Cafeteria and food: What Students are Thinking

Sophia  Kobernusz-Gibbs, Staff Writer

Burgers, tacos, or Buddha bowls, the café has likely made it this past year. Food sustains us, it’s something that we can find pleasure in, and it gives us a reason to come together. 

St. Gertrude’s Café in Old Main, with its outdoor seating overlooking the campus, is the primary eatery at SMU. Students vary on their opinions about the food, ever changing as the café’s efforts to innovate and offer new meals each week. 

Student Abby Bozarth likes the idea of dessert with dinner and rotating brunch meal options just as frequently as dinner. Students like Mailee Touch, Sarah Niemi, and others like them would prefer for meals to be switched up a little more often.“Something I wish the café did differently is changing up the menu more often,” Niemi critiqued. Where there is criticism, there is also praise for the café and the hard work they have put into providing students their meals this past year. 

“The cafeteria has done a great job of switching it up this semester,” Freshman Olivia Cervantez said about the café. “They have responded to COVID well and do a good job of moving things quickly even though there are limitations. I love going to the cafeteria with the people I don’t see often. Even though things are spread out, I am still able to socialize and have fun.”

Touch compliments some dishes that the café made this past school year. “The Huli Huli chicken, turkey tetrazzini, sushi bowls, and the chicken Buddha bowls with the coconut sauce are really good.”

Niemi talks about the variety of options that the café offers each week. “Something that I really enjoy about the café food is they make different types of dishes.” This leaves her wondering what dishes will be available the following week. 

Of course, many students have ideas for the café, ranging from what they would like them to make to how they could improve service. Cervantez has an idea about letting students vote on what food gets made that week. “It doesn’t have to be every station or every week,” Cervantez comments. “Just sometimes.” Bozarth likes the notion of having a fried egg and buttered toast. Touch would like her favorite meals to come back and to have more fruit options in the grab-and-go. 

Special memories are often made at the cafeteria. Trying out tuna for the first time, Elisabeth Patnode reminisced about her memories of going to the café. “My favorite part of going to the café is going to the dorm after I pick up my food, looking at the beautiful sunsets Lacey has to offer!”

There is a lot of appreciation for the wonderful staff: Fizzle with her sandwiches, Ray with Rotisserie and Joise making Global options, and all the wonderful cashiers who work hard and listen to the students when they have feedback. The staff are always friendly and make the students feel safe about getting food during COVID-19. Even though social distancing can be frustrating, many students appreciate the little floor distance markers. If you have thoughts about the café and you want to share, you can scan the QR code on the tables in the café dining area and leave a review for feedback. 

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