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Leutner Dining Café opens to pleasant reviews

Complaining about cafeteria food, much like discussing weather, family and politics seems to be a safety net for those not skilled in the art of conversation. Asking almost anybody that eats in a cafeteria about the food is like asking an engineering major, “Mac or PC?” You guarantee yourself an emotionally charged, detail-oriented conversation lasting no less than 30 minutes, free of awkward silences.

When we eat in cafeterias, we often don’t taste the food with our palates, but with the conditioning we got as kids from T.V. shows in which Cafeterias always served moldy meatloaf, prisoner’s bread and some kind of nugget crafted from recycled meat. So what happens when the food we eat in the cafeteria is actually good?

The new Leutner Dining Cafe is certainly getting pleasant reviews. Sophomore Rachel Kim, who frequented Leutner as a freshman is thrilled. “Oh, it’s definitely better this year. The food has changed completely,” she said.

Sophomore Jon Borgetti offered compliments in quite a different way. “Well at least this year the salad doesn’t look like it was in a plastic bag for a month,” he said. But he also confessed, “It’s a nice, simple place to eat, there’s more variety and it no longer tastes entirely like crap. Sushi everyday in L3 is also awesome, they should do that upstairs too.”

The addition of the new “small plates” station, where small-portioned creative entrées are served, was on many pro-Leutner lists. Sophomore Lizzie Furuta thinks they give the cafeteria a high-class, gourmet feeling, “I’m always wondering what the small plate will be next,” she said. Others expressed similar feelings. “It’s always an explosion of flavor on my palate,” said Sophomore Mason Yu. Junior Kevin Pfister said, “they’re good because they encourage ‘small’ eating.”

Furuta also stated that the improved aesthetic environment had a direct impact upon the dining experience. “Food is presented in a much more appealing way. The eating area is just more relaxing and clean,” she said. “I’m not sure if the food has changed all that much, but I appreciate the fact that they have a lot more fruit and a greater variety of prepared food this year,” said Furuta. “Thank G-d that juke box is gone.”

Sophomore Mason Yu also complimented the new design. “I don’t really know what a seven million dollars renovation is supposed to look like, but it almost looks like a five star hotel restaurant,” he said.

With all the chichi furniture, improved color palate and wall art, many thought CWRU spared no expense in renovating Leutner, but behind the kitchen doors is the pre-extreme-makeover kitchen from last year. “Now that’s just dumb, the cafeteria workers definitely deserved a new kitchen,” said Borgetti.

“Maybe they didn’t actually need a new kitchen, I guess we don’t really know,” said Furuta.

Cafeteria worker Diondra Heard said the new Leutner has its ups and downs. “We have to spend so much time after the cafeteria closes to clean up, mostly because it’s so much bigger. The kitchen is the old one we used, but that’s not too bad.” she said. “We have a lot more space to work with though so we’re not bumping into each other and it’s a really nice environment. The new variety of foods is also good.”

And what about the clean-palated freshmen? Freshman Sam Hartman is one of the many trendsetters of Leutner loving: “It’s delicious. I love it!”

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