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New campus dining options coming

Norris Center will feature several new concepts

Allison Hall dining
Dining halls will offer personalized experiences. Photo by Jim Prisching

In an effort to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse campus population, Northwestern University and its new food service provider, Compass Group, will introduce several initiatives this fall to be more inclusive in its dining options.

All residential dining halls will offer meals that meet the needs of students with allergens and special diets, including halal and kosher foods, Compass Group said.

In addition, dining options on campus will include an array of new restaurant options and markets, including popular brands Juicy Lucy, The Budlong, Asiana Foodville and MOD Pizza, as well as Plum Market.

“Food is our passion and we love staying up with current food trends,” said Nadeem Zafar, division president, Central, for Chartwells Higher Education within Compass Group. “We know that students need to feel confident and comfortable that they can enter a location and enjoy the foods that fit their lifestyles.”

New options include local and well-known brands.

As part of the program, the food service provider will launch a digital allergen card program and use a variety of messaging tools to identify dishes and their ingredients. Compass also plans to launch a dining website and app that will show which foods are offered, along with their nutritional content.

The dining halls also will offer personalized experiences with individually prepared dishes.

In addition, Compass will offer grants to student organizations to help them cater their events.

“We understand the value of an active campus and we are excited to support the effort these groups put forth to create a dynamic campus experience by allocating funds that can be used for catering at their events,” said Michael Bennett, district manager for Chartwells.

The change in food service providers also will usher in a new set of on-campus restaurants and markets, including the following local and well-known brands:

Juicy Lucy, a restaurant by Evanston restaurateur Amy Morton, known for her popular local establishments Found and The Barn, will offer locally sourced, fresh, healthy food that will “feed the soul but not break the bank.” Along with what it calls “clean American grub,” Juicy Lucy will offer a large beverage selection, from matcha to milkshakes. Juicy Lucy will be located in Norris University Center.

The Budlong Hot Chicken will serve “Nashville Hot Chicken,” handcrafted in Chicago using locally sourced chickens that are antibiotic and hormone free. Created by Chicago restaurateur Jared Leonard, Budlong is known for its classic southern biscuits, greens and other traditional Southern fare. It also will be located in Norris.

MOD Pizza, also in Norris, will offer completely customizable, individually sized artisan pizzas and salads that are made-to-order and served quickly. Diners can choose from more than 30 toppings, adding as many as they want at no additional cost.

Asiana Foodville brings an authentic Asian dining experience to Norris Center. The restaurant will feature a hand-rolled sushi bar and chefs that specialize in pan-Asian cuisine, including dishes from China, India, Pakistan, Japan, Korea and Thailand. The menu will include vegetarian and vegan options, along with noodles, satays and soups.

Asiana Foodville chefs are trained at culinary institutes in Asia and receive hands-on training and development. The restaurant also guides recent refugees along the path to citizenship, providing them with necessary job skills and income.

“As a first-generation immigrant from South Korea, I was not satisfied with my meals throughout my years in college,” said Asiana Foodville Owner Jason Lee. “I became passionate about bringing healthy and authentic Asian choices to campus.”

In addition to those restaurants, Plum Market will open this fall at Lisa’s Café in Slivka Hall, offering a mix of natural, organic and specialty products. The market’s slogan, “Live Well, with Taste,” encompasses the brand’s mission of providing foods in a sophisticated environment. Plum Market will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Topics: Campus Life

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