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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Exploring UA food options one bite at a time

Brandi Walker

Sarah Chavez, a freshman studying biomedical engineering, orders brunch at the Den inside Park Student Union. The Den is a new restaurant concept and a partnership between the UA and Denny’s.

Some UA students have grown bored of the classic Einstein Bros. bagel for breakfast and Chick-fil-A sandwich for lunch from the Student Union Memorial Center everyday and want more food options on campus.

“I think there should just be a general cafeteria option with basic food choices that people can go through instead of just restaurants and markets,” said Hannah Martin, a psychology freshman.

The UA has 42 food service venues on campus, according to Michael Omo, senior executive chef for Arizona Student Unions’ Dining Services. Omo said he is always open to suggestions and that people can contact him directly via email.

Omo said the food venues are arranged by different cuisines including mediterranean, Mexican, Asian and American. Arizona Room is a more upscale option at the Student Union, Omo said, and Pangea offers all-you-can-eat-style food from around the world.

“There’s a lot of different ethnicities of food in there depending on what day you go in there,” Omo said.

Omo said 15 of the restaurants on campus were revamped this summer and that every summer the UA looks at requests students have made via survey.

“Every summer we see what students are looking for and how we can integrate that as we go forward, and in the beginning of the school year we are rolling out the new things,” Omo said. “There were a lot of changes, if it was an actual change on the menu or change on the concept or enhancing what we were doing; like in The Cellar, we changed it to more of a sports bar feel with gourmet hamburgers and milkshakes and pub-style food in there. Thursday, Saturday and Sunday it’s all about football in there.”

The Student Union also has fast food options like Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Panda Express and Papa John’s Pizza.

“Over at Park [Student Union] we’ve partnered up with Denny’s to bring a new concept over there which is called The Den, which is kind of an all-day breakfast and burger concept,” Omo said.

Omo said the PSU food court also has a build-to-order sandwich deli and a venue with a flatbread concept.

“Cactus Grill has omelettes all day, has noodles all day, has BBQ,” Omo said. “From a variety standpoint, we have quite a bit of different variety there, plus we have a lot of build-your-own options, so you can customize it the way you want to eat it.”

Jesse Lee, accounting junior, said he likes the fast food chain options on campus.

“People who go to other schools complain that they only get slop scooped onto their tray at their college cafeterias,” Lee said.

Omo said the next development at the Student Unions Wildcats can look forward to is an ice-cream parlor next to the U-Mart

Follow Brandi Walker on Twitter.

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