Tag Archives: dining

Diverse Dining

Ready to travel the world now and try different food from different nations? Can’t afford the trip? Well, Miami University strives not only for various options in food but we add diversity in the food being presented. You might be hungry for stir fry one second, spicy food the next, and vegan options the following day. With over 15 dining locations, we provide over 12 different diverse food options such as Italian, Mongolian, Chinese, Greecian, Indian, and more!

There are la carte options that provide a variation in food selections for whatever you might be craving that day. For example, the delicious Mein Street is an Asian and Mongolian grill that will indulge your desire for stir-fry. Right next door to Mein Street is Haines Boulangerie, complete with Mediterranean-style food such as paninis and gyro flatbreads that allow for you to experience some unique flavors.IMG_4162 copy-min

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The most diverse locations include Bell Tower and Western Dining Commons with 9 different countries represented, so you can experience all the flavors around the globe in the small town of Oxford, Ohio. Bell offers American, Chinese, Italian, and Mexican food in an all-you-can-eat buffet, so dive right in. Western Dining Commons is a buffet that has a designated international station that completes everyone’s needs for food diversity. You can choose from items inspired by the cuisines of India, Italy, Greece, France, Thailand, China, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Jamaica and more. This concept also includes homestyle picks from the U.S. This station offers a mixture of customizable items and ready-made items

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Ready to taste the world right in your backyard? Miami Dining is the place to be.


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Staff Spotlight – Chef Casey Johnson

Executive Chef Casey Johnson is passionate not only about his craft, but about his job here at Miami and his family. He is one of five executive chefs on campus and he takes care of Armstrong Student Center,  Bell Tower Commons, and King Cafe – Armstrong being the place he spends most of his time. Update: As of Monday, November 20th, Casey Johnson was promoted into the Corporate Executive Chef role of dining services. We are excited about him being in this new position!

What is your background like? Personal/Professional?

I am from Sylvania, Ohio right outside of Toledo. I went right out of high school to culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. From there I did my externship at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, which is a big hunting/equestrian high-end style resort. After graduating, I did an MIT (manager in training) program at school and was a sous chef for a restaurant on campus. After moving back to Toledo with my wife, I held a sous chef position at a local country club and an Italian restaurant called Mancy’s for 3-4 years. After my time at Mancy’s, I accepted a food and beverage director/executive chef position at the Hilton Garden Inn in Findlay. My wife was then accepted into a position here at Miami, then I was lucky enough to accept a position here a year ago in October.

What is the most exciting part about the job?

Not just in this job, but in the industry in general, you learn something new every day. I am not a desk person and I don’t like sitting still, which is perfect for this industry.

What made you decide to be a chef?

I don’t really know. I am the only chef in the family other than a far extended cousin. I always grilled with my dad and baked with my mom, but neither of my parents are culinarians. I grew up on your basic mid-west style cooking with mayonnaise-based casseroles and flank steak (haha). I am not sure on what made me want to do it, but it is probably a love from the arts. I wanted to be a zoologist, then a photographer, then an architect, focusing my mind on the arts.

How would you describe your relationship with the guests?

Friendly! I love talking and working with the guests. Some people would be shocked to find out I’m introverted, but that’s because I’ve challenged myself to be extroverted to improve my overall communication. As a food and beverage director prior, I had to work directly with guests, which improved my customer service. I’m still getting used to seeing so many students, even though we have some regulars, it’s a joy to meet new people everyday.

What is your favorite thing about MU Dining?

I like the diversity of it! I think that working within the department and with the direction we are going, it’s going to get even more diverse. I know most dining has pizza or stir-fry, but we get to do new and exciting dishes here – with more to come! I helped collaborate with the opening of 4 new concepts in Armstrong – the Toasted Bagel, Cafe Lux, Red Zone, and Haines update.

How would you describe yourself personally?

I am passionate. If we talk food, I can talk all day due to my passion for the industry itself. I drive myself because of my passions and for the food industry. I definitely take my pride for work home and instill the idea of passion to my daughter as much as I can. Honestly, I genuinely love hanging out and cooking with my daughter because I’m a family man. I like to cook at home as well but not as high-end cuisine.

What are some of your hobbies and interests?

