By Matthew Romano, Columnist
In the past three years that I have been at Hofstra, I can safely say that the food has come a very long way. Recently, Hofstra has completely renovated many of its dining services. It now offers many diverse and relatively new eateries, many of which are brand names such as Au Bon Pain, California Pizza Kitchen, Red Mango, and Subway.
But let us take a second and remember the infamous Maui Tacos and Hofstra Deli. Although there are those who miss it, the consensus is that Maui Tacos definitely had to go. California Pizza Kitchen offers much more tasty and terrific hangover food—and without that awful stomachache. The Hofstra Deli was more of a repeat of Dutch Treats' mediocre sandwiches than a place of real quality, so it really cannot compare with Au Bon Pain and Subway.
Hofstra has recently made a point to diversify its food. One terrific addition to the Student Center is Fernando's Fish Market, which has shrimp, tuna, tilapia, and salmon for seafood fans. There is the new restaurant Tapas, which features Mediterranean finger foods. The cute and trendy atmosphere, which features coloring tables and Spanish guitar music, is enough to go toward the back of campus.
However, there is a negative side to having so many new dining facilities on campus. One obvious drawback is that with brand names come bigger prices. Although one can argue that it is usual for quality to come with a hefty price, it is becoming increasingly common to see students running out of money on their meal plans far before the semester is over.
Even the Student Center is a continuous problem when it comes to prices and it is most apparent if one looks at the prices of small items. For example, Lackmann charges $4.25 for a container of strawberries when two 16 oz. packages can be bought for $5 at Stop & Shop. Or how about any whole fruit (such as an apple) for $1.15 when it costs only $1.30 per pound at the market? The price differences are obvious to anyone that does their own food shopping.
Another debatable issue is whether the costs of new expensive dining services on campus are worth the possible decrease in student financial aid. Hofstra has a long history of purchasing costly extravagance, such as sculptures and plants. So are the new facilities worth it? In the case of food, I think they are.
Many students would argue for a one-swipe card system at Hofstra. A one-swipe system basically means that a student swipes their card to enter, and then can eat as much as their heart desires for a fixed price. Many schools have adopted this system, as it is more affordable for the students and the school.
Students need to realize that some of these prices are only expensive because they are so convenient for us. Almost every one of my visiting friends has complimented on Hofstra's unique and scrumptious dining system. There is real quality in Hofstra's foods, and it is that which sets our dining services apart from other schools'.