Monthly Archives: August 2015
As we discussed the other day, a successful food truck is founded on the quality of food and the speed of service. As we approach the new school year, strEATS prepares to do both with it’s new authentic Spanish menu. It is fresh, delicious and mobile. Everything you need in a food truck!
StrEATS offers students a unique opportunity to walk-up, order and go with their freshly made food in a matter of minutes. This makes strEATS the perfect dining option for those who don’t have much time between classes to head to a dining hall or those who simply want to eat high-end, quality food quickly. Now, those who just want an authentic Spanish dining experience can seek out strEATS for totally unique food options.
The focus of the new strEATS menu is freshly made bocadillos and patatas bravas, which are both authentic Spanish foods. Additionally, the food truck will offer customers with a new option to make it “strEATS-style” with the new “strEATS-spice”. All in all, it makes for quite a delicious new menu.
A bocadillo is a sort of sub sandwich, with meat and cheese, that is traditionally served on a 6 to 8-inch long baguette. Bocadillos traditionally don’t come with lettuce, mayonnaise or other toppings such as that. StrEATS will stick with that custom to remain authentic, but also to ensure quick service. The bocadillos will be made with high-quality, fresh ingredients and be highly mobile. We want these delicious, hot sandwiches (yes, that means glorious melted cheese) to be easily handled by students who are on the move.
StrEATS will serve two or three different types of bocadillos at a time. This is, again, to ensure timely service. For example, one of the primary bocadillos for students to choose from is a prosciutto, deli ham and manchego cheese bocadillo with cherry pepper relish. Among the options that will cycle through the strEATS service, there are a couple vegetarian/vegan options for students to choose from.
The other exciting addition to the strEATS menu is the addition of the new patatas bravas side dish. Patatas bravas are similar to home fries. They are cubed potatoes served with aioli sauce and the new strEATS-spice, giving them a little kick. They taste great and are certainly worthy of adding to your strEATS experience.
So, without a doubt, everyone needs to keep their eyes peeled for the strEATs truck. Or even better, follow @MUstreats on Twitter to keep tabs on the location and time of where the food truck will be. You don’t want to miss the new bocadillos and patatas bravos!
Special diets can impact a variety of different people in a multitude of ways. Special diets have a tendency to complicate things, but we understand that college students have to manage a lot of things already, whether it be academic, social or personal stresses. Finding delicious, safe food to eat shouldn’t be one of those stresses and that is something Miami University Dining Services is here to help with.
Help us help you manage your college dining experience.
“We want to help [students] navigate our food service,” says Mary Barrera, Manager of Culinary Services. “We want you to have a safe, satisfying food experience and, yet, still give you a great variety of food to choose from.”
Miami University Dining receives requests for help with special diets every year from incoming students and current/returning students, whose dietary needs have changed. Each of those requests is managed by the Dining Services staff, specifically our Culinary Specialist, with an individual focus, emphasizing communication to help cater to an individual’s dietary needs.
“We want special diet students to reach out to us. Email. Call,” says Barrera. “We like to talk to the people. The easiest way to figure out what they need and want to eat is by talking to them.”
All locations on campus have the ability to serve special diets, but even then, it comes down to effective communication and identifying yourself. For example, locations like Armstrong’s Mein Street, can specially prepare food to accommodate a gluten intolerance or some other allergies, if that is communicated to the manager. Having undergone thorough training in catering to special diets, they will take the necessary steps in order to ensure a safe dining experience. At the very least, communicate your concerns or dietary needs to a food production leader, when ordering.
“If a need is not met by a menu, we usually have a variety of products that are available in the back.” says Barrera. “If you talk to us, we can tell you what to get and how to get it. If you need a special product or brand, it can be ordered. If you need us to supplement menus, it may already be there. We just need to know.”
Miami’s Culinary Specialist Beverly Rambo, who specializes in special diets, works with students, extensively covering their dietary needs and wants, so they have a variety of options to choose from, at the locations they need them. Familiar or preferred brands/products can be specially ordered. Food items can be moved to different dining locations at the student’s convenience. Students can even call ahead and request an item be prepared for their arrival, so the dining staff has time to make the necessary accommodations for a specific food allergy or intolerance. Additionally, Miami University has their own team of top-flight chefs who can help those with special diets explore other recipes and food items. Students with special diets don’t have to feel limited in their selections, but it all ultimately comes back to asking for assistance. Accommodations of varying degrees can be made to help a student with their special diet, but it’s hard to help if students don’t reach out to take advantage of our services.
