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Salad Bar in Hendrix Bistro

By Bethany Cobbs
On February 10, 2015

As promised, we the students of Ottawa University have received our salad bar. It may not have been what students expected but at least it is finally here.

The first and most obvious difference is that the salad bar is a part of the grill and not what many people would consider an actual salad bar. With one meal swipe you will receive a salad with whatever you desire freshly crafted by a Sodexo staff member. I have never seen a salad bar where your salad is made for you and it is a complete about face for many of the OU students accustomed to the build your own, all you can eat salad bar in our previous cafeteria.

One of the biggest complaints about the salad bar is the line. In the past students resorted to the salad bar to escape the long lines of the main line, action station and the grill line. Now the salad bar line is combined with the grill line.

Arguments presented for this change are understandable, yet still frustrating because they were not a problem in the past.

First, students no longer have the privilege to craft their own salads for sanitary and health reasons. With closer quarters, more students, and the use of the same serving utensils throughout the day the risk for spreading germs is higher. It does make me feel safe knowing that every Sodexo staff member behind the glass wall is wearing gloves while they prepare my food but I believe that many if not all of the 18-20 something’s eating in the cafeteria daily are also capable of keeping the food we eat safe. If anything raising question in regard to our food came up someone would warn administration. With the new hours and now that the salad bar is available all day, one could even argue that having the salad bar and toppings out for longer periods of time is less safe as well.

Second, allowing us to create our own salads was messy and unpresentable. Yes it is very true that the salad bar got messy because hundreds of students retreated to the salad bar over their short lunch breaks each day. In that small area and with a limited amount of time it was difficult for students to keep the salad bar area tidy with the small containers provided to us. Yes it is unfortunate that part of the cafeteria staff’s responsibilities were to clean up after college students but very rarely was the salad bar an absolute disaster.

Lastly, we no longer have options like cottage cheese, applesauce, and fruit available, unless you use your dining dollars and who wants to use those because it cuts into our Starbucks budgets. Instead, there are now two soup options available every day and you can make a soup and salad combo and pretend like you are at Panera. Chicken and bacon are also now available at the salad as toppings.

What is nice about the salad bar is that the portions are fairly large and filling, and as athletes we need to be filled with good stuff like veggies. 

The staff and admiration have succeeded at shifting from a cafeteria to a bistro feel. There is a lot of progress to come with the dining hall and I think the school as a whole would benefit from taking surveys from the student body, but what is most important is that there is great potential for the Hendrix Bistro as well.




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