When the news came that we would be getting new dining options last semester, there was a noticeable buzz around campus. Let’s face it, this campus has struggled with food issues in the past, and that is part of the reason why we have a new dining vendor.
Now, a summer later, students have several new places to eat from. Here’s a look into each one of them, starting at the Student Center.
Will Social Grill Get Likes?
More sandwiches arrive at the burger station in the Student Center with the opening of Social Grill. The menu items have names that have to do with social media culture, such as the “I LIKE this Burger” (a classic cheeseburger) and the “SOCIAL Burger” (a bacon cheeseburger). There are also more interesting menu options like the “BYTE into SAMMYBURGER” (a blackened salmon sandwich).
Social Grill also has an extensive breakfast menu with chicken and waffles and a banana foster french toast sandwich. So if you need something to fill you up before your morning class or after your afternoon one, Social Grill is a great option to consider.
Halal Shack Replaces California Tortilla
Red Hawks get a taste of Halal street food with this new addition. Finally, an option for Muslim students that they can trust 100% of the time. Halal Shack has locations at college campuses across the nation, and Montclair State University’s diverse student body will quickly see why it’s so popular. With menu options ranging from fries bowls and “naanaritos” to salads, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Freshens Offers Students Smoothies, Sandwiches and More
Freshens is a chain restaurant offering a variety of healthy options for students. Replacing Smoothie Lab and the Dunkin in the Student Center, Freshens offers smoothies, acai bowls, rice bowls, flatbreads, sandwiches, wraps and much more. This is a great option for the student trying to eat healthy, and there is plenty to choose from as well.
1908 Pizzeria Serving Fresh Slices
Say goodbye to The Pizzeria, the average pizza option that was the first dining option in the Rathskeller since the COVID-19 pandemic. In comes 1908 Pizzeria, completely changing the pizza game at Montclair State. Instead of personal pies, students now get slices that look like they are from your local Italian pizzeria.
Students can choose slice options such as plain, pepperoni, white and meatball. 1908 also serves sandwiches, wings, mozzarella sticks and more. And as was the case with The Pizzeria, 1908 requires students to order via Grubhub.
Virtual Kitchen Comes to Blanton Hall
The food court in Blanton Hall also underwent a massive makeover this past summer. With updated flooring and greenery in the center of the food court, Blanton now has a fresh look. But the new food vendors inside are an even bigger change.
Replacing Chili’s is something completely different in Blanton Hall. All in the same kitchen will be three different restaurants: an American cuisine place named the Virtual Kitchen with burgers and sandwiches; Sono, which features Latin cuisine; and Jersey Mike’s, which students already know and love.
How do they manage to fit three restaurants in one kitchen? With food lockers, of course. Where Chili’s once was is now a wall of plastic boxes where your food is put when it is ready. You then type in a number code that you receive from Grubhub that tells you which locker your food is in.
It will be interesting to see how students will react to this new concept. The absence of human contact altogether might turn off some students but could draw the more introverted ones in.
“Chick n Bap” Cooks up Korean Street Food
A similar concept to Halal Shack, Chick n Bap is also serving bowls, but with Korean ingredients rather than Middle Eastern ones. Yet another chain brand, Chick n Bap finds its fifth location at Montclair State. Offering Korean barbeque chicken, spicy Korean pork and more, the Korean street food restaurant is bound to get some traffic. Housed where Jersey Mike’s used to be, this is also another new option students have been excited for.
Bye Bye Bistro, Hello Yellas
A new late-night option comes to campus! Machuga Heights is now the home of Yella’s, which boasts the motto “Food Worth Screaming About.” Students can get burgers and fries, subs and cheesesteaks, and wings and milkshakes. The seating area features a raised bar seating area along one wall, while tables are lined against the back wall. A local New Jersey restaurant based in Hawthorne, Yellas has been around for 90 years. Now students have a great option if want something reminiscent of Shake Shack without leaving campus.
There are also some places that are still to come!
As of this writing, it has yet to open, but the highly-awaited Starbucks is opening this semester. While Cafe Diem goes under renovations, students can get Starbucks products from a Starbucks Truck in front of Sprague Library. The arrival of this megabrand has been long anticipated, so expect long lines when it finally does open.
Additionally, Java Love will be coming to the Student Center is well, in the C-Store. Until the shop is completed, students can still get the Montclair-based shop’s coffee.
The Montclarion will be publishing reviews and articles on all of these locations, so stay tuned in the coming weeks. For now, go try these new options and see for yourself if they are worth the hype.