AVI brings ‘Fresh’ dining options to students
Made to order sandwiches at Rocky's is one of the many new dining options available this fall.
Sept. 19, 2016
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - For most Slippery Rock University students, the hunger for knowledge in pursuit of a degree isn't the only hankering they will face throughout their residency on campus.
As students roll out of bed each morning, thoughts of the day's first cup of caffeine and what sounds good for lunch may intermingle with afternoon exam anxiety and impending project deadlines.
But before those wheels were set in motion by the onset of the fall semester, planning by AVI Fresh, the University's contracted food service provider, was well under way. Summer months are spent pondering the questions of how to update the offerings meant to cater to consumer's daily food cravings and keep things - well - fresh.
From Boozel to Weisenfluh dining halls, and everything in between, specifically selected menu items have been added in order to enhance students' on-campus mealtime experience. Selections range anywhere from warm, soft donuts at Watson Hall to healthy snack foods at T&B Naturally located inside Bailey Library.
"Many of the changes were implemented because every year should provide the students with new and fresh offerings," said Mark Lisowski, resident director of AVI Foodsystems, Inc. at SRU. "Asking students what they wanted gave us the direction to move forward."
Comfort foods were high on the list of requests for this semester, as students - despite not wanting to admit it - think fondly of the home cooked meals left behind once they arrive on campus.
Taking this taste to heart, many of the on-campus vendors and dining halls have developed an inventory of familiar favorites, hoping to provide a diverse, yet warm and inviting, selection for campus diners.
At Weisenfluh, patrons can enjoy a basket of Jojo fries - potato wedges for the uninitiated - served with such sides as cilantro lime coleslaw and honey barbeque sauce for dipping.
Rocky's, located inside the Smith Student Center, is also stepping up its variety and pairing it with convenience. Along with pretzel breadsticks and five new salad bowls, the venue is offering "grab-and-go" convenience items including ready-made buffalo chicken dip, macaroni bowls and rotisserie chicken.
"The selections allow students to enjoy reheatable homestyle meals without the hassle of venturing outside of campus," said Lisowski.
T&B Naturally has introduced a line of Pro bars to appeal to those searching for healthy alternatives to common snack foods. Pro Bar, a leading provider in vegan, organic and non-GMO products, is gluten free and high in protein content for students requiring a boost in energy levels. T&B also is also offering a line of Asian bowls for fall and winter months. Vietnamese pho soup, peanut sesame noodles, pad thai and other selections can be heated in two minutes for those on the go.
Boozel Dining Hall, renowned for its wealth of choices, is reinforcing its reputation by featuring a number of dishes to delight a diversity of diners. Homestyle items like steak with chimmichurri sauce and BBQ brisket are now being offered alongside vegetarian cuisine, including a variety of wraps. Those wraps are also a component of the newly christened Boozel Express, which offers 24/7 service from just inside the dining hall doors.
The Express menu offers a wide variety of items, including such things as mini taco nachos, a variety of sandwiches, pizza and potato skins.
"Having Boozel Express open around the clock is much more convenient for my hectic studying schedule," said Jamie Mulac, a senior fine arts major from Indiana. "Many days, I don't have even time to get dinner until very late in the day."
Hours at other food operations have also been increased this year to allow students to satisfy their late night appetites.
"Our students' days often don't end when traditional business hours do," said Lisowski, "Extending the hours will hopefully make students' exhausting nights of studying, especially around midterms and finals, a little more fun and carefree."
"We are hoping that all of these changes will give greater service and better satisfaction to our students," said Lisowski.
Hours of operation for all SRU dining operations are available at: https://www.aviserves.com/sru/index.html.
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