Fourth Annual "The Best"

Fourth Annual "The Best"

Menu

Best new menu item we introduced in 2013
My favorite this year is our mini items like mini shepherd’s pie, mini pot pies and mini crêpes gratinée at Passport Café. Not only do the items help with portion control and cost, but presentationwise they really have impact and are hard for our customers to resist.

Another one of my favorites is our grab-and-go Asian food at Passport Café. We added some popular appetizers. From sushi to fresh rolls, steamed dumplings and even crab salad, the appetizers really added interest to our grab-and-go case. And since we partnered with a popular local sushi restaurant, we solved a couple of challenges: They provide us with the variety our community craves, students get the same quality they were used to at Asian restaurants and we didn’t have to bring in a ton of new ingredients or packaging.
—Maya Vincelli, assistant director of retail operations, University of Richmond, Virginia

At our new food truck, the Galloping Griz, which opened in April 2013, we wanted to offer our student guests unique menu items with a low food cost and quality ingredients at a competitive price point. During some experimentation, Ian Waetje, manager of UM Concessions, rolled carne asada and pepper Jack cheese in a fresh-made tortilla, then fried it to a crispy, golden brown. The result was a neatly packaged combination of hearty Mexican flavors, and the “asada bomb,” or “A-Bomb,” was born. Soon to follow were the H-Bomb, the vegetarian version featuring hummus and avocado; the Kung “Pow” Bomb, with chicken, green onion, Szechuan peppercorns and a spicy kung “Pow” sauce; and the inevitable F-Bomb—“F” for fajita—complete with fire-braised chicken and green bell peppers. The bomb line is now a mainstay of the Galloping Griz’s late-night menu, selling about 60 bombs each night at $2.50 each.
—Mark LoParco, director of dining services, University of Montana, Missoula

Best vegetarian/vegan dish we offer
We have an absolutely delicious Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff that we serve in the dining centers that is very yummy.
—Patti Klos, director of dining and business services, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

Fried Green Tomato Lasagna: Fried green tomatoes layered with garlic and herb Boursin cheese, housemade marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
—Paula Amols, director, Dining Services & Racer Hospitality, Murray State University, Murray, Ky.

Best special event menu we’ve created
A traditional New England clam bake for 800 members of our professional
association (NACUFS) at the conclusion of the 2012 National Conference.
—Patti Klos, director of dining and business services, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

Best place I’ve gone for menu inspiration
The best of the best for menu inspiration took place while attending the AHF National Conference in New Orleans in June of 2013. New Orleans is the smorgasbord of culturally diverse restaurants and foods. Better yet was having the keynote speaker deliver a presentation on the evolution of the cuisine, combining French, English, Spanish and Black American. My personal favorite: Commander’s Palace.
—Frank Coffey, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn

Our parents! We enjoy serving recipes that reflect Saint Paul’s diverse student body.
—Jean Ronnei, chief operations officer, Saint Paul Public Schools, Minnesota

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
eggs

Loyola University Maryland took a new approach to all-day breakfast with an egg-focused concept.

Breakfast options were top of mind for students when asked what they would like to see on the menu at the university’s revamped Boulder Garden Cafe. Instead of creating an all-day breakfast station, however, the Baltimore-based dining team went beyond traditional options and created a concept that services all mealparts with eggs.

“It can be somewhat mundane,” says Executive Chef Don Crowther on why the team strayed away from the trendy all-day breakfast. At the eatery’s Sunny...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Kansas has added a retail pass that allows students to purchase one to-go combo meal per day at cafes and markets on campus, the University Daily Kansan reports.

The pass is available on two different meal plans and is geared toward on-the-go students who don’t have the time to sit down and eat at a residence hall.

“It has increased the participation rate,” Jamie Reed, a service assistant for the school’s dining services, told the University Daily Kansan.

Over 1,800 students have used the pass since its debut at the beginning of the semester....

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Minnesota dining team has created a vegan student group in an effort to improve the school’s vegan offerings, Minnesota Daily reports.

The group was created by the school’s foodservice vendor, Aramark, and its campus sustainability coordinator, who is vegan, after receiving numerous complaints from students about the lack of vegan options on campus.

The group will this week host its first meeting, during which members will be able to share feedback and provide solutions to help enhance the school’s vegan offerings. Members will also keep a photo journal...

Industry News & Opinion

Panera Bread Co. announced today that it intends to buy the Au Bon Pain brand as a way of opening more bakery-cafes in colleges, healthcare facilities, office buildings, travel centers and malls.

Au Bon Pain, which was Panera’s sole business under an earlier incarnation of the company, consists of 304 bakery-cafes. Several units are located in noncommercial venues.

Panera owns or holds the franchise rights to about 2,050 restaurants, few of which are located outside of strip malls.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Immediately after the deal was...

FSD Resources