“We don’t want students to feel awkward or uncomfortable,” says Rambo. “We really want to help.”
Another service offered to students is the MyTray Nutrition feature on the Miami University Dining Services website. It allows people to filter through menus by building (Armstrong, Maplestreet…etc.), with the option to exclude any of the following allergens/intolerances: all eight top allergens, gluten, meat or animal by-product. The system cycles through the menu, removing items that contain the allergens/intolerances that were excluded. The results are food products served free of those products. Furthermore, hovering over the menu item will show which allergens are contained in that product. Clicking on the menu item gives the nutritional facts, allowing people to learn as much as they want about their food before even setting foot in line.
While every dining location can cater to most any special dietary need, there are certain locations that are more naturally prepared for those services. The goal, with these locations, is to offer high-quality food and make them easy to access, requiring no extra preparation or wait time for a specialty order.
Beginning this year, the custom stir fry at Maplestreet Station’s Pacific Rim will be gluten-free and allergen-friendly, free of dairy, eggs, wheat, fin fish, shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts. The stir fry station still contains soy, but remains a great option for many. Maplestreet’s Americas will also be serving quinoa bowls this year, which are gluten-free and vegan (as long as you don’t add meat as a topping).
The Allergen Station, located in Western Dining Commons, is free of the top eight allergens. That means the station is a delicious, safe option, free of gluten, eggs, dairy, wheat, fin fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and soy. Many menu items are vegetarian or vegan as well. It is the perfect location for those with special diets, especially those who want a meal they don’t have to think too hard about. It’s allergen-free and a simple solution. The station is popular among students with and without dietary restrictions, offering a variety of roasted vegetables, potatoes, chicken, carved meat and other delicious, safe, and healthy, options. The quality of food offered rejects the notion that allergen-free has to be bland.
“Many allergen-friendly foods are becoming more mainstream as more people deal with special diets,” says Rambo, “We would encourage people to come by and try the Allergen Station food. It surprises people.”
Spices are typically allergen-free and the use of spice rubs – or something as simple as cooking with olive oil instead of butter – not only provide options to students with special diets, but also expose those same students to foods they may not have had before. And that all comes back to opening the doors for communication.
“If you are somewhere and need something, ask for it. If you are allergic and have a special diet, ask us for help,” says Barrera. “There’s a wide variety of options everywhere. Just because you see fried food doesn’t mean it’s the only thing offered. There are options, but communication is the key.”
As special diets become more prevalent in our current social climate, there is an increased expectation of accommodations, but special diets are so varied, they are hard to prepare for without knowing ahead of time. Special diets include allergies to eggs, diary, soy, wheat, fin fish, shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts. This also accounts for gluten intolerance, requiring gluten-free accommodations, and those who are vegetarian or vegan. With such a wide variety, that impacts so many foods, the only way we can ensure that accommodations will be made for a specific special diet is if we are made aware of it.
“Get to know us,” says Barrera, “We want students to have a satisfying food experience for the four years they are here.”
Whether a student is gluten intolerant, vegan or has a temporary dietary need, there is a wide variety of options available to them. If made aware of special diets, accommodations can be made to ensure that one’s dining experience is one less college stress.
The Class of 2019 is busy over the next couple days. Miami University’s official Freshmen Move-In Day takes place tomorrow, followed by a flurry of activities like residence hall meetings, the First Night Block Party at the Rec Center Quad tomorrow night and other events to help you explore everything that Miami has to offer.
On that list of events is the exciting Armstrong Palooza on Friday night (starting at 8 PM) where the Armstrong Student Center is hosting fun activities like corn hole, performances, mini-golf and so much more. During the event, Miami University Dining will be offering a “Taste of Armstrong” where the incoming freshmen class will have the opportunity to try some delicious free food from the different eateries in the Student Center. Plus, we have our own sweepstakes opportunity…
Let us introduce you to our first ever Armstrong Palooza Selfie Contest!
