By Caitlyn I. Letterii and Patrick D. Hood
Join Caitlyn Letterii, resident vegetarian and self-proclaimed picky eater, and Patrick Hood, a man who will try anything at least twice, as they explore and critique the cheap eats available around the Bronx and Rose Hill campus.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)
As we meditate on these wise words from America’s only Catholic president, we should apply them to our current circumstances. These are turbulent times for our fragile republic, and with Aramark usurping Sodexo as the provider of campus food, the people need to know the truth. That’s why Sweet ‘n’ Sour is back on the case. And this time, it’s personal.
CL: Pat, I cannot believe that we are here food reviewing all over again. It’s just like the olden times.
PH: It sure has been a long summer, but I am raring to go and give the people what they want.
CL: Mediocre food reviews!
PH: Exactamundo mi compadre. That’s why we’re back, and boy do we have a brand spanking new review just for all you Rams out there.
CL: We wanted to answer the question that’s been hot on everybody’s lips: How does Aramark measure up to Sodexo? As a caf lover, I never hated Sodexo like some of my more picky peers. It was fine. And to cut to the chase, the new caf is essentially a carbon copy of the old caf.
PH: Yeah, it’s basically the exact same place. Sure there are some small changes, like the addition of a pick your own pickle jar by the sandwich station and a self-serve bagel station, which is great for all you DIY fans out there.
CL: My personal favorite change is the addition of some rustic baskets that are tres chic and hold a lot of the bread. It’s very Martha Stewart, so maybe Aramark picked it up from her when she was in jail! Cause they also feed prisons, and not very well (look it up sheeple).
PH: Yeah, there are some skeletons in this company’s closet, but we are first and foremost professionals and won’t be influenced by such baseless accusations of human rights violations having taken place under Aramark’s care in prisons in states including, but not limited to, Michigan, Ohio, and New Jersey (look it up sheeple).
CL: Yeah I don’t love that track record, but I can tell you what I do love.
PH: And what is that Caitlyn?
CL: Those made-to-order egg sandwiches! Located where they serve grilled chicken at lunch, one of the lovely chefs will make your brekkie sandwich any way you want it. And that’s the way you need it.
PH: For my caf breakfast I went with a bagel and lox schmear to see how Aramark handles this NYC favorite. Although I made it myself (see aforementioned DIY bagel station), really I just saw how I handle this NYC favorite, and I must say I do not handle it well. I could blame Aramark’s ingredients, but only a poor craftsman blames his tools.
CL: Since we were in the caf for three more hours after we finished breakfast we also got to experience a lunch at the caf, Aramark-style. I indulged in an orzo salad, beans and pasta. While the orzo was actually really tasty, the beans and pasta were just alright.
PH: For my lunch, I had a pesto and tomato pizza with a side of pommes frites. Having spent a month in Italy this summer, I have developed a rather refined palate when it comes to pizza, so trust me when I say that it was extremely okay. I mean, it’s caf pizza. Just go to Pugsley’s or something if you want anything good.
CL: The basic takeaway from the caf is that it will never be good, no matter who the provider is. No, what really matters at the end of the day is the company you keep.
PH: Couldn’t have said it better myself amigo. You know what time it is?
CL: Sure do! It’s time to give our world famous, Sweet ‘n’ Sour ratings! I’m giving the caf a lukewarm Sweet rating of three out of five stars. The food is exactly the same as Sodexo’s and aside from a few positive switch-ups, like the egg sandwich station, nothing was radically exciting or different. I’m definitely still an overall fan of the caf, so I can’t really complain. What about you Pat?
PH: While I do appreciate how Aramark really maintained the spirit and culture of the caf, as well as contributing much-needed tweaks like the pickle jar, the food is just about the same quality as Sodexo. I am pretty sure if you put Aramark into Google Translate for German it comes out as “just okay”.
With this all in mind, I’m giving Aramark’s spin on the caf only a slightly better score than I would have given Sodexo: 3.1 out of 5 stars. While unenthusiastic, this is technically a Sweet rating.
CL: Call me a romantic, but though I no longer have a meal plan on campus, the caf will always have a special place in my heart, no matter how lackluster the food may be.
PH: Lord Tennyson could not have said it better.
– You should try the pickles from the pick-your-own pickle jar and the made-to-order egg sandwiches.
– You should pass on pizza, unless you really want it for some reason.
The Marketplace (AKA the Caf, unless you’re a frickin’ loser)
441 East Fordham Road, Mcginley Center, Bronx, NY 10458
Monday-Thursday:7:30AM-8:00PM, Friday 7:30AM-7:00PM, Saturday: 10:00AM-7:00PM, Sunday: 10:00AM-8:00PM
(Late night offer Sunday-Thursday: 8:00PM-10:00PM)
Price: One meal swipe or real money (just get a freshman to swipe you in).