Student Reflects on New Market Cafe

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When I walked into the cafeteria last Tuesday, my jaw literally dropped in a true overdramatic and cliché fashion. It’s funky and bright, modern yet classy. But as the saying goes, looks aren’t everything. One doesn’t have to be Nostradamus to predict the logistical problems that may occur in our chic new eatery.

Similar to the old café, the new facility groups the various menu items into different food stations. The difference is you not only pick up your food at the station, but pay there, too. The friendly chatter that once filled the old cafeteria seemed to consist of grumbling about long lines on Tuesday. I wait in line to pick up and pay for my lunch, then move to the next line, where I pick up and pay for my drink, finally ending my journey in a third line where I pay for dessert, side dish, etc.  I also don’t appreciate the assumption that I don’t know how to butter a bagel.  Dear USF, my mother will confirm that while I’m no culinary guru, I’ve known how to fix a bagel for many years now.

One day, I made the mistake of eating lunch after a class that ended at 2:30 p.m.; apparently last call for food is 2. There were two halves of sandwich left on the platter when I entered the cafeteria. After mulling around for a couple minutes (big mistake) there was one left. I knew right then I must make that last half mine. But wait! There were no ‘to-go’ containers. Frantically, I began the hunt for those small white boxes. First, a mad dash to the pasta and pizza area only to find there were none sitting out there either.

Then, a quick sprint to the silverware island followed by a brisk walk past the line of 30 people waiting to buy drinks, around to the sushi counter where I managed to snag one sitting out. By now I was in full jogging mode, knocking freshmen out of my way to get my hand on the last sandwich only to be met with disappointment. The last sandwich was gone. Luckily, I still managed to make a delicious salad.

I cannot deny that the feng shui of the sitting area is aesthetically pleasing. After my exhausting lunch retrieval, the cafeteria was a pleasant and relaxing area to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen all summer. A glance at my phone told me I was six minutes overdue to leave the cafeteria in order to make my next class on time.  Once again, the panicked rush set in. I grabbed my bag, cleaned up my dishes and began walking toward the exit to throw away my food. Quickly I realized the trashcans were missing. In my hurry I glanced around and could not see where they were hiding. I ended up just throwing away my trash outside.

I know my grumblings are a bit trivial. Most of the chaos of the first lunch ensued simply because I did not understand how the new system worked. I’m happy to report that my dining experiences since then have flowed more smoothly and the hard working staff of Bon Appétit works fast and efficiently every day to keep the lines short.  Now that I’ve finally discovered the trash area’s new home (it’s on the opposite wall, in case you’re still searching), if anyone could tell me where the “to go” containers are kept, I think I’ll be good to go.

Meghan Maher is a junior English major

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

Opinion Editor: Laura Waldron

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