The recently renovated Hinman Dining Center has a new retail dining option for students to try out.
On Saturday, Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill had its grand opening on the third floor of the new dining hall. Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill is a build-your-own bowl- or pita-style grill, where students can order a variety of meats, vegetables and sauces, and is the first Mediterranean food option on campus.
The food available at the grill includes steak and gyro meat, sides such as falafel, fresh-baked pita and shawarma-seasoned fries and chips. All of these options come in different styles of entrees, such as handmade stuffed pitas, salads and laffas — or wraps — as well as traditional gyros.
John Enright, the general manager of resident dining at Binghamton University, said the Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill opening will appease the campus community’s desire for a Mediterranean dining option.
“The well-rounded menu [at Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill] offers a variety of both vegan and vegetarian options as well as freshly grilled chicken, steak and gyro,” Enright wrote. “The Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh brand is the result of the efforts of the Student Culinary Council’s student survey, which asked [BU] students what top-choice cuisines they would like to see brought to campus. After great efforts from our Physical Facilities department to get all of the equipment installed and operational, and our efforts to get the restaurant properly staffed and trained, we are proud to say that Noah Sibley, restaurant manager, and his team [opened] on [Sept. 25].”
Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill is the second retail option in the dining hall, and is a floor above the new Starbucks and regular dining area. It will be directly next to the outdoor terrace seating area, which is still under construction.
Despite being located in Hinman Dining Center, the grill opened almost a month after the rest of the facilities in the building. The students that attended the grand opening of Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill, however, said they thought that the food was worth the wait.
Olivia Ames, a junior majoring in anthropology, said she and her friend were looking forward to the opening and arrived at 11:30 a.m. when the grill first opened to ensure that they would be some of the first to try out the new food.
“I got the chips, which have shawarma seasoning on them, with a side of tzatziki sauce,” Ames said. “They were also giving out free falafel samples, so I got that, too. I think the food is great.”
Matt Tuczinski, an undeclared freshman who lives in Hinman College, said he’s been waiting for Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill to open its doors and that he enjoyed his meal too.
“I got a gyro and I thought it was pretty good,” Tuczinski said. “It had a good amount of flavor and the meat was really tender. I thought the vegetables were very fresh, too.”
Also looking forward to the opening was Gavin Code, a junior majoring in biochemistry. Code was the first customer at Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill, and the restaurant team gave him a free Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh hat as thanks, which he wore while eating his meal.
Code came to the opening with his friends, who all said they enjoyed the food and that it was comparable to Greek and Mediterranean food that they’ve had in the past.
“I’m Greek and so my grandma makes a lot of Mediterranean food,” Code said. “She doesn’t really make meat-based food since she’s vegan, but they’re advertising their freshness and it shows in their meals.”
Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill is located on the third floor of Hinman Dining Center and will be open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Find out more about Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill here.