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By Ada Zhang
Every new semester brings with it new things—new books, new courses, new fashion trends, new classmates, and this fall, new food.
The completion of the East Village Residential Community brings new dining options to campus, giving students and faculty the opportunity to broaden their appetite. The assorted food outlets are now open and ready to feed customers.
Along with the new eateries, a Provisions on Demand market is also open in East Village with Red Mango frozen yogurt shop attached to it. Together, these food outlets take up 1,500 square feet.
The P.O.D. market has the feel and appearance of a modern-day convenience store, fully equipped with the essentials, such as milk, fresh produce and shampoo, said Brett Perlowski, director of dining services.
“The original idea was for the convenience store to have a residential focus, but the university requested a place more active so students could hang out and generate a community feel,” Perlowski said.
He said Red Mango is expected to generate this sort of community feel.
The frozen yogurt shop includes nine yogurt flavors, 30 topping choices and counter seating along the store windows.
Perlowski said the yogurt should appeal to what people typically desire.
“It is all natural, nonfat, live active culture, gluten-free; it’s what everybody is looking for,” Perlowski said.
Also new to East Village is Baylor’s own campus bakery.
There is an air screen cooler along the front of the bakery and 900 square feet of bakery space in the back.
In terms of aesthetics, Perlowski said the bakery will look like a cross between Starbucks and Panera Bread.
The baker is Randy D-Angostino, a third-generation baker from New Jersey who recently moved to Waco.
Along with breakfast food items such as danishes, kolaches and donuts, the East Village Bakery also has Starbucks coffee.
The Starbucks is not licensed, meaning it does not offer a wide array of menu items like the one in Moody Library, but basic coffee drinks are still served.
In addition to the new retail dining, a new two-story dining hall is now open as well.
The East Village Dining Commons, located across from the Baylor Sciences Building, covers 12,500 square feet. The dining hall is equipped with a state-of-the-art kitchen downstairs, and upstairs is a dining area with a seating capacity of 500.
“The horsepower to cook on the stations is greater than any other dining hall; it’s built for fast service,” Perlowski said. “Students will see a lot more cooking action, because the space is designed for that.”
Perlowski said aside from the more advanced cooking equipment, the East Village Dining Commons is unique because it places more emphasis on freshness. Labels highlight certain dishes prepared with local produce. There is also a gluten-free station.
Not only does Baylor have new retail and residential dining, but Baylor also acquired a sushi vendor this semester.
From now on, the sushi spotted in the Bill Daniel Student Center and in the sciences building will be prepared by a sushi company called Sushic.
“It is the same company who makes sushi for H-E-Bs across Texas,” Perlowski said.
Perlowski explained that campus dining decisions are made collectively. Perlowski and his team take into consideration feedback from students, industry trends and advice from the university. From there, they collaborate and come up with a plan to accommodate students’ dining needs.
Their plan seems to be accommodating the needs of The Woodlands junior Juan Vargas, an East Village resident who is a health conscious eater.
“I am so glad that we are getting some new dining options on campus,” Vargas said. “Hopefully they will offer more healthy-eating choices for my friends and me.”