Eickhoff renovations both visible and palatable

Students line up for sushi at one of the many new stations in Eickhoff this year where the food is made on sight and served upon student request. (Tom O'Dell / Photo Editor)

For most of the student body, Eickhoff food was always something to complain about or, at the very least, show indifference. But this semester has already proven to be different. In addition to the dining hall’s aesthetic transformation, many students have already noticed the changes are more than just visual.

Sodexo Inc., the College’s provider of food and dining facilities management, took multiple things into consideration when creating this semester’s menu.

“Our focus for the changes was to improve food production, increase healthy menu options through healthier cooking options, improve vegetarian options and improve the residential experience for the students of (the College) with a state-of-the-art dining experience,” John Higgins, Sodexo General Manager at the College said.

The renovations have made it possible for new items on the menu, such as rotisserie chicken, Cantonese style stir-fry and gluten-free foods served in a completely gluten-free area. New types of drinks have also been added, such as organic teas.

Still, most of the cuisine changes are not completely new, and have instead built on what already existed. According to Higgins, a major change was in the production and preparation of food.

“The pizzas should be coming out of the oven while the students are selecting the slice of pizza,” he said.

Now students can easily see their meals being prepared and cooked in front of them, as each station is set up like an open kitchen.

“I do enjoy the wall of chickens,” Sarah Smith, sophomore biology major, said in reference to the large rotisserie oven in “Quimby’s Kitchen.” This oven will also hold fish fillets and pork loins, Higgins said.

Smith also said that she liked the variety of food options now available in the eatery.

As for other changes, many meals are able to be served for longer periods of time due to the dining hall’s new setup.

“I like that they serve quesadillas all day now,” said Michelle May, junior forensics major with a chemistry concentration.

Despite the many positive changes, some students have run into a few problems with the eatery.

“The fries are puffier and thicker … I don’t like them that much,” Smith said.

“There’s a definite improvement in the quality of food, but the lines are longer everywhere,” Johnoes Bonila, junior English major, said. Bonila specifically referred to the “91.3 Wokery” where students often wait for over ten minutes or longer to get their food due to the station’s popularity. Other stations, such as the “C-street Grill,” have been getting backed up as well.

Nevertheless, others have been complementing Eickhoff on their service skills.

“We have focused a lot of training on improving customer service with our dining services team,” Higgins said. “We have received very positive feedback on our customer service skills during the first week.”

Information about Eickhoff’s weekly menu can be found at www.tcnjdining.edu.