Residential restaurants preview several themed dinners for the year

Students were transported from America to Italy during the “Taste of Italy” themed dinner.

From chicken parmesan to Mama Mucci chicken broccoli alfredo and Toscano shrimp, students filled their plates with several spicy and tasty dishes.

Central Michigan’s Campus Dining decided to give students a break from the common meals served on campus and surprised them and their taste buds.

Sophomore Kelsey Dillon attended the themed dinner at Fresh Food Company (FFCo).  She said as soon as she walked in, she automatically felt the Italian vibe and thought they did a good job capturing the theme.

“I was impressed by how they set up the tables and everything like that because usually it’s just the same repetitive old thing,” Dillon said. “So it was nice they put in effort every once in a while to make it nice.”

Assistant Marketing Manager Pam Miller said over the summer the campus dining staff focused on providing students with a better variety of food for this year.

The residential restaurants will offer several “Limited Time Only” dishes throughout the fall and spring semesters and, of course, more themed dinners.

“Themed dinners in the residential restaurants create a compelling, fun experience for our CMU students,” Miller said in an email. “It is also a natural opportunity for students to gather together and attend an event to dine together. Overall, it creates a more satisfying, dynamic experience four our students, which is always our goal.”

Dillon remembers attending the themed dinners as a freshman and loved them. She normally looks forward to these events because of the variety and tasting something new.

In the past, the response to the themed dinners has been successful. Miller said there is normally a good turnout for the events.

“Our goal is to host a minimum of two small special events each month where one station features a special menu as well as one large event each month,” Miller said.

The small events are opportunities where Campus Dining can be creative and think of fun new themes to appeal to a diverse amount of students on campus.

For the large events, everything on the menu will be altered to fit a specific theme. Typically, the large event each month tends to follow specific holidays or certain CMU events.

From the “Harvest Dinner” to the “Winter Wonder Gala,” students can expect multiple surprises from the restaurants on campus.

“Winter Wonder Gala is a time-honored special event that we host every year in anticipation of holiday break,” Miller said. “The holidays are a time to celebrate good company and great food, which is exactly what the event is meant to accomplish. We offer prime rib, shrimp cocktail, apple-mushroom-butternut squash, vegetarian roast and a hot cocoa bar, just to name off a few items.”

Students can also plan to see new events such as the “Eat Well, Live Well” event in the fall and the “Spring Fling BBQ Bling” event in the spring.

Miller said students will be able to vote for foods they love to have through CMU’s Campus Dining Facebook page for the “Fan Favorites” event. The item with the most votes will be featured in residential restaurants for a certain event in late February.

Campus Dining will also be hosting a new event called “Eat Well, Live Well.” Miller calls the event an “educational” one and said the menu will not change from the regularly scheduled menu, but the staff will be sharing information about the resources Campus Dining offers for health awareness, community, and sustainability.


Photo | Charnae Sanders, Food & Beverage Editor