Washington Square News | The unpleasant reality of the NYU dining room

Search Google for the nearest vegan restaurant near you and get only two options within five miles. Eat before dinner with friends a well-balanced meal with pre-portions in case there is nothing gluten-free on the menu. Creating a dinner order is as challenging as the latest popular TikTok Starbucks drink.

If you have dietary restrictions that force you to exclude certain foods from your diet, these situations may be familiar to you. In addition to all the other pressures you have to juggle in college – science, social life, well-being – the last thing you want to worry about is finding proper food.

On the campuses of Manhattan and Brooklyn New York University, canteens provide a variety of food options with certain dietary restrictions. In Brooklyn, there are only two options: Jasper Kane Cafe and Bridgeview Market. If you live in Manhattan, there is more to choose from. Page on the NYU website lists restaurants with different dietary options.

(Image via NYU)

At first glance, it seems that NYU has many options. Each canteen contains at least two dietary restrictions.

For example, the kosher diner in Weinstein’s Dining Room is a 100% kosher program controlled by KOF-K and includes a Saturday meal on Friday, while NYU Eats at Lipton is 100% certified by the Halal Alliance of Food Standards Alliance. The Jasper Kane Café and Kimmel Marketplace also have halal dishes for lunch and dinner.

NYU has the basics of a strong selection of alternative restaurants, but the reality of eating at New York University canteen leaves much to be desired. Anagu Menon, a freshman from Tandon freshman, was not surprised by the New York University restaurant chart.

“Vegetarian options are certainly available, but not the best,” Menon said. “Food will be soft or uncooked perfectly. Usually it’s just a repetition of the same dishes: rice, soup or cooked vegetables. There aren’t many seafood options here either. “

These seafood options, she added, are often limited to sushi of questionable quality.

“The sushi I tried was pretty … interesting,” Menon said. “There were salty crackers with tuna and it was sold as a special sushi chef.”

Manhattan campus students have similar reviews. Mosiah Smith, a vegan Tish Jr., frequently visited Downstein, Palladium, and Lipton until this routine became unbearable.

“Honestly, ‘Repeat’ is the best word you’ve ever come up with,” Smith said. “All the time the same food with small variations, which, of course, always require some seasoning. It just wasn’t enough to feel hot or useful enough to visit the dining room ”.

Smith faced challenges every time he wanted to eat at New York University, and eventually turned to options outside the dining room to eat hearty and meet his dietary restrictions.

Recently, however, new options have been added to dining halls in Washington Square and the Brooklyn campus. New vegan and vegetarian sandwiches are available at Upstein and Palladium, and vegan dressings are available at salad bars. As for protein options, NYU Eats has introduced PAOW – a soy-based meat substitute – in all canteens.

“NYU Dining takes our students’ dietary restrictions very seriously and makes every effort to ensure that all students have healthy nutritional options in our canteens, ”said Ronnie Mandel, Director of Communications at Campus Services. As for the issue of repetition, Mandela said that every day as an option there are rice, vegetables and legumes, so students will have a balanced diet.

While the latest measures, such as menu updates and new food stations, are a step forward, students with dietary restrictions deserve truly diverse and full-fledged options. Allowing more student participation will be a great way to improve the dining experience for all New York University students.

Contact Aditi Sharma at [email protected]

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