As experienced veterans of the past year or two of college visits, many of you have developed a full appreciation for that crucial evaluation of a university: The taste test.
You may have heard that Virginia Tech dining placed No. 1 on The Princeton Review’s Best Campus Food list in 2007 and 2009, in addition to placing in the top 10 in the past several years.
“As a dining team, we are dedicated to providing great service and great food,” said Rick Johnson, director of housing and dining services.
Students have a variety of choices of on-campus dining options that range from buffets such as D2 and Shultz, to coffee shops such as Au Bon Pain and Deet’s Place, to food courts such as Hokie Grill & Co.,
West End Market and Owens Food Court.
“Virginia Tech dining has great variety,” Johnson said. “We have a variety of facilities, and each restaurant has a different menu. We also have national brands including Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, Sbarro, Au Bon
Pain and Carvel, and those are a part of your meal plan, too.”
Tech also offers many options for health-conscious students.
“We’re got a lot of healthy options. Olives, located in D2, is a vegan/vegetarian area, but we’ve also got a lot of non-vegetarian students who eat there too,” Johnson said. “In all the dining halls, there is a good variety of salads and healthy options in addition to the more traditional options.”
“We have a administrative dietician on our staff, and we’ve made that investment because we believe in it,” he said.
Dining Services is also making efforts to make dining on campus more sustainable.
“We started composting food waste a year ago, and we have increased recycling. We are working with vendors to find local products, and are currently introducing a reusable beverage container to be used in the dining halls,” Johnson said.
As the student body has grown, causing a demand to expand dining, more dining halls were envisioned.
“The new dining facility is simply going to be awesome,” Johnson said. “This is our next evolution of dining on campus.”
Scheduled for completion by July 2012, it will be located between Randolph Hall and the ICTAS building. Situated on the academic side of campus, the new dining hall is designed in part to be more convenient to students between classes.
“There will be national brands such as Bruegger’s Bagels, Qdoba, and Jamba Juice. Then we’re going to have a Teppanyaki Grill, which will be much like Kabuki in Christiansburg. It will feature four grill stations of ten seats each and there will be a chef right there in front of you to prepare your food. There will also be a bistro, and a soup, salad and bread station,” said Johnson.
On-campus students have two options in their dining plans, which are the larger Mega Flex Plan and the smaller Major Flex Plan. Off-campus students can purchase the Minor Flex Plan at about half the cost of the larger plans. These three plans have a base cost that covers overhead costs with the remaining dollars eligible for a discount on food
“Because we have an a-la-carte meal plan style, budgeting money over the year is very important,” Johnson advised. “D2, being an all-you-care-to-eat dining hall, is a great place to make your dollars go
But don’t be too worried if you fear that you will run out of meal plan money before the end of the semester. Money can always be added to your meal plan online through HokieSpa or at any of the machines