By Marc Butcavage
On Tuesday, I was given the opportunity to sample some of the new menu that will accompany the radical new renovations to the building. Aside from the video menus, a promise of breakfast at times that aren't breakfast (arguably the bet kind of breakfast) as well as a much more expansive menu than the Kate and Willy's we used to know, Lackmann has done its best to stray from the usual burgers and fries mentality that it was plagued with in the past. This is not to say that cheeseburgers are a bad thing, but three years of the same fried food tends to grow old after some time.
Taking a cue from chains such as TGI Friday's and Applebee's, Hofstra USA's new establishment aims to broaden the flavor horizons that were once relegated to simple Americana. Asian glazed shrimp and chicken, Cajun popcorn shrimp, and Italian style sandwiches now dominate the menu, a trend we've been seeing dominating the casual dining scene since Guy Fieri stuck his Smash Mouth hair into the TGI Friday's menu several years back. It's good to see Hofstra and Lackmann making the effort to keep things fresh, even if it is a couple years behind.
Personally, I ordered a "Spicy Shrimp Roll-up", a shrimp and coleslaw wrap with a mild Asian kick. The warm and spicy shrimp paired well with the cool, crunchy coleslaw, though even with all the sauce and texture, it was missing something. This is not to say it wasn't incredibly tasty by usual Lackmann standards, it just needed something to make it more complete. On my way out, I also grabbed a sampler platter and a milkshake, the latter being a welcome addition to the school's late night food lexicon. The platter consisted of boneless Asian wings, popcorn shrimp, and pulled pork with pita chips. A definite change from the past amalgamation of fried and salty foods, this platter is certainly a step up from its predecessor as far as flavor goes, yet certainly not as greasy. I unfortunately gave up on getting my milkshake, which I did not get initially, but I only gave up after seeing how busy the staff was; it was no loss to me.
Overall, I was very impressed with the updated menu as well as the structural renovations. Though I will miss some of the old Kate and Willy's menu, as well as Tapas, it is a welcome change to the Hofstra environment.