UNC Charlotte’s dining options continue to modernize with the addition of a new Bojangles’ menu, campus food trucks and the promising future of a South Village two-story eatery.
Last year it was campus’s Chick-fil-A that began to feature an expanded menu, and the fall of 2012 will be the first year of all-day breakfast and other popular biscuits at the UNC Charlotte Bojangles’, along with some other new additions.
The expanded menu will feature the breakfast favorites like sausage biscuits and bacon, egg and cheese, but will also have some new side items including macaroni and cheese, cajun pinto beans and dirty rice.
Bojangles’, expanding their location in the Main Street Market in the Cone Center, will still serve the basics and more, such as chicken supremes, roasted chicken bites, rice bowls, cajun filet biscuits and seasoned french fries, but will not be adding the bone-in chicken varieties served at off-campus Bojangles’ locations.
For dessert the campus Bojangles’ will offer bo-berry biscuits, sweet potato pie and cinnamon pecan twists. And for those sweet tea lovers, Bojangles’ plans to offer it in single servings and by the gallon.
These new menu items will also be available in the Bojangles’ locations in the Student Activities Center (SAC) while games are being held there.
Because of these breakfast options, Bojangles’ will open at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays.
Grill Nation’s cuisine
Prospector will also house a change in dining with the departure of Smashers. But there to replace it is the new Grill Nation.
This option could appeal to meat lovers with whole-meat burgers and sliders but will also feature things like grilled cheese to go along with the soup and salad bar in front of Salsarita’s. UNC Charlotte’s Executive Chef Roger Lademann shared that some of the most interesting items on the Grill Nation menu are the buffalo blue crispy chicken sandwich, the taco chicken sandwich and the mile high burger, and will be available for limited-time offers.
“You will still be able to create your own [burger] from our fresh made burgers,” said Lademann, which is similar to Grill Nation’s predecessor Smashers.
“This year we are baking the rolls in the bake shop on campus so a fresh-toasted roll encases your creation.”
Fiesty’s additional flavors
Downstairs from Grill Nation, Fiesty’s Franks & Fries will be following suit with the addition of limited-time offers, with treats like sweet potato fries and more.
Added to the hot dog menu will be the ultimate grilled cheese dog and the reuben dog with sides such as fried green beans and better dipped pickles with different dipping sauces.
Campus food trucks
Outside of the campus buildings a new dining option will be available starting this fall: food trucks. There will be three food trucks in the high-traffic areas of campus during the weekdays, such as outside Prospector.
While the vendors have not yet been confirmed, UNC Charlotte is looking into Herban Legends.
“They will feature some cool street foods that will be changing daily,” said Lademann.
One thing for students to keep in mind, though, is that Declining Balance and 49er cards will not be accepted at these food trucks since the vendors are not affiliated with UNC Charlotte. But the standard cash, debit or credit card options will be available.
“Strike it Cold” cart
In addition to the food trucks, there will now be a mobile Outtakes roaming around on campus for those on the go.
“As flexible as the food trucks are, this is even more flexible,” said Gina Capetanakis, the Managing Director of Chartwells.
Dubbed the “Strike it Cold” cart, the vehicle is a golf cart with refrigeration, allowing the drivers to take select foods from Outtakes and transport them to any area on campus they desire.
“We will have our Outtakes on campus at East Deck in the mornings outfitted with breakfast pastries, bottled beverages and Outtakes ‘Grab n’ Go’ sandwiches and salads,” said Lademann.
“Later in the morning it will move to Barnard and we will add a cupcake component featuring [a] triple chocolate mocha [cupcake], red velvet with cream cheese frosting, lemon raspberry and vanilla birthday cake, just to name a few.”
To remain updated as to where the “Strike it Cold” cart will roam on campus, follow @ChartwellsUNCC on Twitter.
For those who are often in the new EPIC building or in other parts of the Charlotte Research Institute (CRI), the Hays Baseball Stadium Concession will be open during lunch hours.
“We will try to have some favorites up there like chicken tenders, Angus burgers, sandwiches and salads along with baseball concession sunflower seeds and peanuts, and we are going to serve cupcakes at this location too,” said Lademann.
South Village dining highlights
The construction of South Village promises students another south dining hall in the future of UNC Charlotte.
“South Village is going to be spectacular for campus; it will be a state-of-the-art facility for even 10 years after it is built,” raved Lademann.
Located behind and beside the Sanford and Moore highrises will be the new two-story South Village dining hall. The lower level will be similar to Crown Commons but 3-4 years newer. With food served buffet style the dining hall will include various stations.
“You have a European-style kitchen creating all your entrée favorites: a wok area for Asian cooking, two pizza ovens for fresh, hand-tossed [pizza], a finishing bakery with an ice cream case, the center island that houses cook-to-order stations, a deli with a wood stone oven to toast your sandwich and a salad selection with a round evo grill for hot proteins,” said Lademann.
“Did I forget there is also a Grill station on the end for all the favorites?”
According to Lou Ann Lamb, UNC Charlotte’s Marketing Director for Business Services, there will be plentiful seating with a deck that will overlook the woods and Davis Lake next to Memorial Hall. There are no exact chair counts at this time but the building is expected to be able to seat between 800-900 people.
The upper level of the dining hall will include various spots for students to socialize, like a huge outdoor terrace designed to wrap around the building. There will also be a large student lounge with two hanging fireplaces and plenty of flat-screen televisions for a cozy hang-out spot.
A campus bakery will also be located on the upper level with glass walls so that students can watch their baked goods being made freshly from scratch. The bakery will include a retail counter where students can buy a variety of baked goods including cookies, cakes and muffins.
“The culinary team will be on stage each day since there is very little back-of-the-house; we will produce food right in front of the guest,” said Lademann.
A take-out area will be on the second floor in order for students to use their meal swipes for to-go purposes, and there will also be a retail venue where a diner-style restaurant will be available to students all day with late-night service.
According to Ray Galleno, UNC Charlotte’s Director of Auxiliary Services, the South Village dining hall is expected to be completed in the 2014 spring semester.
Beverages and vending
In addition to the changes in on-campus dining, there is an updated beverage and vending agreement at UNC Charlotte.
Coca-Cola products will be the official beverage of Charlotte 49er athletics. Those products will be served at all athletic practice and competition facilities, according to the new agreement.
As far as the dining venues on campus, Pepsi products will be the exclusive beverage provider.
When it comes to the four Outtakes locations on campus, Pepsi products will get 60 percent of shelf space while Coke products and other brands will get 40 percent. According to the agreement customers should not notice any difference in the brand choices offered than that of previous years.
Beverage vending machines will remain non-exclusive to a certain brand of product and Pepsi and Coke products will be dispersed 50-50.
“This agreement was in the best interest of the University as a whole,” said Rick Torres, UNC Charlotte’s Business Services Program Manager for Reprographics, Vending and ATMs, saying that other schools have exclusivity contracts with one specific brand which doesn’t allow students to enjoy multiple products.
“Our contracts allow more freedom for consumer preference.”
For more UNC Charlotte dining or business information and updates, follow these services on Twitter: @UNCCaux @UNCCdining @ ChartwellsUNCC