By Sara Kassir, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, September 14, 2012
There are just some things that are inappropriate to do in the library. Eating tuna sandwiches is one of them.
I don’t mean in the library’s designated eating areas — if you need your canned fish and mayonnaise fix while chilling in Novack, be my guest. Just wash your hands before using a blitz terminal. I’m talking about that guy on 3FB who whips out his tuna fish sandwich and takes a few bites just to ensure the vicinity reeks of processed seafood.
Maybe King Arthur Flour came to share my views on the impracticality of tuna sandwiches as library grub by eliminating it as an option over the summer, but that one development hardly explains the other recent changes in the popular cafe’s menu.
If you have stopped by since being back on campus, you may have noticed other missing sandwiches include the curried chicken salad (another pungent odor), the roasted turkey (way too dry), the hummus (notoriously soggy) and the sun-dried tomato (did they even stock this one?).
These adjustments aren’t exactly life altering, but KAF’s constant popularity over the course of the past year does raise the question of why it bothered changing anything in the first place. In particular, those students whose favorite items have been removed from the menu are not exactly pleased with the adjustments.
“Getting rid of the arugula pesto spread — are you kidding me?” Michelle Deloison-Baum ’15 said. “That’s a tragedy.”
The arugula and pesto spread isn’t the only tragic loss, though — spread options overall have been cut in half. I can’t say I blame them from getting rid of that horseradish one, though, because I’m pretty sure no one ever ate it.
Cassandra Hartt ’14 is another KAF regular who noticed the dramatic menu cuts.
“It definitely makes it more difficult to eat a meal here if that’s what you’re looking to do,” she said. “But they still have the same full range of pastries and beverages. “
The maintenance of the ample number of sweets and drinks is what will keep students like Joana Garcia ’15 coming back for more. For students like her who prefer to use meal swipes on a hot dinner, changes to the food menu are of minimal concern.
“This is kind of my study spot, so I like to go eat somewhere else,” she said. “But the cafe au lait, ginger peach tea and yogurt parfaits are all really good.”
Katie Alvarez ’15 felt similarly, since her favorites are hot chocolate and chocolate croissants, which have (thankfully) remained on the menu.
“I don’t spend a lot of time here, so it doesn’t really matter,” she said. “If I do, it’s just to grab a drink or something to go.”
Steve Nugent ’15 visits KAF once every two days but had yet to really notice the menu changes. He doubted they would actually have much of an impact.
“I haven’t tried a lot of the new stuff, so I don’t really have a problem with them getting rid of other things,” he said. “I don’t think anybody ate them, anyway.”
Among the new options are the grilled lemon chicken salad sandwich (I don’t understand the raisins), the artichoke tapenade spread (I’ve heard it’s good), the curry wheat berry salad (I’ll call this an acquired taste) and the returning Caesar salad (I think it’s a little pricey — but that’s KAF).
Other students seem to feel similarly regarding the staying power of King Arthur Flour. Kirstin Hocheder ’14 said that the changes will probably not have an impact on how often she goes to KAF.
“People will still come here,” she said. “They develop a taste for things that you can’t get anywhere else on campus.”
Hartt pointed out that the fact that people will still go to KAF despite the changes probably means that they are unlikely to be reversed.
“They won’t bother expanding the menu again because people won’t stop going,” she said. “It’s probably easier to keep things stocked and whatnot this way.”
While a representative from King Arthur Flour was unavailable for comment, Hartt’s guess is as good as anyone else’s in terms of the logic behind the changes. Frankly, it hardly seems like rocket science. No more empanadas? They were the only things left at 11:45 every night. Chicken on the Caesar salad? Yay protein. Plastic wrap gone? Maybe they’re trying to be environmentally friendly. I personally am just glad they had the sense to keep the brie and apple — cutting that one might have caused a revolution.
And if any of it really bothers you that much, there’s always Novack, right?