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Bruin Café expands its kitchen, adds new menu items

Here’s a list of changes to the Bruin Café menu:

  • New roast beef and chicken sandwiches
  • New Mediterranean nachos and a few salads
  • Apple slaw and Black Forest will be added to the ham and Swiss cheese sandwich
  • Cucumbers and eggs will be added to the tuna fish sandwich
SOURCE: UCLA Dining Services Compiled by Erin Donnelly, Bruin senior staff

By Anaika Miller

May 13, 2013 12:10 a.m.

Spring usually brings warmer weather and longer days to campus, but this year it is also bringing new menu items and a larger kitchen to Bruin Café.

The new kitchen, which is being used for the first time today, provides more room for food preparation, storage and refrigeration, according to a UCLA Dining Services statement.

“This new kitchen space was designed to take Bruin Café to the next level,” said Calvin Farr, the assistant director and area manager of dining services.

The increased space and new equipment will help Bruin Café better serve the 5,000 to 6,000 customers it sees everyday, Farr said.

Some students, such as first-year economics student Tony Xie, said they would eat at Bruin Café more often if service were faster.

“If I see a long line here now, I just walk away,” Xie said.

The new kitchen will also allow Bruin Café to expand its sack lunch program in the future.

The new menu items include roast beef and chicken sandwiches, Mediterranean nachos and a few salads, Farr said. The ham and Swiss cheese and tuna fish sandwiches already offered at Bruin Café are being changed as well. The tuna fish sandwich will now have cucumbers and eggs in it and the ham and Swiss will now be served with an apple slaw and Black Forest ham.

“We’re trying to create a wild factor to help keep interest sparked in what’s coming next,” Farr said.

LeeAnn Patrick, a second-year communication studies student, regularly eats at Bruin Café and said she thinks the changes are a good idea.

“There’s only so many times you can eat something before you get bored,” Patrick said.

The menu changes are the result of a recent decision made by dining services to introduce new menu items on a quarterly basis to Bruin Café and Café 1919. Quarterly changes were first introduced at Rendezvous and Farr said the response has been so positive that dining services decided to expand the system to the restaurants.

Hannah Trost, a first-year chemistry student, said she eats at Bruin Café almost every day and has waited in lines stretching to the stairs to Rieber.

“There tends to always be a line, so hopefully this will help,” Trost said.

He said dining services decided which items they would add to the menu by looking at popular items and by consulting the Policy Review Board, which is made up of student representatives who discuss issues regarding life on the Hill.

The board often provides input when menu changes are being considered, said Ariana Gobaud, a second-year human biology and society student, who serves as the chair of the Policy Review Board.

“(Dining services) goes through this whole big process trying to create food that is easy to mass-produce and still tastes good, and then they come back from the drawing board to see what we think,” Gobaud said.

This time, however, Gobaud said the board didn’t know about the menu changes until dining services presented the changes at a board meeting last week.

However, she said the board members responded positively to the changes because they were based on previous board discussions.

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