First things first, here’s how you play…
- Attend Armstrong Palooza on Friday, August 21. It starts at 8 PM.
- Take selfies at up to all seven Armstrong dining locations (Serrano, Haines’ Boulangerie, Pulley Diner, Sundial Pizza Company, Mein Street Mongolian & Asian Grill, Miami Ice and M Emporium). If you only take one at Pulley Diner, for example, that is fine. Share it with #MUDiningSelfies on Twitter and you have been entered to win! However, if you wish to increase your chances of winning, you can take and submit a selfie from all seven locations found in Armstrong. Just be sure to keep the sign(s) clearly visible in your selfie(s) to qualify.
- Share those photos with us on Twitter using #MUDiningSelfies. Watch the spelling though. You can’t be entered if we can’t find your selfie!
Take group selfies (technically called “usies”) to increase your odds of winning! For each person who participates in the selfie with you (looking at the camera and well aware they are in the photo), you will receive one additional entry, increasing your odds of being randomly selected to win! For example, if you take a selfie with your new roommate in front of Sundial Pizza Company (Sundial’s sign clearly visible in the photo) and share it with us using #MUDiningSelfies on Twitter, then that photo counts as two submissions for the person who shares the photo. If you take the same photo with three friends, that counts as four submissions for the person who shares the photo and so on. Basically, get out of your shell and meet some people to increase your odds of winning! The more people participating in your photo, the better! Of course, you can also just take an individual selfie, share it with us and hope the odds are in your favor too!
- A winner will be chosen, at random, from those who qualify. The winner will win three free meals to be used anywhere on campus, courtesy of Miami Dining, and a free t-shirt! Selfies must be shared on Twitter by 11 PM on Friday, August 21 to be considered.
- When taking a selfie at an eatery, the sign of that dining location must be clearly visible in the selfie.
- You only get one entry per dining location and it is the first photo submitted/tagged. No redos!
- You can submit up to seven selfies, one for each dining location in Armstrong (Serrano, Haines’ Boulangerie, Pulley Diner, Sundial Pizza Company, Mein Street Mongolian & Asian Grill, Miami Ice and M Emporium).
- For each person who participates in the selfie with you, you will receive one additional entry, increasing your odds of being randomly selected to win. However, for those people to count towards your odds, they must be participating in the selfie with you (looking at the camera and well aware they are in the photo).
- Photos shared between 8 PM and 11 PM on Friday, August 21, 2015 are the only photos that will be considered and counted as entries.
Miami University’s official food truck ‘strEATS’!
The mobile dining destination returns to Miami’s campus this fall, offering students a truly “on-the-go” option. Students who have been fortunate enough to experience strEATS before, have a sense of what the food truck is all about, but for those who are just getting on campus, it’s time to get acquainted.
Mobile dining from a vehicle isn’t a foreign concept, having roots that date back to specially modified chuck wagons that people served food out of back in the 1860s. However, the modern food truck craze didn’t really take hold until 2008 when trucks began serving gourmet food with social media playing a key role in the process. Over the following years, the food truck gained more popularity with more and more people diving into the unique dining concept with college campuses shortly following suit.
The idea of a food truck is simple. Offer convenient, high-quality food to those who want to grab something quickly, using Twitter to inform customers of the truck’s changing location. People are busy and have places to be. A food truck helps customers get a high-quality, delicious meal without having to dine-in and the convenience of the food truck allows that meal to be offered at different locations around the city, town or – in our case – campus.
And… that’s where strEATS comes in.
StrEATS first hit the road in March 2012, based on the food trucks found in big cities across the country and other college campuses. Since it’s appearance, students have loved to stop by the red and white food truck and pick up a quick bite to eat, whether heading to class, a study session or just meeting up with friends.
Now, in order to know when strEATS is out and about and where the truck is located, you will want to follow MU strEATS on Twitter. There, tweets will be sent out whenever the truck is on campus, serving the students and staff that need a quick meal. On Twitter, followers will be updated with the hours and where you can find the truck. Then, look for the truck at the tweeted location, place an order and enjoy! StrEATS accepts student meal plans, credit cards and debit cards, which helps simplify the ordering process for students and gets them on their way quickly.
