotic, but a lot of people stand in it anyway because they just can’t resist.

Sonos is Monmouth’s style of Chipotle. This is my favorite spot on campus to eat because I have a lot of fun putting my meal together. The burrito bowls are amazing, and I encourage everyone to give it a try someday. Jersey Mikes, The Grill, Simply Salad, and Forte are also great options to choose from. Another great thing about our campus is that we offer a lot of vegan choices for students.

Kia Womack, an English student, said, “I prefer to go to the Student Center because of the types of food they have, but I like that Gourmet Dining actually tries to show culture in foods by having certain days dedicated to certain foods.”

Just by hearing these students’ opinions, I believe that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to the food offered on campus. Monmouth’s food options have done more than enough to show us that they care about our health and what we eat.

The C-Store underneath Hesse Hall is a less traditional option, but a lot of people still appreciate it. It isn’t like the Student Center or the Dining Hall, but it is our personal grocery store.
I believe there are some ways the food options could be better, but I also think that a lot of people on campus appreciate the staff that works hard to provide us with food.