Top photo: A Roadrunner Cafe employee checks the salad bar,
complete with Rowdy watermelon
Second photo: UTSA juniors (from left) Cody Collins (Laurel
Village resident assistant), Chelsea Fluegel (Chaparral Village R.A.),
Brendan Flood (Chaparral Village R.A.), Monika Gutierrez (Chaparral
Village R.A.) and Amanda Larez (Laurel Village R.A.)
Third photo: UTSA employees Mimi Garza and Elizabeth Garcia at
the salad bar
Bottom photo: A student chooses an entree
(Photo by Mark McClendon)
New Roadrunner Café: 'Real Food on Campus'
By Marianne McBride Lewis
Director of Public Affairs
(June 25, 2008)--In May, UTSA entered into a five-year contract with national food service provider ARAMARK. This is the first in a series of stories highlighting some of the new food choices that students, faculty and staff will enjoy on both the 1604 and Downtown campuses, starting this summer.
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As UTSA matures from a commuter campus to a more traditional four-year university with an increasing number of students living on campus, campus administrators realized that the food choices would have to mature as well.
So, in May, armed with information culled from student surveys, the UTSA Office of Business Affairs entered into a contract with ARAMARK, after a request for proposals brought several vendor concepts to the table for review.
"For us, it is all about our students being successful in their studies and happy with the on-campus accommodations -- and for me, that means 'happy-with-their-food,'" said Jane Wilcox, UTSA director of business auxiliary services.
One part of "happy-with-their-food," said Wilcox, is a new and improved menu at the Roadrunner Café on the 1604 Campus. "The biggest change is freshness and the second biggest change is variety."
Domingo Gonzalez, district marketing manager for ARAMARK, agreed. "Everything we have in the produce market, such as the salad bar, will be cut and chopped right in front of you. Everything is fresh. We don't use pre-packaged or frozen fruit and vegetables."
Another feature Gonzalez is excited about is that all entrée offerings are fresh and cooked to order. "No mystery meat will be coming out from behind the kitchen door."
In terms of variety, Gonzalez added, "Each station will have a daily special, so no one should ever get bored. We know students are adults that have lots of choices in life from cell phone providers to course work, so we believe they should also have lots of choices when it comes to their food. Our concept includes made-to-order throughout."
To introduce faculty and staff to the new Roadrunner Café "Real Food on Campus" concept, ARAMARK is offering a summer special -- all-you-can-eat breakfast, lunch or dinner for $5 with UTSACard.
Lunch at the Roadrunner Café already is part of a regular day at work for Mimi Garza and Elizabeth Garcia, both staff members in the Office of Sponsored Programs. Garza and Garcia, who recently registered with the America on the Move 2008: UT System Ultimate Challenge, walk over from the Multidisciplinary Studies Building most days so they can exercise and eat healthily.
"It really doesn't take that long to get here walking, and there are lots of healthy choices," said Garza. "They have plenty of salads to choose from, steamed vegetables, and today we had baked chicken."
"Oh, and cookies," Garcia added with a smile.
For staffers who would rather leave their walking shoes behind, the campus shuttle runs during the summer, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. The shuttle runs continuously with stops every 10-15 minutes in front of the Main Building, by the Tobin Lab and at West Campus/Lot 12.
The expanded café hours, which will be even longer come fall semester, will be a big hit with the students, according to a group of five resident assistants who recently gathered for lunch.
"Last year the café was only open for meals, and it closed down mid-day," said Brendan Flood, an R.A. at Chaparral Village. "So, for the dinner hours, there was already a long line by 4:30 p.m. with students just waiting to get in."
Amanda Larez, an R.A. at Laurel Village, added, "This will be much better because you can eat when you have time to eat and be able to work it in with your class schedule."
All sounds good. Just like the food.
Read more about UTSA Dining Services at the Business Auxiliary Services Web site (select "Dining").
Roadrunner Café summer hours
Breakfast: 7-9 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dinner: 5-7 p.m.
Breakfast: 7-9 a.m.
Lunch: 11a.m.-2 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
Closed except for camp groups with reservations