StrEATS will be available across campus this fall in a variety of locations. That said, we would love to hear some suggestions from you. Be sure to keep an eye out for the strEATs truck on your way to and from class, but also monitor MU strEATS on Twitter to make sure you always know when the food truck is out!
Miami University offers three buffet locations, including the exciting new Garden Commons. With Martin Dining Hall closed for renovations this year, Garden Commons will provide dining services for East Quad while Harris Dining Hall and Western Dining Commons will provide buffet dining services throughout the rest of the campus. While buffet menus are already tremendously varied, there are some exciting additions being made to the menus for this upcoming school year.
Western Dining Commons
Western remains mostly unchanged from last year. Turkey sausage will be offered during breakfast, which is a new addition campus-wide. Super Brunch will return, offering an expansive breakfast buffet option to students on Sunday mornings. Look forward to that picking up sometime in the early part of the semester!
The salad and dessert food station is very similar too, with hardly any changes from last year. The Allergen Station follows suit with the same menu from last year, offering students with a food station that is free of the top eight allergens (egg, dairy, soy, wheat, fin fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts). The International Station is adding some homestyle Miami Traditions menu items and there will be specialty Chef Choice daily dishes that figure to grab your attention. The Grill Roast Station also remains almost completely the same from a year ago.
Tea Hive’s menu is the same as well. Coffee had been added in the spring and will remain on the menu for the fall. Everything is essentially the same, making Tea Hive a fantastic early morning option to help wake you up in the morning with tea or coffee, while grabbing a delicious croissant.
Harris Dining Hall
Harris has been Miami’s steadfast dining option for years now and the menu reflects that. There are hardly any changes from a year ago, but this year you will be able to grab yourself a potato bowl. They have been added to the Sonora/Pastato station, which is bound to excite some people. At the Campus Grill, Harris is also getting mini corn dogs on a rotation. They will alternate daily with onion rings offering even more variation to the Harris menu.
Garden Commons is the brand new dining location located behind Farmer School of Business. That obviously means the entire menu is brand new as well.
Beginning with Ciao (pronounced ‘Chow’), the Italian station will offer a variety of pizzas to pick from, including cheese, sausage, veggie, chicken bacon ranch, supreme, BBQ chicken and even a bacon cheeseburger pizza. Pasta will also be a heavy focus at this location, offering a variety of different pastas and sauces to top it with. Calzones are coming to Ciao in the early part of the semester as well. Some dessert pizza will also be offered, in addition to some other side items. The East Quad Open House offered a sample tasting of the garlic dough bites that will be offered, which were absolutely delicious and certainly worth trying.
Zen Garden is the Asian concept in Garden Commons. It will offer egg rolls, different Asian-style salads and a variety of rices. There will be some express stir fry options, different types of chicken, beef and vegetables as well. The full menu will include a wide variety of different Asian foods that you can pick up while enjoying the rest of the buffet. There will also be special appearances by bang bang shrimp and seafood rangoon. Fortune cookies and green tea cookies will also be offered as a dessert item.
Comfort Thyme, the deli, grill and traditions food station, will provide students with a quality option for comfort food such as chicken tenders, fries and mac and cheese, to name a few. This will also be the station in order to make your own deli sandwiches, as well as pick-up prepared hot and cold sandwiches. A “taste” of the traditions menu would be chicken, potatoes and veggies. Comfort Thyme and Harvest Greens are the only breakfast locations in Garden Commons for the morning rush. Comfort Thyme will be offering turkey sausage and more of the hardy breakfast items like sandwiches, eggs and bakery items.
Harvest Greens is perhaps the easiest station in Garden Commons to define. It is the expanded soup, salad and fruit bar in the new dining hall. It will offer a wide variety of rotating soups and will also provide students with a great buffet salad bar option to work with. The fruit bar is what Harvest Greens offers for breakfast. This will include fruit items, yogurt, oatmeal, bagels, bread and different spreads.
This “What’s New” covers a variety of dining options. We have already checked out Armstrong and Maplestreet Station, but now it is time to see what is coming this fall to Bell Tower, La Mia Cucina, Dividend$ and King Cafe.
