By Natalia Balcerzak
Ryerson Eats has opened its fridges and turned up its stoves, making you want to forget your cold lunch at home. “Follow your nose, feast your eyes and dazzle your tastebuds,” is hand-written on a chalkboard sign at the entrance, inviting students and staff to try the new menu.
The campus food service opened its renovated Hub Cafe this Monday. With local food products and home-made meals, Ryerson Eats is looking to reintroduce quality food on campus.
“I wanted to prove that healthy and local-sourced eating does not have to cost a ton of money,” said Joshna Maharaj, Assistant Director of Food Services and Executive Chef. “I think we’ve done a really great job showing some good food that is delicious, made well with human care and does not bust your wallet.”
An employee of Ryerson Eats, Julian Suaraz, said that he remembers how hard it was to find quick food as a student and that it’s nice to have this option available on campus. “Students save a lot of time when they don’t have to go out — they can study.”
Maharaj said that the hub’s menu options is designed exclusively with Ryerson on mind, made to include everybody. Along with being accessibly-friendly, it caters to dietary needs while maintaining its promise on inexpensive sustainable meals. Food is priced lower than its competitors off-campus to provide more value.
“[The] money you spend here, goes far… you feel good after you eat,” Maharaj said. “I love that I can come down and get something that’s exactly good for my body.”
The Hub Cafe introduced many programs, such as B.Y.O.B — a “build your own [salad] bowl” station. Salads are priced for five dollars, served with unlimited vegetable. For meat-lovers, they can add their protein for an extra two bucks. “[We’re] moving away from the idea that meat is the star of the show,” Maharaj said.
Designed with wooden panels and an open-concept kitchen, the staff is encouraged to accompany customers with a visual experience. After ordering your food, you can watch it be prepared.
“I love that you can see the kitchen and know that it’s healthy,” said Rabia Randahawa, a third-year architectural science student. “I think it’s cheaper than a lot of places.”
The official launch for the Hub Cafe will be on Nov. 5. Ryerson Eats is planning to add signage onto the floor once they figure out the natural flow of line-ups and will extend hours once there’s more traffic.
The final cost of the project is $840,000, including demolition and renovation. Ryerson will be seeing more revamped kiosks on campus, but it has not been officially announced when.