We have all been there. We want a fancy meal to enjoy with our date, wing or group of friends, but a burrito from the Hub, although delicious, doesn’t quite merit a swanky outfit and curled hair. Fancy dining options in Orange City are few, and few people volunteer to drive to Sioux City for a meal.
In the past, we would’ve resorted to eating that burrito in our comfiest pair of sweatpants — again. Starting on Oct. 15, however, Sodexo is excited to announce the newest and potentially greatest fine dining alternative for students, faculty and staff.
Crave is a new Sodexo program that offers a restaurant experience on campus. On each Crave night, Vermeer South will be set up like a restaurant. Sodexo staff members will double as waiters — taking guests’ food orders and delivering delicious dishes to them.
“Crave can act as a nice change of pace for students, and it will create excitement for the Sodexo staff as well,” said Ned Price, General Manager of Campus Dining.
In the week prior to each Crave night, groups or couples can make reservations to ensure a spot in Vermeer South. The night of the event, ID cards will be scanned, as usual, and a small amount will be taken from flex accounts to cover the extra cost. The flex charge may range from $6 – $10, depending on the night’s menu.
The theme for the first Crave night is Italian. Anticipated menu items include an Italian wedge salad, lemon and thyme seared chicken breast with fettuccine and broccoli rabe, parmesan artichoke hearts served with fire-roasted tomato sauce, wild mushroom lasagna with a rich cream sauce and white chocolate crème brûlèe.
Each individual will choose their own appetizer, entrée and dessert, and each of the side dishes will be served family-style around the tables.
“Crave is an opportunity for the culinary team to be challenged and produce items that cannot always be done in a cafeteria setting,” said Head Chef Benjamin Whitmore.
Typical caf food often restricts the Sodexo staff from showing off the full extent of their culinary skills.
“Many of the staff come from fine dining restaurant backgrounds, and having the chance to replicate some of the dishes we prepared for our guests in those settings for the students at Northwestern is a challenge we are prepared to work towards,” Whitmore said.
Sodexo first implemented Crave last year in cafeterias around the nation, and it has been a huge success. NW will add its own flair to the program that will make it different from the others.
“I’m really excited to create a different atmosphere in Vermeer South,” said Hilary Horigan, Catering Manager. “The room will be transformed.”
The goal is to hold a Crave night once a month, with each having a different theme. Other theme ideas include Brazilian and Thai.
Another possibility that students may see in the future is an expansion of this program to the Hub that offers special meal options around fun themes like Bodacious Burgers, Stone Steakhouse and the Seafood House.
During Crave, the Hub and caf will still be open for all students. The event is anticipated to be available on weeknights throughout the year, as many students are off campus during weekends for athletics and other activities.
“We want everyone to be able to enjoy Crave, so between menu items and event dates, we’ll mix it up,” Price said.
Next week there will be a table set up in the caf with information on reserving a spot in Vermeer South for the first Crave night.
“A lot of really neat things are happening in the caf this year,” Horigan said.
To stay updated on Crave and other Sodexo opportunities and to get a chance to win prizes, like “Northwestern College Campus Dining” on Facebook and follow @campusdiningNWC on Instagram.