Dining Services continues to augment dining options on campus


Photo credit: Matthew Claybrook

Trinity Dining Services has unveiled more dining options for this semester. While there has been some deviation from the original plan for the dining revamp, several new or redesigned dining options have opened since last August with plans for continued changes.

The Tiger Press juice truck, open this semester, is currently stationed in the lobby of the Bell Center, where students can now purchase drinks, snacks and fresh pressed juice. The juice truck is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“When the weather gets better, we look forward to driving around campus,” Charles Robles, food service director, wrote in an email. “Also, during finals and reading days, we plan on offering some free snacks and drinks, so keep an eye out for the juice truck.”

The On the Fly food truck opened for the first time at a football game last semester, with plans for more use in the future.

“The food truck plan is to try and have the truck out during campus events, available for catering requests and even pop-ups with a focus on fun, traditional food truck meals and even some off-the-wall play on favorites,” Robles wrote. “You can keep an eye out for us on Instagram [to find out] when and where we might be popping up.”

Last semester, Dining Services announced plans to replace the CSI POD with a Sandwich Shack, but now a new plan is in place. Instead, an unspecified new dining option will be incorporated into the renovation plans for either Chapman or Halsell.

“An opportunity has come up with some of the new construction and renovation that in one of the buildings they’re looking at designing a food venue in one of the new renovations,” said Paul Wright, director of business operations for the Tiger Card Office. “That would actually be better suited instead of converting [the CSI POD] because the concern there was traffic flow in the POD area. So when the possibility came up to put a food venue in one of the new renovated buildings, that seemed to make more sense.”

Bruce Bravo, senior director of Conferences and Auxiliary Services, hopes that a restaurant similar to Sandwich Shack will be installed in the new construction.

“We’re thinking a deli is a need, something we don’t have,” Bravo said. “But it’s not locked in. It would really come down to the planners, whether it be a committee of faculty, staff and students. That’s typically how we would make a decision like that. We’ve got the space. It’s something that can be used for food service. The question is what would be the best option, the best offering for that area?”

Dining Services is also working to further develop some of the recent dining additions, such as Batch 101 in Mabee Dining Hall.

“We got some good feedback and learned a lot about Batch 101 last semester and made changes that are already getting good feedback by featuring a restaurant rotation/international cuisine type station and will offer classes occasionally to talk about the week’s featured cuisine,” Robles wrote. “We are even working with different groups around campus to feature special cooking demonstrations to showcase different food and even demonstrations based around healthy and sustainable eating. We are going to have a class by the YMCA on Feb. 11, and that will be open for people to join that will showcase healthy cooking.”

Bravo expressed excitement for all of the new dining options and future plans for campus dining.

“We feel that everything we’ve put into it, all of the work, that we’ve got one of the better programs in the area in higher education,” Bravo said. “More importantly the chef and that team, I know the chef and the flavor profiles and the quality of the food have been exceptional, better than it’s ever been.”