Most of Bell Tower’s menus remain the same from last year with a couple neat additions. First of all, Bell Tower is a location impacted by the campus-wide introduction of turkey sausage. It will be offered for breakfast. However, the station that will be adding the most to the menu this fall is the Campus Grill station. A seafood specialty item has been added with calamari, fried to order, and fried tempura shrimp being available on alternating weeks for those who would like a taste of seafood. Mini corn dogs are back and better than ever at the Campus Grill. They will alternate daily with onion rings. Also, a Philly cheesesteak sandwich will now be served at Bell Tower from this station.
The Pizza Pi station also is getting a few exciting additions to the menu with dessert pizza slices now available. There will be apple dessert pizza and cherry dessert pizza offered at Pizza Pi on alternating weeks to satisfy your sweet tooth!
La Mia Cucina
The big news here is that La Mia will be taking over pizza delivery from Sundial. This doesn’t impact the pizza itself, but will help streamline and improve service. La Mia will begin the fall offering seven different pizzas to focus on timely, and high-quality service.
Additionally, La Mia will now be open until midnight, in part, to cater to its new role as a pizza delivery service.
There is hardly anything changing at Dividend$ for the fall. Motz Monday, Corn Dog Tuesday, Wings Wednesday, Calamari Thursday and Chilly Cheese Fryday will exist in their entirety (Monday-Friday), which is always fun. Also, a steak and egg panini will be offered daily during breakfast while a steak and roasted veggie panini will be available for lunch daily. Both panini’s were offered last year, but this will be the first time they are both served daily (last year they were served on a rotation).
King is unchanged, still offering you sanity in the form of caffeinated beverages while you study for that exam you conveniently ignored until the night before.
Yesterday, we stopped by Armstrong and found out more about the exciting additions appearing on the different menus there, so now we move onto beautiful Maplestreet Station.
We begin with Americas because it is the dining location that is making perhaps the most dramatic shift on campus, however, the menu additions offer some unique, fresh food options that are sure to impress. Americas was initially designed with South America (and a little bit of southern North America) in mind when Maplestreet was built. Now, Americas returns to that theme with a more fresh and natural flair.
First and foremost, Americas will welcome in the era of the quinoa bowl. Okay… so maybe it doesn’t warrant it’s own designated “era”, but nonetheless, the quinoa bowl will finally be offered at Miami University, starting with Americas. The hot quinoa bowl option is served with gluten-free broth and can be served with veggies or protein (meats). Quinoa also will appear in the Traders Greens Salad Bar as a salad topper.
If quinoa isn’t really your style, Americas will still offer some tasty options. Street tacos will be a major draw, as they will be prepared in fresh corn tortillas and will, of course, be delicious. There will also be a salsa bar with a variety of salsa options. This will be paired with nachos, which will be served from the Americas as well. Also look for the addition of pita chips and hummus for another high-quality, fresh snacking/light meal option.
Overall, the Americas menu may look a bit different this year, but the additions will offer students a tasty, fresh and unique dining option that provides a healthier menu for students to choose from. Not to mention, the menu lays out perfectly for students to grab either a full meal or just a study snack in the beautiful Americas dining location.
Pacific Rim’s menu isn’t changing much, but there are some exciting announcements to be made nonetheless. The Pac Rim custom stir fry menu option remains, but it has now been made allergen-friendly! The custom stir fry does contain soy (so take note if this pertains to you), but is otherwise free of gluten, dairy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, egg and wheat. With this improvement comes new toppings for the custom stir fry, including quinoa, chopped kale and sweet potato chunks, giving students and staff a number of options to work with when building their own stir fry.
The only other noteworthy thing on Pac Rim’s menu this year is that it will now offer more express stir fry’s, including General Tso’s and Vegetable Lo Mein.
Red Brick Pizza
Red Brick’s menu remains mostly the same from last year with a couple exciting additions to the menu. First of all, the Red Brick pizza slices are larger! Whereas a slice used to be 1/8 of an 18″ pizza, this year the slices will be 1/6 of an 18″, meaning that this New York-style pizza place will be true to its name. The slices will likely require a fold to eat… or, if you appreciate a good challenge, you can choose not to. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy a variety of chicken pizzas (chicken, bacon, ranch; BBQ chicken, etc.) whenever Red Brick is open. Vegetarian pizzas will also be available at those times (Margherita, Greek, etc.), contributing to a nice variety of options from Red Brick.