I really enjoy photography. Since the industry is so busy, it’s tough to have hobbies outside of work, but I’ve recently picked up photography again. I definitely want to start hiking and biking more because I really like spending time outside. Doing activities help me to clear my mind from the busy weeks I have.

What is your favorite dish to prepare? To eat?

Parmesan Risotto. The simplicity comes with its ingredients, but it’s a dish that takes passion to execute properly. As far as a favorite dish to eat, that changes all the time. I prefer cooking Italian though. I was trained more in Italian-style of cooking. The French-style is to take the ingredients and make it their own, while the Italian-style is to take the ingredients and enhance the flavor that is naturally there.

What is your favorite TV show?

I’ve always watched House and can habitually watch it. The Office is also one of my favorites. I enjoy the comedy in both.

Cat or dog?

I am a dog person. I have a wheaten terrier at home. I am allergic to cats and dogs in a way.

Any advice for people applying/working for MU Dining?

This is a great place to work! You’re not going to find better benefits and community in this area. We want people to apply and want people here. It requires time on your feet and work ethic, but it pays well and has a welcoming feel to it.


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Holiday Recipes

Cooking over the holidays is stressful enough. Finding the perfect recipe shouldn’t have to be. We have compiled a few easy recipes to share with you this season. Enjoy these for any occasion!

Roasted Applesauce

For a richer twist on a classic snack or side, try this recipe. Bake apples with butter in a covered pan in the oven for 15-30 minutes or until they soften. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes after turning up the heat. Then, stir up the softened apples and season with salt and sugar. This no-fuss recipe will help save time when there are other things to stress about this holiday season.

Fried Chickpeas with Sage

This delicious snack might just replace holiday cookies! Dry out chickpeas and toss in a mixture of flour, salt and paprika in a large bowl. Fry the chickpeas in a ½ olive oil, ½ canola oil mixture. Once they have stopped popping and have turned golden brown, remove the chickpeas with the skimmer. Next, toss the sage in flour and fry it, once again removing the product with a skimmer. Toss the chickpeas and sage together and they are ready to serve.

Tangy Spiced Brisket

Once these ingredients are in the slow cooker, you can leave to go gift shopping and come back to a delicious, hearty winter meal. First, caramelize onions and sauté halved garlic. Mix in paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne, oregano and thyme. Stir together beef stock, ketchup, chili sauce and brown sugar in a large bowl. Once the brisket is in the slow cooker, spread onion and garlic mixture over it and pour the sauce on top. Cook on low for about 10 hours. Once the brisket has cooked, chill it for a few hours. Then, heat it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Apple Cake

This apple cake is the multi-tool of holiday recipes. It can be eaten for breakfast or dessert and it can be frozen and saved for later. First, beat oil and sugar together and add in eggs. Then, sift together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda and stir into the sugar mixture. Add in vanilla, apples, walnuts and raisins until combined. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes.

Snowman Cupcakes

Start with cupcakes of any flavor. Don’t worry, we won’t tell if you use a boxed mix. Spread white icing on top and dust with decorating sugar or shredded coconut. Once sufficiently coated, use chocolate and butterscotch chips to make the eyes, mouth and nose!

Sausage Rolls with Caramelized Red Onions

Serve these sausage rolls at your holiday get-together and you’ll have people coming back for more next year. Cheat a little and use store-bought pastry puff to cut down on stress this holiday season. First, caramelize onions in olive oil, adding cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar as you go. Then, mix together the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and fry. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle and roll the filling into a long cylinder in the middle, adding the caramelized onions on top. Brush the pastry with an egg wash and seal. Portion out the roll and chill it for about 20 minutes. Then, bake the roll for 15-20 minutes.

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Lattes

No gumdrop buttons here, just delicious, caffeinated beverages! Pour all the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for about 3 hours. Turn it up to warm for another 2 hours and stir again before serving. For a special twist, dip the rims of cups in caramel sauce and graham cracker crumbs. Top with whipped cream and caramel syrup and enjoy!

Eggnog French Toast

Combine a classic drink with a classic breakfast food for a winning combination! Whisk together eggnog, eggs, nutmeg and rum extract. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Dip slices of bread into the mixture, making sure to coat both sides. Toss them on a griddle and cook until golden brown. Top with whipped cream for an extra-sweet treat.

