Tag Archives: First Stop

Healthy Meal Substitutions Worth Trying

A common misconception with food is that in order to make smarter, healthier choices, you have to give up all your favorite meals. That isn’t necessarily true. If you get creative, and a little adventurous, you will find there are plenty of ways to still enjoy your go-to meals by substituting ingredients with other, healthier alternatives.

We found a couple meals that fit the bill with simple substitutions that can be made to add a fresh, healthy twist. These meal substitutions are definitely worth trying in your home kitchen.


Everybody loves to start the day with pancakes from First Stop or Pulley Diner. While you’re home for spring break, try a new twist on this breakfast staple. You can replace regular pancake batter with two bananas and two eggs for a gluten-free meal! Try this basic recipe with suggestions for common add-ins! Added bonus: bananas are high in fiber and antioxidants.


If you’re a fan of Boneless Wing Wednesdays, you can switch it up a bit by replacing the chicken with cauliflower! It’s super easy to make this vegetarian dish and definitely worth a try. Just bake some cauliflower, cover it in as much sauce as you want and bake again. Here’s a recipe straight from the source. Replacing chicken with cauliflower makes this dish more vitamin rich, lower in calories, and gluten-free.


A great snack for the warmer months ahead is one that will bring with it a twinge of nostalgia. Throwback to childhood summers of pouring juice into popsicle trays, but now imagine an updated, more health-conscious version. Try replacing sugar-rich juice, found in the popsicles of your youth, with greek yogurt. All it takes is your favorite sliced fresh fruit, plain greek yogurt, and a natural sweetener like agave nectar or honey. The creamy and delicious treat will melt in your mouth … literally.


Even fans of The Q can get in on this whole substitution thing. Barbeque pulled pork gets a healthy twist by replacing the meat with … fruit! Jackfruit can be prepared so that it has the texture of the average pulled meat. Adding barbeque for flavor and then using it on a bun, taco shell, or plate of nachos turns the fruit into a great meat substitute. This cuts down on cholesterol and calories and adds in more nutrients. It is definitely worth giving a try in your home kitchen!

Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!






What to Get Your Friends Based on Their Favorite MU Dining Location

Finding the perfect gifts for your favorite people is hard. We’re here to help. We’ve chosen some of the dining locations on campus and curated gifts to match the personality of each spot. Whatever your friends’ faves are, they’re sure to love these gifts.


Grilled Cheese Sandwich Plush Toy

Do they live for the grilled cheese and tomato soup specials at Delish? Then they’ll love this cute-as-a-button grilled cheese plush toy to keep them warm when the sandwich isn’t available.

Personalized Sandwich KeyChain

If you both like to customize your own sandwich at Delish, they’ll love this personalized sandwich key chain. Permanently record their favorite order, or just say something nice!  

Donation to the National Mustard Museum

If they like to douse their sandwiches in that spicy, yellow condiment, make a donation on your friend’s behalf to the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin.  


This Cheesy T-Shirt

If your friends are always down for a slice of pizza from Sundial, get them this punny shirt to wear the next time y’all meet up in Armstrong!

First Stop

Buttered Toast Pillow

Does your friend love breakfast food more than Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson combined? Fuel their dreams of delicious breakfast food with this pillow that’s just too cute to eat!

Pancake Backpack

If you give your friend a pancake backpack … they’ll probably want to get First Stop with you. But would that really be a bad thing??

“Is Butter a Carb?” Phone Case

Combine your friend’s love for Mean Girls and a buttered First Stop shortstack with this trendy phone case featuring a movie line everyone knows.

La Mia Cucina

“You’re My Butter Half” Pins

Give this gift to the buttered noodles to your chicken and pesto tortellini. If you and your friend strike the perfect balance, get them this carbo-loaded pin set!

Bell Tower

“Holy Guacamole” Phone Case

Help your friend protect their phone while they’re calling people to tell them that guac isn’t extra at Bell Tower!

Wing Bar

“I Got the Sauce” Sweatshirt

Everyone knows the best part of any chicken-based meal is the sauce. Show your friends they’re the best with this cheeky sweatshirt!


