New Dining Experiences

by Meghan Kyle ’13

The aroma of coffee brewing at Cornerstone Coffeehouse fills the air. Students scatter throughout the amphitheater doing homework in the warm, afternoon sun. Herds of people trek from East to West Campus to get to class on time. School has arrived. Over the summer, Azusa Pacific made changes to the dining facilities throughout campus. The new school year brings new menus, more options, added space, and an overall better experience for students eating on campus. One of the most exciting changes that occurred is the expansion of Cougar Walk and its new barbeque menu. “Students can choose from four southern-style sandwiches that Pam Crute, our head banquet chef, developed with the help of her secret family recipes,” said Samuel Samaan, director of hospitality services. Cougar Walk BBQ provides a quick, delicious lunch and more seating for students to have a relaxing time with friends.
The newly named 1899 Dining Hall also received some upgrades. “The chefs developed new menus that meet the food trends and students’ appetites,” said Samaan. “There is now a pasta station that provides a variety of fresh ingredients, a Pho station, meats cooked on a rotisserie, and an upscale deli and salad service that gives delectable, healthy choices.” Next to the 1899 Dining Hall is the home of the Mexicali Grill, the newest dining venue on campus. The grill has a Latin American Cuisine menu that offers burritos, quesadillas, tacos, salads, and burrito bowls. “The venue will have serving lines that accommodate more students, making it easier to obtain their food,” said Samaan. Another improvement on East Campus is the Cougars' Den Café. It serves deli sandwiches and features a hot wing station, giving students more choices for grabbing a quick bite to eat. On West Campus, in Heritage Court, the Canyon Grill added a new express Chinese food line with entrees such as chow mien and egg rolls. Just around the corner in the Hall of Champions, Umai Sushi offers a teriyaki bowl along with sushi selections. And, if there is not enough time in the day, you can now order meals online through Webfood. According to Samaan, planning for these changes usually takes anywhere from six months to a year. “The process starts by having a new idea, working through the process of creating space, budget, and approvals, and finally, implementation of the idea,” he said. With the addition of new menu items and different cuisines, this year students are in for a treat. “The updated dining venues are great!” said junior nursing major Alexa Funk ’13. “I’m glad they tried something new in almost each dining area. We now have more selection as to what we get to eat.”