Marketplace dining: A picked-apart review of each station

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Photo courtesy of Jenelle Johnson.

The dessert section inside of Bartels Hall, West Haven

Charlotte Basset, Contributing Writer

One aspect of college that we don’t look into as much as academics, yet is part of the foundation of our memories here, is the food. Below is the compilation of my thoughts and experiences so far at The Marketplace located at the lower level of Bartels Hall, commonly referred to as “Barts.”
The Deli
Although there can be a long line during lunch hours, an attendant is ready to create your sandwich masterpiece. They serve just the right amount of meat on each sub and can press your sandwich to heat it up or you can take it as a cold sub. I would like to see them add a chicken parmesan sub option to the menu and have fresh chips consistently available.
Beach Grill
The beach grill has a quick turnaround for every omelet on the grill as well as freshly prepared breakfast sandwiches with bacon or sausage. When it’s not breakfast hours, the staff always makes sure there’s a sufficient quantity of hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken sandwiches and the occasional mozzarella sticks from lunch to closing at 9 p.m. The individual paper plates provide a sanitary aspect for the food, but those make it difficult to fit into a to-go box. I think onion rings could definitely enhance the flavor, variety and popularity of this station. Otherwise, the staff here is sociable and amiable.
Hometown
Hometown is mostly known for breakfast with pancakes and French toast, with toppings such as apples, blueberries and chocolate chips. The accompanying home fries have great seasoning, and they consistently serve hard boiled eggs as well as scrambled eggs,. They cool down easily, so make sure you eat them quickly. This is the station I look forward to after a 9:35 a.m. class, just before lunch starts being served. Lunch and dinner also offer home-styled ingredients like steamed green beans and rice to bring a sense of home to college. The servers know just the right amounts to add to each plate and are the friendliest when doing so.
Vegan Veg
This station can be tricky with staff available to make an omelet or toast, but when they do, it’s heaven. You may even get lucky enough to have Sue make your avocado toast or omelet. During lunch and dinner, Vegan Veg is more convenient with premade servings. They do close earlier than the beach grill at dinner, so plan ahead and get there ahead of time.
Pizza/Pasta
The pizza at the Marketplace has consistent options of cheese, pepperoni, veggie and Chef’s choice in portion-sized slices, easy for to-go containers. On the other side there is pasta, which varies from penne to rigatoni to colored fusilli and more. Pasta sauce and cheese can be poured on top as well. Many people come to this station for the breadsticks, which are sometimes covered in cheese. You just might come on the right day, as legend has it, the breadsticks at Barts are better than FoD.
Tex Mex
At the Tex Mex station, there are a variety of choices from a burrito, nachos or a simple quesadilla. There are a lot of vegetables to choose from, which are very important for Mexican food. But when you have Moe’s on campus, the chips at Tex Mex could be slightly saltier and come in bigger servings.
Asian Fusion
This debut station is very popular, which makes for a long line at prime times due to sautéing. The time spent in line is totally worth it as the ingredients are of the highest quality and the meat is cooked exceptionally well. Bowls and plates are served there, too, so no need to wait in line with one. Grab a fortune cookie at the end for a balanced meal.

Simple Servings
Here, there are quality meat choices during lunch and dinner such as pork, steak and salmon. The meat is usually paired with well steamed vegetables and a carb, such as rice or potatoes, which are normally sliced large to fill your plate. Simple Servings is also allergen friendly, with the majority of dishes being gluten and dairy free. The only drawback is they are open only at specific times, making it another station to watch the clock for. To minimize contamination, they also provide their own plates, so be mindful before you pick one up from somewhere else.

Miscellaneous Stations
The salad bar is thoroughly stocked with vegetables but can lack certain popular dressings and even salad. If they’re ever out, just grab a veggie pizza. Next to the salad bar is the My Zone station for students with special dietary needs, including nut, gluten, and dairy free prepared food. The coffee station has unfortunately recently dropped black coffee, but added a quite interesting chocolate cherry flavor. It doesn’t seem to be in demand, but if you’re a part of the select few who enjoy it, I applaud you. This counter does happen to lack a dairy-free milk option, but a popular request for almond milk just might come through in the near future. The drink station to the right is Pepsi brand, and there’s a popular liking for the orange Fanta, ginger ale and lemonade.
The Creamery
Onto the pride and joy of this dining hall, the waffle maker is precise with timing and always has batter. The non-stick spray has been missing for a while, causing some disasters. However, the line can be long and there is the occasional “out of order” sign, so be aware. The cereal station has all of your favorites and is always fully stocked with cereal. There are also fruits readily available with various yogurt options, plus cottage cheese for mixing and matching. Along with muffins and occasional doughnuts at breakfast, the dessert station usually has cookies, brownies and some form of cake for capping off the night. The soft serve next to it is a great pick-me-up after a long day. Here they serve chocolate, vanilla or a swirl of both; late at night is the perfect time to sneak a Pepsi cup to fill since the population starts to dwindle around 8:30 pm.