“Ranch Dressing is a Blessing” Tank

If your friend knows the best way to dress an Americas’ salad is with the staple of the midwest (Ranch), they’ll love this tank. Let them express what everyone’s really thinking with this great gift.

The Q

“BBQ Scented Candle”

If The Q was the Miami University dining addition you needed this year, this candle is the one for you. Get that delicious Memphis-style BBQ scent with this candle that supports a good cause!

Miami Ice

Alphabetical Dessert Print

If your friend is going to crave baked goods over break, keep them satisfied with this scrumptious print.

Donut Temporary Tattoos

Are Miami Ice donuts on the top of your friend’s favorite foods list? If the answer is yes, let them show their dedication, at least temporarily, with these fun accessories!

Coffee Laptop Sticker

If you can always find your friend studying by Miami Ice, let them show off their one true love with this chill sticker that reps their favorite hot drink.

Tea Hive

“My Puns are Koala Tea” T-Shirt

The jokester of your friend group, or just your tea-loving friend will appreciate this pun-loving shirt. It doesn’t hurt that it’s eco-friendly and super soft.

Robot Motorcycle Donut Dark Rider Metal Sign

Do your friends go nuts over donuts? If Tea Hive is the place to be for a quick treat among friends, they might like this funky metal sign for their dorm room!

Coffee and Tea Coloring Book

Help your friends de-stress with this coloring book they can work in while they sip on their favorite Tea Hive beverage.

Pulley Diner

Fry-Day T-Shirt

Does your friend rave about Pulley’s fries? Get them this shirt so they can celebrate everyday like it’s fry-day!

Burger and Fry Earrings

If you two go together like a burger and fries or Late Night and Pulley, get them these super fun earrings for under $15!



Don’t burgle burgers, steal hearts with this quirky purse.

Burger Phone Case

Your friends will be able to protect their phones while they’re texting you about the great burger they just ate at Encounter with this festive case.


Coffee Bean Necklace

If your friend loves coffee almost as much as you love them, get them this beautiful necklace so they can wear their heart around their neck.

Coffee-Themed Poster

Does your friend constantly wish they could be swimming in a pool of coffee? This print might be exactly what they need to motivate them to achieve their dreams.

What’s New on the Menu? – Maplestreet Station

A new school year brings a new, fresh look to some of our menus with exciting new additions and different offerings that we are sure you will love. With the start of the 2016-17 school year fast approaching, we want to share some of our most anticipated menu additions with you!

Maplestreet opens this year with Starbucks in tow, after the wildly popular dining destination opened last spring. While nothing quite on that scale is in store this year, Maplestreet does have some exciting new things for you to try when classes start!

The Q

Formerly Red Brick Pizza, The Q is Miami’s very own BBQ house, offering smoked meats like pulled pork, turkey, chicken and hot dogs (okay, the hot dogs aren’t going to be smoked). The Q has its own smoker in-house and will be preparing the delectable meats right there at The Q. Sides will include items like Mac & Cheese, two types of baked beans, homemade pickles, a couple varieties of cole slaw and corn muffins. This is a prime spot for meat lovers and definitely worth a visit when you get back on campus. You can even get a hot dog topped with pulled pork or turkey!

meat tornado


Delish remains what you love about Delish with customizable sandwiches of different varieties. We are excited to announce that the ordering process has been simplified with choices between Single, Double and Triple sizes for your sandwiches. This is in an effort to streamline our service, but also to give you more control over your order size.

As you might gather, Single is for one meat, Double is for two meats and Triple is for three. When you order Double and Triple sandwiches, you can order different meats or stick to the same one, if you’re looking to “beef” up your sandwich. For example, you can purchase “The Gobbler,” which is a triple turkey sandwich.

Delish will have fried eggs as a possible sandwich item and will be serving up fresh baked cookies. Delish will also be a GET App mobile ordering option, if you’d like to order ahead, skip the line and pick-up your sandwich on your way to, or from, class!

Download the GET App for Apple and Android, or order online here.


Say hello to the Spicy Chicken Sandwich! Encounter will now be selling one of the top menu items on campus after we received a great deal of positive feedback when it was offered as a limited time offer at Encounter last year. Encounter will be serving their delicious burgers on brioche buns, which is exciting. Sweet potato fries will now be offered as well, along with cranberry ketchup (a little sweet, a little spicy), which is very much deserving of a taste test.

