Let’s take a step back into the past and remember the days of our youth. The fanciful days of innocence, freedom, and hot school lunches. Okay, so maybe the hot school lunches aren’t such a fond memory, but they are, indeed, something that will stick out in our minds forever. I remember lining up with our Styrofoam trays, waiting to receive our fair-share of the mystery meat, glue-like rice, the gray toned broccoli and low-fat milk. Truth be known, no one ever liked that stuff, and if we had had a choice we would’ve sooner thrown it at the lunch lady than choke it down. Of course, out of elementary school we progress into high school where we’re offered a bit more choice. Of course, in time we realize that cafeteria food is just plain bad. That goes as well for our grand cafeteria set-up here at Yuba College.
As you all know, the Yuba College cafeteria leaves something to be desired, to say the least. Okay, so, the school doesn’t have a huge budget to spend on dinning facilities, and (from what I understand) Chartwell’s was the only company to bid for the spot of being Yuba’s food service provider. However, that doesn’t change the fact that selection is poor, the surroundings are drab, and the entire place gives off this indistinguishable odor that does anything by entice one’s appetite. American River College’s cafeteria serves not only hot foods, but also has a full “spud” bar, sliced pizza (not the little hard crusted mini ones they serve here), a variety of ethnic foods, a decent salad bar, and an espresso/coffee bar. CSU Sacramento has Burger King, Togo’s, Round Table and Starbuck’s right on campus. Sure, these are bigger schools with more students in more commercial areas, but at least they have some choice!
My opinion of the Yuba College cafeteria is not reflected on the staff. Any time I do feel adventurous and brave the cafeteria, the staff is always helpful, kind, and speedy (for the most part). The area is generally clean and the supplies are kept pretty well stocked. The main thing that’s lackluster, aside from the lack of choice, is the quality of the food itself. For example, one morning I was particularly hungry and saw that they had a new item that peaked my interest. Raspberry filled churros- sounds tasty don’t you think. Well the first time, they were, but then I decided to rely on my first experience and went for then a second time on a separate occasion. Was I disappointed? More like just plain grossed out. The churros were gummy in the middle, crusty on the ends, and the powdered sugar garnish had somehow melted into a filmy, plastic-like coating over the top. My first question- I paid a $1.25 for this?!? A dollar and 25 cents doesn’t seem like a whole lot of money to be out, but any monetarily challenged college student knows that you could buy a whole lot of ramen for that much. This is only one example of my disappointments in the food that is served in our cafeteria. Whether it be because of a 2-dollar coaster sized plate of salad, or a grilled cheese sandwich that tastes strangely like meat grease and
The one thing I will commend about the Yuba College cafeteria- the fresh sandwich counter. They provide you with a little checklist, on which you mark off your favorite sandwich ingredients, and you’re delivered a large, fresh sandwich, with a side of your choice, and a tasty pickle. This meal gets a tad pricey at $3.75, but in my opinion, it gets you the most for your dollars. Of course, with a medium soda, it puts you up to nearly five dollars, but as I see it, it’s healthier than fast food.
What’s my solution to this problem? I don’t have an exact answer for this. Perhaps the school should advertise the prospect of being Yuba College’s food service provider to bigger companies. Or perhaps the problem’s can be brought to Chartwell’s directly. My advice for now is, unless you’re feeling nostalgic and get in the mood for cafeteria cuisine, bring your lunch