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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Cafeteria Cuisine

Cafeteria+Cuisine
Cafeteria Cuisine

Ah, the school cafeteria – an oasis of exotic foods: sushi, ham and cheese sandwiches, muffins, crisp veggies, fruits picked at the height of perfection, freshly brewed coffee made from beans flown straight from Columbia in airtight containers to preserve their savory flavor, and authentic American burgers straight from the King of Burgers himself! When you walk through the double glass doors, a cheery hostess with a perpetual smile on her face greets you. After a quick exchange of pleasantries, your eyes take in all the delectable sights, each one making your mouth water and your tummy rumble…

Okay, so that’s a bit of a dramatization. In fact, I don’t think any offer to grab a bite to eat at the cafeteria has ever had me wiggling in my boots with excitement.

At UMB, our cafeteria is operated by Sodexo, a well-respected leader in the food service industry. Sodexo is an exceptional business that strives to bring healthy, good quality food to the students and faculty of UMB, and is a proud recipient of various notable awards. None of these awards pertain to the taste of the food they serve. Although the business is exceptional, the food is less than delectable and just barely above bearable. The coffee makes you cringe – but gets the job done – and the ham and cheese sandwiches are soggy; but it’s a school cafeteria, not your mother’s home-style cooking, and definitely not as cheap.

For about eight bucks you can get yourself a wrap and a drink. Add on another buck-twenty and you’ve got a sugar cookie dessert. However, if you’re like me and always appreciate the taste of an exceptional cookie, then theirs are worth every penny. They may even be worth the massive line at the check-out. In terms of the joint initiative between UMB and Sodexo to bring healthy, high quality food to our campus, I always get a kick out of the massive lunch line at the Burger King counter. Apparently they both realize that college kids are more inclined to buy what tastes good rather than what may be reasonably better for them.

But, everything considered, we’re pretty lucky for the setup that we have, with the delicious cookies, fresh salad bar, and morning pastries. And although they’re expensive, the wraps typically aren’t that bad. Plus, you can feel slightly proud of yourself whenever you’ve ordered the proper one you want because the moment you get up at the glass to finally see what ingredients they have, you better be ready to place your order. The chefs making your lunch refuse to wait for anyone, nor will they forgive you for even the slightest hesitation. They make being able to order what you want something of a UMB initiation. I know that I have had countless experiences when I’ve ordered something ridiculous by calling out the first ingredients that popped into my head. You definitely have to be on top of your game to order from them.

In addition to the humor often found at the wrap counter, the service is great! The amiable hostess at the door always makes my mornings a bit cheerier, and the guy rushing people for their sandwich order always has something clever to say. So, even though the food may not live up to your well-developed palate, for a public school’s cafeteria, you can’t complain.

Now, if only I can get my hands