First Stop

Build-your-own omelettes will be available at First Stop, like Pulley Diner, allowing you to pick your own fillings and customize your breakfast. The same “build-your-own” process will apply to ordering pancakes and french toast. First Stop will now be offering made-to-order breakfast sandwiches and will be featuring three brand new breakfast bowls, which will make for wonderful early-morning treats. To-go breakfast items will be available, for those on-the-go (obviously). Finally, we are replacing the cubed home fry potatoes with shredded hash browns. Like the cubed potatoes, the shredded hash browns are a fresh potato product and go through the same preparation process, they’re just served differently.

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim is going buffet. This year, you will be able to use a buffet meal at Pacific Rim and enjoy all-you-can-eat of your Pacific Rim favorites. Made-to-order stir-fry is still available, featuring vegetable blends like Armstrong’s Mein Street, to help speed-up service. Pacific Rim’s made-to-order stir-fry is allergen-friendly with soy being the only top 8 allergen served there. Due to these considerations, the Pacific Rim stir-fry station is a wonderful spot for those with special diets (still be sure to notify staff of your allergy when ordering) and for those looking to avoid gluten.

Pacific Rim will also serve different international entrees, like pacific dishes and Indian cuisine, and will offer up some of the more traditional American menu options as well. There will be prepared salads, a pudding bar, desserts and Pacific Rim will serve brunch on the weekends. Pacific Rim is definitely an exciting location for this upcoming school year!


20160127_145651-minAmericas is still featuring a Trader’s Greens salad bar, along with the very popular quinoa bowls, but now Americas will be serving Taco Bowls as well. If you’re missing your Serrano fix, stop by Americas for street tacos or a taco bowl. Fish (cod) is now an available protein, making fish tacos a reality. Americas is also going to be serving (for dinner only) a steak dinner, so keep that in mind when you’re craving that Ribeye.


Starbucks is going to keep on, keeping on.

Keep tabs on the latest happenings in dining by following us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram! We are very excited to have you all back on campus and we can’t wait to serve you during the 2016-17 school year!

5 Classic Food Pairings and their Origins

Inspired by National Best Friends Day earlier this week and the countless people who shared pictures and kind words about the peanut butter to their jelly, we wanted to dive into one of the great discussions of our time; classic food pairings.

After all, regardless of how long you’ve been attached at the hip with your bestie, these foods have been putting up with the other for longer (presumably) and to much success.

So, let’s get started with some of the top #friendgoals (as it relates to food) around.

1. Peanut Butter & Jelly

Peanut butter and Jelly is arguably the gold-standard in terms of food pairing, going back to early childhood for many. Some might say it’s the greatest invention since sliced bread, but that would be incorrect. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich’s origin dates back to 1901, when it was first published by Julia Davis Chandler. Even though peanut butter was considered a delicacy at the time, kids latched onto the sweet combination, thus beckoning the evolution of the PB&J into the sandwich titan it is today.

Sliced bread? The process of slicing and wrapping bread wasn’t invented, at least on a commercial level, until the late 1920s by Gustav Papendick, which allowed kids to make their own PB&J without needing a potentially dangerous kitchen knife. There was no stopping this food pairing after that.

Nowadays, students can stop by our dining locations like the markets, Bell Tower Place or King Cafe during our PB&J Specials to enjoy their own creative take on the classic pairing!

Source: SeriousEats

2. Bacon & Eggs

What’s “breakfast” to you? For many, it’s the power couple that is bacon and eggs. This pairing has its roots in the 1920s when the Austrian-born Edward Bernays was brought in by Beech-Nut Packing Company to help create demand for bacon, which they sold.

Bernays, also known as the “Father of Public Relations,” went to his own agency’s doctor, asking if heavier breakfasts were a healthier option compared to the light morning meals of the time. The doctor said yes and wrote to 5,000 other doctors, asking them to confirm his findings. Major newspapers and magazines published the study, urging the public to eat heavier breakfasts, featuring the bacon and eggs combo, for their own health, which is where this food pairing truly got its start.

Bacon and eggs are available throughout the campus. Both can be found at Pulley Diner and First Stop, but our buffet locations also serve bacon and eggs intermittently as well.