Subs remain the other staple of Red Brick’s dining service, but with a new “La-Mia-style” bun that will be freshly baked. There is also a new meatball sub that everyone will absolutely need to try.
First Stop isn’t changing much outside of merely streamlining the kitchen to improve service. Turkey sausage is added to the menu, which is exciting, but for the most part, First Stop remains mostly unchanged. Encounter has made onion rings available all the time now. Delish is mostly the same from last year and Patisserie hasn’t changed at all.
With the wide variety of dining options offered, including more fresh foods, students won’t struggle to find a number of appetizing meal options at the beautiful Maplestreet Station this fall!
We find ourselves just under two weeks away from the start of classes and many of you will make the trek back to beautiful Oxford, Ohio even before then (we do have some dining locations available from Monday, August 17 – Sunday, August 23).
As you gather your things for another year of college, or your very first, we want to prepare you for the exciting new food items that you will be seeing as you return to campus. First and foremost, turkey sausage will be making its debut on the Oxford campus. You will be able to find it for breakfast campus-wide starting this fall.
While there are a number of menu additions across campus, let us first begin with the incredibly popular Armstrong Student Center.
Haines’ remains mostly the same from last year, with one major addition. A boulangerie, by definition, is a bakery that specializes in baking and selling bakery items. While Haines’ will continue to offer sandwiches, salads and soups, Haines’ will also provide students and staff with an enhanced bakery with both breakfast and dessert items.
Cookies have been added to the menu (chocolate chip, expresso) with mini turtle bites and shortbread. Cupcakes, reminiscent of the beautiful Patisserie cupcakes at Maplestreet, will make their Armstrong debut at Haines’ as well with toffee crunch, oreo blast and mint chocolate chip flavors.
The bakery will also be expanded with other pastry items like danishes, donuts and scones, just to name a few.
Mein Street/Wing Bar
Mein Street’s menu hasn’t really changed from last year, but the major addition to that area of Armstrong is the new Wing Bar, which will go by the name “Wing Bar”, making it perhaps the easiest dining location name to remember.
The Wing Bar is brand new and will take up residence next to Mein Street, up against the wall that divides Mein Street and Haines’ Boulangerie. The Wing Bar will specialize in, you guessed it, wings! There will be seven different sauces early on, including Hot Buffalo, Medium Buffalo, Mild Buffalo, Honey BBQ, Hot BBQ, Asian and Parmesan Garlic Sauce. We are always open to new ideas though, so feel free to reach out with suggestions for us to explore!
The Wing Bar also means the return of boneless wings and a permanent residence for those glorious mozzarella sticks! Expect Wing Bar to be a student favorite in no-time.
Pulley is another location that is adding quality options to their menu. Pulley is adding a BLT sandwich and offering shoestring fries instead of crinkle fries, which will be a little more unique.
The big change in the Pulley kitchen will be with the burgers. Don’t worry, they still exist, but now they will be made in a “smash-style” with raw meat literally smashed on the cooking surface to form and cook the patties. The result will be, fresher, even tastier burger patties for your enjoyment. There will be standard hamburger, cheeseburger and double cheeseburger options.
I know where I will be.
The first thing to note with Sundial is that wings will no longer be offered there. However, that is merely because the Wing Bar will be your wing destination instead, so no worries… you can still find some wings when you stop by Armstrong.
Sundial will be focusing on pizza, pasta and the new “build your own” calzones that they will now be offering. Sundial offered personal “build-your-own” pizza last year (and still will this year) and will expand that service to calzones. So, if you’re craving a calzone, Sundial will now be able to help you cure that craving.
These three locations are not really changing their menus entering this year. Emporium remains a top-notch market in Armstrong and Miami Ice remains a wonderful “go-to” destination for ice cream, gelato, coffee products and some bakery/pastry items. Serrano returns to it’s roots as a Mexican dining option, offering burritos, burrito bowls, loaded nachos, taco salads and quesadillas. Serrano also has a unique dessert option in the delicious cinnamon chips with marshmallow dip, which is definitely worth checking out.