State of the Art Dining Hall to Serve Diverse Palates
Starting Fall Semester of 2016, Monarchs will have a new landmark dining destination on campus – the restaurant commons in the New Dining Hall slowly rising next to Dominion House and Diehn Hall on 49th Street. The new 45,000-square foot dining facility will be able to serve 550 students indoors and 225 students outdoors on two separate patios.
“If the food looks like the pictures and the dining hall really has all of those options, maybe I’ll buy a meal plan again,” Jessica Perkins, a junior, said. “You had me at Hibachi, you know.”
The restaurant commons will offer delicacies from all over the world – from American classics to a noodle bar and hibachi grill. With a $24.8 million-budget from capital funds, the all-you-can-eat dining hall is expected to be completed by July 1, 2016 and ready for students on the first day of the semester.
Maize South American Kitchen will feature a churrasco grill and a rotisserie. Students will be able to devour skewers of a variety of meats, fish or vegetables. Maize will also feature a 30-item salad bar.
Bud’s American Classics, named after Bud Paul, manager of ODU’s first snack bar will feature regional comfort foods such as southern fried chicken, shrimp po’boys, ribs and Carolina BBQ. Ground beef and sausage will be prepared on site. Bud’s will also be open for breakfast.
350 Degrees Baked Goods will be the perfect destination to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. Professionally-trained pastry chefs and bakers will prepare pies, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, bagels, crepes, cinnamon buns and more. There will also be a cappuccino and coffee bar for those with early classes.
Uno Mas is guaranteed to be a hit for Chipotle fanatics. Everything at this Mexican eatery will be made from scratch. Fajitas, enchiladas, burritos and tamales will be made with a tortilla press and tamale maker.
EVOO Italian Cuisine will feature gourmet brick-oven pizza and pasta dishes with full service. Students will be able to watch their pasta being made with the automated equipment.
Rice Sticks will feature a high-top noodle bar where diners will be able to create their own noodle bowl with a variety of noodles and topping options. At the hibachi grill, students will be able to choose their own three-entree meal with fresh ingredients like bok choy, kimchi, spinach, roasted corn and shiitake mushrooms.
Mosaic International will represent ODU’s diversity by serving tapas on a continuously moving platform. At the sushi station, students will be able to watch
sophisticated machinery prepare their roll. The sushi robot will take rice from a rice bowl and press it into flat sheets. Seaweed and fresh vegetable toppings will be placed on top, then, the platform will envelop the sushi and roll it up. A separate slicing robot will finish the job and cut the sushi into bite-size pieces.
The Pantry will feature cereal and waffles for those who like a simple breakfast. This station will also feature allergy lockers. These lockers will allow students to order entrees, side dishes and snacks specific to their allergy and have them stored in a temperature controlled locker accessible by swiping their student IDs.
The second floor of the building will be used as an executive dining room and board room.
Aramark and Moseley Architects, a Virginia Beach construction company, have ensured sustainability as a top priority in the new building. The building, much like other recent additions to campus, will likely be LEED-Gold certified, which takes factors such as energy use, materials used, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design into consideration. According to Monarch Dining Marketing Manager Kimberly Daniels, Aramark is looking into resources like a pulper and a cardboard/recycling program.
Many students await the new dining hall with curiosity and excitement.
“I think it’s a great addition! Variety is key to happy healthy students. Maybe now I won’t miss my mother’s traditional Mexican dishes too much,” Erica Ramos, freshman, said.
The specific eating options in the new facility were determined by a combination of student input, surveys, meetings and the leaders of the Student Government Association. A professional organization was also hired to take a look at industry trends and innovative ideas in dining.
For updates on the dining hall, please visit Monarch Dining’s website at www.olddominion.campusdish.com.