With the spring semester in full swing, many students have settled into their new routine. What was once referred to as “the new dining hall” might now simply be known as “the dining hall.” To ensure students are taking full advantage of this facility, here are five things you may or may not know about Oxford’s new dining hall.
1. Customizable omelettes at breakfast
Those who make the morning trek to breakfast have likely seen the omelette station situated between the sandwich bar and the grill. There, students can choose from a myriad of filling options and watch as the chef makes their omelette on the open griddle. What students might be unfamiliar with, however, is the option of customizing their breakfast eggs. The action station has whole eggs, so students can ask for their eggs to be cooked in different ways, such as over easy. Alternatively, they could request egg white omelettes.
The omelette station is only open on weekday mornings.
2. Chef’s Table operates on weekly concepts
By afternoon, the omelette bar transforms into what the dining hall calls “Chef’s Table.” This new feature of Oxford’s dining hall has proven to be a student favorite, as evidenced by the long lines at any time of day. Students select their desired toppings of a set concept dish, and the chef cooks it directly in front of them. Currently, the dining hall is running through a weekly rotation of six concepts: asian stir-fry, pasta, gyros, philly cheesesteak. According to executive chef Duke Walsh, these concepts have been received well and the dining hall is open to student suggestions.
“We’re learning as we go,” Walsh said. “We put what we thought would make sense … [but we’d also love to] find out what you guys are looking for and then put them in there.”
Chef’s Table is only open on weekdays.
3. Vegetarian options now cooked exclusively in separate cooking vessels
All dishes at the Herbivore station are cooked separately from the other dishes in the dining hall, and there is no risk of cross-contamination. They are served in green pans that are reserved solely for vegetarian food, something the dining hall was unable to do at Lil’s.
4. Revamped Trattoria station (now with rice!)
Instead of the previous system of serving pasta with two different sauces, the dining hall now offers composed pasta dishes. According to Walsh, this system makes more logistical sense. Though the new dining hall is a bigger facility, the kitchen is a lot smaller so the staff is limited on space, said Walsh.
Pizza in the new dining hall is cooked slightly differently than at Lil’s, as the staff now has newer, bigger pizza ovens to work with. Additionally, upon student request, rice is now available every day.
5. Expanded salad bar
As students may have noticed, the new salad bar is substantially bigger than the one at Lil’s. This allows the dining hall to bring in more ingredients from local farms and increase the vegetable selection.