Source: The American Table

3. Macaroni & Cheese

The origin of macaroni & cheese dates back a little further to the late thirteenth century in southern Italy, with the first modern form of the recipe appearing in the 1769 book The Experienced English Housekeeper written by Elizabeth Raffled.

Mac & cheese in North America, however, can trace its origins back to the early European settlers and even Thomas Jefferson. As the story goes, Jefferson was rather infatuated with macaroni & cheese, even attempting to make his own macaroni noodles to pair with imported Parmesan cheese, making for some of the earliest forms of modern macaroni & cheese on North American soil. Some sources claim that Jefferson’s daughter, Mary Randolph, is the true inventor of the dish after taking up hostess duties of the house following her mother’s death.

Years later, in 1937, Kraft took this tasty food pairing and ran with it.

Macaroni & cheese is another item found at various spots across campus, especially during special events, but also intermittently at other locations!

Sources: Food52 and CliffordAWright.com


4. Hamburger & French Fries

Hamburgers and french fries are certainly among the top food “besties” and are deserving of recognition on a list about food pairings. The origin of this combo is traced back to the early 1900s, specifically 1921, with the opening of the first White Castle in Wichita, Kansas.

Serving fast hamburgers, White Castle was in need of quick finger food to pair with their fast food offering. Around this same time, soldiers from WWII were back from Europe, craving the fried potatoes that were sold as street food in Europe. The quick and easy “meat and potatoes” combo was ultimately a match made in heaven, resulting in one of the more celebrated food pairings.

On campus, the hamburger and french fry combo is a popular meal and is one that is widely available at our dining locations. For those looking to enjoy this food pairing, check out Encounter for fresh, local beef patties, or keep your eyes peeled at most of our other locations!

Source: Huffington Post


5. Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is another tremendously popular food pairing that is a fixture of many households. While spaghetti and meatballs is considered an Italian dish, this combo is really American. Certainly the concept of noodles, marinara sauce and meat has Italian roots, but “spaghetti and meatballs” really got its start in the late 1800s and early 1900s with Italian immigrants coming to America. U.S. meat quickly took hold of the dish, combined with noodles and canned tomato sauce, called “sailor sauce,” because it was one of the few items available at local grocers. Since then, this food pairing has become a fixture of American households.

On campus, Garden Commons serves made-to-order pasta, but other locations rotate through different types of pasta. La Mia Cucina is always a good bet for some tasty spaghetti and meatballs too!

Source: Escoffier

Other Great Food Pairings

– Hummus & Pita

– Milk & Cookies

– Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

– Coffee & Donut

– Chips & Salsa

So, what do you think? What are your favorite food pairings?

Welcome Back! – What’s New this Spring?

Welcome back! After a brief hiatus for winter break and winter term, everyone is back in Oxford ready to begin spring semester. While many worked, relaxed or watched the winter weather make an abrupt 2016 introduction, we were hard at work on a variety of exciting additions for this coming semester! The buffet halls are the biggest source of excitement on campus, including Harris Dining Commons, Western Dining Commons and Garden Commons. Here are our biggest announcements:

1. Extended Hours at Harris

For some, the breaks in buffet hall hours (especially between lunch and dinner) were a source of frustration. Now, in order to account for students whose schedules don’t always play nice with buffet lunch hours, we are extending the hours at Harris Dining Hall. Monday through Thursday, Harris will be open from 7:30 AM until 10:30 AM and then will be open again from 11 AM until 8 PM, remaining open through lunch and dinner. This – compared to closing from 2 PM until 5 PM last semester – will give students a buffet dining option outside of standard lunch and dinner meal times!

It is important to mention that not every station will be available from 2 PM until 5 PM, with the “hot” stations needing time to cook and prepare food for the dinner service, but that brings us to the next exciting announcement…

2. The Deli Bar

Harris is adding a Deli Bar! Students will now be able to stop by Harris and build their own deli sandwich at the new Harris Deli Bar. The new station will offer a variety of sandwich toppings and even a daily “party dip” option (spinach artichoke dip… etc.), providing students with a customizable healthy option for lunch, dinner and, now, the time in between. The Salad, Soup and Fruit Bars will also be open throughout the new extended hours, offering even more healthy options throughout the middle part of the day. However, if you’re more interested in grabbing some ice cream, that area will be also available during the extend time to satisfy your sweet-tooth.

