Food for the Alternative Eater
by Lauren Sousa | published Oct. 2nd, 2014
With more than 15 dining locations on campus, RIT Dinning Services works to give those with dietary restrictions a variety of healthy choices. Every restaurant and market on campus serves food options for those with alternative eating styles from vegan to halal to all types of food allergies. In fact, RIT vendors pride themselves on providing multiple options, making sure that you won’t get bored of your diet during your year on the RIT meal plan.
Most first year students will eat many meals at Gracie’s, not just because it is the main cafeteria on campus but because it offers three meals a day, six days a week, plus brunch and dinner on Sundays. Gracie’s has many stations, including a food bar specifically featuring allergen-free and vegan meals called Simply Eats. According to Production Manager Aimee Mitchell, the Simply Eats menu will continue to expand as the year goes on, giving students an even wider range of healthy and creative meals.
Boasting a wide variety of foods, from sandwiches to full steak dinners, the Commons is the go-to place for hungry freshmen. For people with dietary restrictions, the Commons can make many of their meals to order, meaning that they will take out or substitute ingredients as requested.
According to General Manager Paul Maushart and Production Manager Daniel Giroux, each gluten-free and allergen-free dish is prepared for students using ingredients stored in a separate location and made with freshly cleaned appliances in order to to avoid cross contamination. On top of that, the Commons has daily vegan dishes including a black bean burger and a salad bar.
Global Village Cantina & Grill
Home to the Mexican restaurant Salsarita’s, Oishii Sushi and the ever-changing Global Grille, the Cantina contains some of the most diverse food on campus. Like the Commons, the Cantina makes gluten-free and vegan dishes as ordered. According to Manager Karla Orozco, the employees should know all of the ingredients in each dish. She recommends that students ask employees what they can have or refer to the ingredient lists posted at the counters.
Artesano Bakery and Café
Artesano Bakery and Café is one of RIT’s many coffee shops, but it is also the dessert capital of campus. Tracy Burgio, who has been pastry production coordinator at the café for four years, said that they carry several vegan desserts on a daily basis, as well as some gluten-free options. For a quick meal or a filling snack they also carry several vegan sandwiches and gluten-free wraps and dishes that change throughout the week.
Many of the dining options available to students on campus can be catered to individual needs. Multiple restaurant managers suggest that you ask employees about the ingredients in their foods in order to make them work for your diet. Many meals are customizable and it is possible to get the full meal experience without posing a risk to your health. Students also have the option to make an appointment at the Student Health Center to meet with nutrition counselor. They can help you plan out a diet that works for you and tell you more about the alternative eating options available to you on campus. With all the options available, every student can have a healthy diet, regardless of their needs. RIT employees are readily available to you. With their help, you can find many delicious and nutritional meals to enjoy without worrying about them.