Let me rephrase that: I love cafeteria food that is prepared and served with integrity, then enjoyed in good company.
Melissa generously treated me to lunch at one of NYU’s freshman dorms last week, and I was so impressed by the offerings that I had to share!
Check out the gorgeous salad bar—this only scratches the surface!
Fresh fruit and produce was abundant (right down to the huge baskets of decorative ginger root that threatened to bring out my sticky fingers), not to mention a wide variety of cooked vegetarian and vegan options.
I also had to pause and admire the caf’s eco-efforts. By not using trays, they save both water and energy when it comes to dishwashing.
Because NYU charges a flat rate per meal (as opposed to paying a la carte), you can imagine the amount of buffet-induced waste that a cafeteria like this could generate. I find it really admirable that the school has taken action to minimize their impact on the environment, especially in a city like Manhattan, which has its share of eco-problems in the first place.
Determined to do our part, you can be sure that we created very little waste indeed, despite our plates being piled high with veggie goodness. ;)
On top of a bed of salad greens and raw fixins, I dolloped a sample of just about every vegetarian/vegan option available. Everything was delicious, no joke! With dishes like roasted broccoli, baked winter squash and a tofu-rice dish on offer, Whole Foods’ prepared food bars have some serious competition. No lies!
And the eggplant/ratatouille-type dish gets a picture all to itself. When my plate overfloweth with eggplant, I’m a very happy camper indeed.
I had a great time catching up with Melissa—we’ve only gotten to chat briefly in group settings before this, so it was fun to grill her on her job, travel and all things blog- and fitness-related.
Turns out blogs aren’t the only thing we have in common:
We’re watch twins! This coinkydink moment was brought to you by Fossil and the boyf. :)
While the food selection at my college’s cafeterias was really impressive, I have to say that NYU takes it to another level with both health- and environmentally-conscious aspects built in to their cafeterias. Melissa was telling me that much of the food is even locally-sourced, which is a huge selling point for those of us seduced by the newly-trendy locavore movement (and rightly so!).
I realize that as one of the world’s major cities, New York may be ahead of the curve when it comes to heathy eating and eco-consciousness, but I would like to think that NYU’s example is indicative of policies to come, both nation- and world-wide. Sure, I spotted a handful of pajama-clad freshmen eating a well-balanced meal of hot dogs and Froot Loops, but even so, I have to believe that the cafeteria’s mostly-wholesome offerings come from demand, at least to some extent. Michelle Obama would be proud!
Do you have any particular memories of cafeteria food, good or bad? In your experience, if any, how do hospital cafeterias compare to school cafeterias? And how do you find that primary school cafeterias compare to cafeterias at the secondary level? If you have children, how do their cafeteria-provided meal options compare to what you ate when you were in school?