To go along with the addition of a Deli Bar at Harris, Western Dining Commons is adding a Deli Bar as well. Much like the one at Harris, students will be able to pick from a variety of deli options and make their own sandwich their way. The Western Deli Bar will only be open during standard hours of operation, as Harris is the only buffet hall extending their hours.

Students who call Garden Commons their “home” dining location needn’t feel left out though, as their Deli Station from last semester returns with only minor revisions meant to make the station more prominent for students who are looking for the custom, deli sandwich experience. Be sure to give that a try the next time you’re at Garden!

3. Menu Additions

This semester, our focus is providing and exposing students to an increased variety of healthy options. That includes more vegan and vegetarian entrees at buffet halls and other new look items like composed vegan/vegetarian salads available at buffet salad bars.

New vegan breakfast items will be available at the different buffet halls (like vegan muffins). Other accommodations have been made for those looking to keep up their healthy eating New Year’s resolutions like making meatless options more accessible and offering more veggie side dishes at Campus Grill locations. Vegan crumbles and tofu will be available at breakfast upon request, as will other vegan/vegetarian alternatives. Kale will be making an appearance on campus this semester and hot cereal/oatmeal dishes will be available at our buffet locations for breakfast.

Now, don’t fret meat-lovers, your favorites are still available. In fact, the Campus Grill locations are introducing a new daily “specialty item” which will be a hot, unique sandwich like a Philly Cheesesteak or a Meatball Sub, which rotates daily. The Campus Grill will also be rotating through a variety of different chicken dishes and even different types of fries.

4. Location Specific Additions for the Buffets

Harris: Miami Spice will be open at lunch. On Saturdays, Harris will be serving made-to-order omelettes and Harris will serve crepes on Sundays.

Western: Mashed Potato Bowls will be available once again at the International Station (when you first walk in on the right) on rotation with tacos, burritos and more. Be sure to check MyTray to see what is being served when. There will be more pizza flavors and the Grill & Roast station will offer more items this semester.

Garden: Made-to-order pasta will be available over at Caio, offering students the opportunity to customize their pasta dishes. Additionally, more specialty pasta sauces will be available. Whole wheat pasta will also cycle in at that location. Look for a couple new stir fry recipes at Zen Garden.

5. Elsewhere

Haines’ Boulangerie: Kale has been added to the menu and there is a new Chipotle Chicken Salad Wrap that deserves your undivided attention.

Sundial: Tortellini Tuesday is a thing! Tortellini will be offered at Sundial on Tuesdays, which is always a good thing.

Pulley Diner: You can now order a veggie side instead of fries. In the early going, we recommend that you ask for the substitution when you order.

First Stop: First Stop is now opening at 7 AM on weekdays. Between 7 AM and 10 AM, students can grab a quick To-Go breakfast sandwich with a coffee as a part of our new combo!

What’s New on the Menu? – Maplestreet Station (2015)

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

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/Encounter/Delish/Patisserie

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!

Cincinnati Eggs Benedict Recipe

Who doesn’t want their very own Cincinnati Eggs Benedict recipe from Maplestreet Station’s First Stop? Oh, and as an added bonus, here are some egg poaching tips.


Cincinnati Eggs Benedict

  • 1.5 C – Sausage gravy, prepared
  • 6 – Fresh eggs
  • .5 lb – Goetta
  • 3 oz – Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 – Plain English muffins
  • 1 tb – Unsalted butter

Form goetta into patties. Place in heated pan and cook until golden brown. Prepare 2 poached eggs. Toast English muffins and lightly butter. Top with goetta patty, then egg, gravy, and cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 3 servings.

Now, if egg poaching is new to you, or you just want an expert’s tips, we have some advice, courtesy of Miami University’s talented and knowledgeable chefs.

Egg Poaching Tips

  • Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water to help keep the egg white together and intact.
  • Water should be at a gentle simmer.
  • Use fresh eggs for better result.
  • Depending on how runny or set you like your yolk, cooking 3-5 minutes should be perfect.