If you were smart enough to direct all of your B-line emails to your spam folder, you may have missed the constant updates about the Marketplace and its 12 — yes, 12 — food kiosks. But not to worry, because we hit the scene and sampled each one. Here’s what went down.
Dish: chicken masala, chicken curry, rice, naan
You know the best dish in College-in-the-Woods that sometimes gets served on Friday nights? It’s that but all the time. A great substitute for that Indian place in University Plaza, except not really because you’ve never gone there. Cafe Spice passed our taste test and will be there when you’re feeling like taking a walk on the culinary wild side.
Dish: mango yogurt, then strawberry sorbet, then mango yogurt again … don’t judge us.
In a word? Sploosh. After three free samples and a knowing look from the guy working there, we were more than sold on Binghamton’s first secular yogurt establishment.
Dish: chocolate chip pancakes
Right, so we’re not sure what to make of a place called “International” that serves a classic, good ol’ American breakfast every day of the week. As a practice, we don’t deny greasy, disgusting foods, but the pancakes we ordered crossed even Paula Deen’s moral barrier when they were ladled with an entire scoop of melted butter. And that’s hard to do. Next time we’ll skip the butter, but this station may be the hangover cure you’ve been waiting for, because let’s be real, we don’t actually eat breakfast unless we’re rocking last night’s outfit at Rolando’s.
Dish: lo mein, sesame chicken, fried rice
Did someone say “gravy”? Mary’s back, and so is Mein Bowl, so there’s nothing new to report here. We’re just glad to say we have this delectable, greasy meinstay back in our lives.
Dish: roasted chicken Caesar sub
Dining hall frequenters, the days of worrying about the sandwich guy wiping his knife off are behind you. Your favorite Subway knockoff is back with a sleeker, more visible countertop and all the carbs you could ever dream of.
Dish: chicken parm pasta, pizza
When the “create your own” pasta station closed along with the rest of the old Food Court, many of us shed a single tear of sadness. But the orgasmic blend of oregano, garlic — too much garlic, dammit — and marinara is back under a new name which we’re sure will become “Panini’s” within a week. Freshmen: don’t forget to mix the pasta sauces and ask for a breadstick!
Dish: chicken quesadilla, chips and salsa
What a pun! Despite the painful wordplay, Wholly Habaneros is not your average CIW burrito. The chips and salsa seem like something you should actually be paying money for, and although the quesadilla cheese didn’t go far enough to the edges of the tortilla, we’ll cut our losses. Except on Moe’s Monday.
Dish: Lupo’s Italian chicken sausage, cheeseburger on multigrain bun
The coolest thing here is that amid a sea of rebranded Sodexo food, The Diner is serving — and showcasing — local options. They’re buying their meat and dairy products from local farms, and serving Lupo’s Italian sausage. We hope this means there’s room for more local options down the road. Take that, society!
Drink: something called Verona
The powers that be got especially creative naming this one. “Cafe” — no, not Starbucks cafe, just “Cafe” — will satisfy your coffee needs 24/5. And apparently they do serve Starbucks, but the name is still creeping us out.
New York Street Deli:
We didn’t get to sample this spot, so you guys are on your own here. But we’re sure any sandwich they serve up will be as authentic and delicious as the one you’d get from Katz’s Deli back home on New York Street.
Dish: baby spinach salad with Caesar dressing and steak
Two big changes here: One, apparently someone from the University caught on to the unintended but hilarious innuendo in naming the Food Court salad bar “Salad Toss”; and two, salads are now thankfully priced by size, rather than weight. With the promising avocado chipotle dressing and options to add steak, chicken or shrimp to any dish for a few bucks, even we might be caught with green shit in between our teeth this semester.
C-Store: We’re not sure that adding a Union Nite Owl counts as a “food concept” — but then, we’re not sure what a “food concept” is to begin with. We look forward to being able to pick up a pack of gum to wash away all that damn garlic from the pasta station.