Cranberry and Feta Pinwheels

Tide guests over before the main event with these scrumptious snacks. Combine cream cheese, feta cheese, dried cranberries and green onion. Spread the mixture on tortillas. Roll them up and refrigerate for about an hour. Slice up the wraps to make a festive hors d’oeuvre.

Rosemary Garlic Crusted Roast Beef

This dish will make you look like a professional cook, even though you just use your slow cooker. Rub roast beef with olive oil. Chop up some rosemary and combine with garlic, salt and pepper. Create a crust on the roast beef using this rub. Sear roast on each side in a skillet. Use balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan and toss everything in a slow cooker. Cook for 8-9 hours.

Taco Tuesday: A Review

Anyone that has been to a traditional concession stand is most likely familiar with the concept of a walking taco. For those who aren’t familiar, a walking taco is typically served as a bag of chips with the fixings of a taco layered on top. To unlock the full potential of any walking taco, the toppings and chips must be mixed up in the bag and eaten straight from its packaging.

Garden Market and Garden Commons celebrate Taco Tuesday once a month with this throwback favorite. After hearing rumors around campus that these items were a hot commodity, I decided to book it to Garden Market for my own taste of nostalgia. After all, the walking taco was a staple out of the concession stand at the public pool I used to frequent in the summers.

I ordered a walking taco with everything on it and got a pleasant surprise in return. Upon receiving my walking taco, I realized that instead of the standard Fritos I was used to as the chip base for this concoction, this was a new type of chip. I was curious to see how it would stack up.

The Frito Lay’s Top N Go bags used for Miami’s version of the walking taco are the perfect fit for the meal. Not only can they easily be topped with however many toppings your heart desires, but they are slightly concave and thus hold some of the toppings in the actual chip, making your fork’s job a little easier. Typically, toppings slide off whatever utensil you choose to call to action, but with these scoop-shaped Fritos, this problem is solved, offering a more cohesive taste and preventing the large-scale separation of ingredients one typically sees with a different chip shape.

Additionally, the Top N Go bags are made with walking tacos in mind. They are wide bags, much larger than the standard Frito Lay’s walking taco chip bag, and offer significantly more walking taco goodness. It is easier to mix the ingredients and much easier to eat, regardless of your preferred eating style.

Every bite created a fiesta in my mouth as the salsa and taco meat balanced out the crunch of the chips and fresh, crisp lettuce. The cheese melted slightly with the heat of the meat, leading to a delicious flavor highly reminiscent of a more traditional taco. The walking taco was easy to eat with a fork, and I’m sure you could just use the chips as utensils, if you wanted to live dangerously.  

Overall, I thought the walking taco was delicious and easy to enjoy. If you’re a taco person through and through, definitely give a Frito Lay’s Top N Go walking taco a try! They’re sold out of Garden Market and Garden Commons once a month!

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“The Delish menu changed, so I decided to check it out.”

Maplestreet Station is relatively new as of last fall, and with new developments come experimentation and adjustments to bring about improvement. I heard that the Delish menu changed over break, so I decided to check it out. The first change I noticed was that while students can still choose from eight unique sandwich options, they also have the option to completely customize their own sandwich—kind of like how Encounter’s burgers work.

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The menu offers a myriad of bread, cheese, meat, sauces, and additional topping choices. In fact, other students in line with me agreed that they found this menu easier to order from. Instead of ordering an already established menu item sandwich and having to switch out the bread or meat choice to get what you desire, you are now able to pick exactly what you want without any hassle.

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In my opinion, the Delish menu is better than ever, and I would recommend checking it out for yourself!

Kelsey Simpson
Miami Sophomore
@simpcity_

 

Want to be a guest blogger? Email davishmd@miamioh.edu for more information.

Exploring the Miami Emporium

  A convenience shop opened for the fellow students of Miami can be found on the upper level of Armstrong, behind Pulley Diner, ready to satisfy all your snack cravings or last minute purchases. Need some Burt’s Bees chapstick, a quick stick of deodorant, or even a new notebook before class? Don’t want to waste time traveling off campus; the Emporium has got you covered!

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