Potstickers, falafel and cookies: changes abound in student dining options

September 12th, 2013

As a new school year begins at John Carroll University, so does the quest to find the perfect study snack. The Cubby and the Inn Between have proved to be tried and true, aiding students as they face long nights of essays and lab reports. However, JCU students might have noticed a few changes at their favorite food locations.

Director of Dining Services David Turska says there was a need for change at the Inn Between in order to accommodate the large incoming freshman class and students’ fast-paced schedules. Turska and his team decided a more diverse menu and an extra station would help increase their speed of service to accommodate customers.

The new menu includes customizable sandwiches and an international street food-themed grill that features pot stickers, pierogies, gyros and falafel. The Inn Between also allows five meal transfers that permit students to use their meal swipes to order from a special menu from 8 to 10 p.m. any day of the week. Students can order select items from the Global Street station and Grab-n-Go station or choose a signature one-topping pizza. All meal transfers include a 24-ounce Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain beverage.

Turska credits his management team with creating the new additions to the menu.

“We are always looking at food trends – both locally and around the globe – that we want to eat and serve to our customers,” Turska said.

According to Turska, the “new” station is not as new as it seems.

“It’s kind of funny, but the new station has actually been hidden over the past four years and used for storage and prep space,” said Turska. “We simply decided over the summer that the time was right to reopen the concept to provide additional options that our students are looking for.”

The Inn Between’s next-door-neighbor, The Cubby, also underwent major changes over the summer. Two and a half years ago, Alyse Viggiano ’13 established The Cubby after noticing that the previous business lacked organization and creativity. Although Viggiano graduated last year, the current staff is dedicated to making The Cubby just as popular. However, some changes were necessary to keep business running smoothly.

“The managers wanted to take some control and some order back, so they decided to make changes. They were looking to cut back on some of our costs of the products we buy,” said current manager and senior Rachel Friend. “We used to use fresh,frozen fruit, which we actually have a contract with the Student Union about using that, and now we have these TeaWave boxes of fruit purees. But they do have some excess things in there, unfortunately.”

Some returning JCU students might have noticed that some of the drinks on The Cubby’s menu have changed. However, there is no need to fret about the extinction of the Flying Dutchman just yet.

“If there’s not a flavor up there, we can still make it,” Friend said. “We still have hazelnut, caramel and cinnamon. We still have the capability of serving it. You can do a create-your-own. If you want to make your own signature latte, we can do anything, and we will gladly do anything, if that’s what you want.”

One of the most noticeable changes involved JCU’s most beloved chocolate chip cookies.

“We have the same copy [of the recipe], but [Alyse] adjusted things, like she cut out a little bit of this, put something there in, a different technique of browning butter and adding sugar,” said Friend. “So we have the recipe, but we don’t have the cookie.”

However, JCU Dining recently hired a baker from Aramark, the company that provides food services for JCU. He is currently experimenting with various recipes while taking suggestions from Friend.

“Right now, we have a chocolate chip cookie in the case,” Friend said. “It’s not the same as last year’s, but it’s a big chocolate chip cookie, and we’re working on getting a toaster, because we broke our toaster from last year. So once we get our toaster back, that’ll be good and that’ll help as well, because ultimately, kids want a nice, big, chewy warm cookie.”