They say you can't go home again. Online Managing Editor Lindsey Ramsey decided to ignore the old adage and return to her alma mater to see what had changed in foodservice in the six years since she graduated. Luckily, Nona Golledge, director of KU Dining, had plenty to show off, such as a gut renovation of a 50-year-old operation and a new café in an emerging part of campus.
Before a renovaiton last year, the dining hall at Gertrude Sellards Pearson residence hall hadn't been touched since the 1950s and was in desparate need of a makeover, says Nona Golledge, director of KU Dining. The gut renovation was completed for the fall semester. Here is the dining hall's salad concept, Toss’d, which features a salad bar, soups and breads.
The Café Classics station offers comfort items such as Philly cheesesteaks, gourmet burgers, chicken tenders, roasted carved meats, a fresh vegetable of the day vegan/vegetarian entrée selections.The 11th Street Deli offers made-to-order sandiwches and wraps, including one of the café's signature items—Focaccia Dippers, which is a panini sandwich with three cheeses between fresh focaccia bread. "It's great for dipping in hot soup," says Golledge.
Golledge says the feel of the café was meant to be warm and inviting, almost homelike. To create that feeling, the team chose earth tones, clean lines and soft lighting, which was a major departure from the dated peaches and greens the space used to have.
At the Mangia Italiana station, students can partake in pizzas strombolis or calzones baked daily in a stone-hearth pizza oven, along with a pasta of the day. The station also offers favorites such as chicken Parmesan, lasagna and stuffed shells during dinner.
Sizzlin' Creations is the dining hall's world cuisine station, which offers made-to-order dishes such as pastas, Asian fusion dishes and Latin fare.
Indulgence offers fresh fruits, a yogurt bar at breakfast as well as the dining hall's dessert portfolio, including freshly baked cookies, pastries and other goodies like frozen yogurt.
Oread Express offers a late-night option for residents of Gertrude Sellards Pearson hall. Students can get coffee, premade sandwiches, fruits, chips, pastries, cookies until 11 p.m.
One of the campus's newest retail locations is the Mortar & Pestle café, located at the school of pharmacy. The café features a selection of dishes that have a focus on local, all-natural and organic foods. The FreshFusion concept offers made-to-order grilled sandwiches, salads, wraps and hot entrées.
The real showpiece of the Mortar & Pestle café is the old-fashioned soda fountain that offers sundaes, shakes, malts, phosphates and splits.
Mortar & Pestle offers indoor and outdoor seating.