The University of Connecticut’s Department of Dining Services has updated the dining halls and retail locations’ menus to include new items for the Spring 2023 semester. From new sandwiches at cafes, to fresh crepes at North, to more Korean options at McMahon, all dining locations are to include changes based on community feedback.
“Many of our menu changes actually come from students or community members,” said Rob Landolphi, the culinary department’s associate director.
According to Landolphi, students or faculty will often ask that a specific dish be made, or they might even suggest a home recipe of their own. When that happens, UConn Dining’s staff will test out the item and keep it on the menu for the whole term if people seem to like it.
“We get feedback from students, [and] that’s when we create recipes and put them on our menus as specials,” he said. “If we get great feedback, then we put it on the menu [to stay for longer].”
In fact, multiple requests from customers at Union Street Market convinced Dining Services to add more shrimp and salmon options to the dishes sold there.
“Actually, some of the requests were [about if we] could get more dishes with shrimp,” Landolphi added. “Those changes came from feedback from community members wanting more options for seafood.”
The new USM menu now includes Bibimbap Bowl with Steak or Shrimp, Honey Chicken/Salmon Bowl, Katsudon Bowl with Pork and Philly Cheese Steak Grinders.
Dining halls will also include new additions, such as a weekly crepe bar at North, Middle Eastern dishes at Northwest and Korean-inspired food at McMahon.
The menu at Northwest includes hummus, dips, salads such as Tabbouleh Salad, Edamame Guacamole and homemade pita bread.
From the beginning, McMahon’s dining hall has been known for its international cuisine. Now, the dining hall is expected to have more Korean dishes such as Gochugaru Chile with Kimchi mac and cheese.
“For McMahon, we do a lot more international cuisine because of Global House,” Landolphi said. “So, we managed to get some new spices and sauces and things. We’re trying to do a fusion between Korean and American [cuisines].”
According to Landolphi, UConn’s cafes will have new sandwiches, and especially gluten-free options such as a new egg sandwich offered at CrossRoads.
UConn’s newest cafe, nanoByte, will include an expanded dessert line, with items such as lemon squares, chocolate chunk brownies and a new two-colored brownie/blondie blend, Landolphi said.
As of right now, Dining Services is introducing these menu changes for the first time, and whether or not the changes will stay for the whole term will depend heavily on feedback and popularity.
Students and community members are encouraged to leave feedback and any requests through the contact form on UConn Dining’s website.