Bon Appétit, reviewed: a maggot-free, luxury experience

BRIDGET EARLY | OPINION EDITOR | bfearly@butler.edu

MADELEINE LUCCHETTI | OPINION EDITOR | mlucchet@butler.edu

Last Thursday, three Butler Collegian opinion writers flew through the western Indiana cornfields for a dinner date at DePauw University in order to get a taste of what Butler students can expect from the new dining service next year. Our time exploring Bon Appétit was like something out of “Oliver Twist” — “Please sir, can I have some more?” — and after an evening enjoying FDA-approved cafeteria food, we present to you a highly polished, professional review of the Michelin-starred foods we sampled.

Salad bar

The most important feature of the salad bar was the bug-free array of fresh vegetables — though, if you’re looking for protein, there are plenty of options served daily. Bon Appétit locally sources 30 percent of their produce at DePauw, and what they don’t serve fresh, they pickle and preserve for later. From arugula to zucchini, DePauw students are fortunate enough to have 20 different vegetables to mix n’ match. I’m jealous. 3.5/5 stars. — Bridget Early

Opinion Editor Madeleine Lucchetti and the love of her life.

Pizza

Baked by the Tuscan sun, or by a Greencastle, Indiana pizza oven? You’d never know the difference. Maybe it’s that our taste buds have been deadened by Aramark’s cardboard crusts, but this slice was heavenly. The cheese tasted, uh, real. The novelty! And the sauce wasn’t doubling as taco seasoning from the Mexican station. Each dinnertime, DePauw students are treated to three pizza variations — and that’s amore. 3.5/5 stars. — Madeleine Lucchetti   

Peri Peri chicken & dining hall protein

Single-muscle protein. DePauw practically has the phrase in neon lights, and for good reason: Bon Appetit’s locally-sourced, non-processed beef, pork and chicken moves from farm to fork within days. We’ll leave the details of that one to your imagination.  The peri peri chicken was tender and well-spiced, a far cry from the sandpaper most of us choked down our freshman year. We snagged a salad and some couscous and dug in. More food for thought: flank steaks, served in the dining hall on a weekly basis. For those of us with $12 in our bank accounts, a prepaid, restaurant-quality cut of meat sounds like Christmas. 4.5/5 stars. — Early

Veggie burger and fries

It’s always delightful to bite into a veggie burger in which you can see the actual, you know, veggies, instead of a brown congealment of mystery soy, overcooked to dirt-like consistency that dries the roof of your mouth. Mmmm. Vegetarians, rejoice, for the patty is made of visible beans, corn, and water chestnuts. It wasn’t tonged out of an aluminum tray, and didn’t spend hours under a heat lamp, either. Rather, I gave my order to a nice lady, who asked which of five cheeses I’d prefer atop it. The chef tossed a fresh patty on the grill, topped it with sharp cheddar, and slid it into a soft multigrain roll. I was astounded. 4/5 stars. — Lucchetti

Desserts

Although anyone who’s ever set foot in Atherton knows that the soft-serve machine is an indomitable favorite, Bon Appetit’s array of pastries, cookies and pies would have Mary Berry swooning. In fact, during our tour of the kitchens, Executive Chef Chad Melinger offered me an entire pie for the road. Atherton could never. Bon Appetit makes and bakes all of their desserts in-house, meaning that you’re guaranteed gooey, fresh-baked brownies any time you step foot in the dining hall. 4/5 stars. — Early

One corner of the DePauw dessert bar.

Tostadas

The station that served tostadas offers pastas and noodles on some occasions, but is just as frequently used to serve entrees from across the globe. Crisp lettuce and cilantro, flavorful tomatoes and well-seasoned beans and chicken were all readily available to pile atop freshly-fried tortillas. Concept: “variety” in a dining hall means more than Americanized calories. 3/5 stars. — Early

News Editor Jessica Lee overjoyed after finding fresh kimchi, her favorite!

The “allergen oasis”

The Butler Collegian would like to offer a sincere apology to any student with dietary restrictions who has had to navigate the hellscape of potential contamination in Atherton. There’s a bright light on the horizon, however: Bon Appetit actively avoids sending students into anaphylaxis! Hurrah. DePauw’s dining hall has an established “allergen oasis” that stands completely separate from the other stations. Equipped with non-dairy and non-nut refrigerators, drawers and shelves of gluten-free breads, cookies and snacks — plus several allergy-free meal options — students can feel comfortable dining without risking their lives. Et tu, Aramark? 5/5 stars. — Early

Coffee

Not burnt. 5/5 stars. — Lucchetti

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