Mythbusters: The New and Improved Lunch Menu




Lately, there have been many rumors floating around campus concerning next year’s menu. One of the more alarming rumors is that a classic SNC favorite, the potato bowl, will no longer be available. Fear not, SNC students, for I have spoken with Melissa DaPra, the union dining room manager, and have squashed all the rumors that we have been overhearing.


What are some of the changes that will be taking place on the cafeteria menu next year?

Every semester has a mix of old and new items. Without hesitation, I can squash the rumors about old favorites disappearing: SNC potato bowl, mac ‘n’ cheese bar, turkey shawarma will all be available next year. A sneak preview of new items includes red velvet pancakes, BBQ ribs, southern fried chicken, racos al pastor, and shrimp po’ boys with other Cajun fare.


Why are these changes being made?

SNC Dining strives to keep the menus current, fresh and complete with fan favorites. We blend student feedback and requests with culinary trends and market data to create a diverse menu mix. It is a big job to meet the broad spectrum of nutritional needs and taste preferences of the entire campus.

Do you think this will be an improvement to SNC?

We continually strive to improve with each successive menu, but we can’t do it without your help. Dining services welcomes and relies on student feedback to shape upcoming menus. Our comment form is found on the dining services website:


Are any “replacement” dishes being created to take place of any that are being taken off the menu?

We have hundreds of recipes in our database. Every semester’s menu contains a mix of old favorites (80%) and new offerings (20%). We amend recipes to make them accessible to more groups, enhance the flavor profile or augment them to make them healthier. For example, next week we will preview two weekday wellness offerings that have evolved from this year’s offerings: Asian millet sauté (think Mongolian wok with a higher protein grain) & bulgur mix in salad (or make your own tabbouleh).


What is your favorite thing about the dining hall/food at St. Norbert?

My favorite part of Ruth’s Marketplace is how many things are done by hand: we hand cut our fruit and veggies, we make our pizza dough & sauce, we make our own sauces and soups from scratch. Where many large-scale kitchens rely on pre-packaged products, we cut and chop to execute handmade recipes.


Do you think we should be adding more to have a more varied menu?

You will see most menus four times in a semester, with more popular items being repeated more often.  At the end of the day, we have to be good stewards of our resources with consideration to allotted dollars, space, equipment, labor costs and waste that comes with increased offerings. It is quite a balancing act to get it right.


Some of the food that is rumored to not be here next year (like the potato bowl) are campus favorites. Do you think the students will understand that these will no longer be available?

Hmmm…rumors! I’m glad you are clever enough to clarify with the source! Again, SNC potato bowl will be back in the fall.


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