The recent Hop Cafe changes provide students with superficially healthy options: the salad counter, the refrigerated wraps and sandwiches. As previously established, the breakfast options are now essentially limited to Greek yogurt and muffins. However, during lunch and dinner, the salad bar supposedly creates a diverse array of nutritional options.
At closer inspection, the salad counter falls short in a few ways. Yesterday, I purchased the tomato-mozzarella salad with the addition of avocado. The menu claims I would be given a salad consisting of diced tomato, fresh mozzarella, walnuts, cucumber, balsamic vinaigrette and spinach. First, the overall salad lacked in flavor. The ingredients all suffered from a similar frigidity that disagrees with the palette. Spinach is normally the sidekick in any salad. It is essentially an iron-rich vehicle for other better-tasting ingredients. In this salad, spinach was the hero, as the other ingredients suffered from hypothermia. In particular, the tomatoes clearly had survived an assault that was only worsened by being hastily chopped and frozen. I personally love walnuts, and I looked forward to their presence in my salad. However, the walnuts were so finely chopped they fell to the bottom of my bowl along with the excessive amount of dressing. My salad lacked so much in flavor I went back to get a supplementary snack.
When I walked back through the cafe trolling for a semi-healthy snack (no need to ruin my health commitment since I already endured half of the gritty tomatoes), I became frustrated by the pricey fruit cups. Pre-packaged, pre-chopped fruit is not worth $5.50. The salad itself cost $7.50. There is a $2.50 additional charge for each added ingredient. For beloved avocado, I could hypothetically forgive this, if the avocado met some freshness standards. However, $2.50 for additional shredded carrots or tortilla strips seems exorbitant.
In short, my salad did not provide an energy boost and created some minor stress as I watched my DBA amount dwindle.