So, how’s the chow?

Over the summer, Penn hired Bon Appétit to manage its dining-hall kitchens. The company has a reputation for quality and creativity in food service, and Café Bon Appétit in International House leads us to believe that they deserve it. But do the people who eat their fare every day agree? Many did — but what some considered pluses, others considered minuses.

Glen Luk, Wharton/Engineering ’01
“The food’s pretty much the same. I’ve heard they’ve increased some features such as using your declining balance[meal-plan] to eat on weekends. I think overall it’s a little better. They’re trying to keep service up.”

John Baker, Wharton ’00
“This year’s food is better than it was last year because it’s a lot fancier. This year we have ginger chicken and salmon with orange sauce, while last year we’d have chicken nuggets or fried fish with tartar sauce. They have a larger variety this year too.”

Khurshid Zaynutdinov, Wharton ’01
“It’s a little bit better. Politeness didn’t change; they have some attitude problems. The food got a little better. I’m not tired of it yet.”

Andy Kish, College ’01
“I think Dining has gotten worse this year. The food is less original, Hill is often chaotic and crowded with the new renovations, and the new cereal dispensers are an abomination.”

Damian Werts, College ’01
“Most of the changes have been cosmetic. However, there have been real improvements at Hill dining.”

Arthur R. daSilva, Wharton ’01
“There are many improvements, especially regarding taste. But there are some organizational problems.”

Laura Donnell, College ’01
“It seems like there’s fresher produce, maybe more variety. It seems a little bit more health conscious.”

Ginny Bloom, College ’00
“Less toppings in the salad bar and less toppings in the frozen yogurt place. They show the calorie counts and fat grams now.”

Winston Pear, College ’02
“The Express meals are better and there is a wider variety of options. However, the dine-in meals have been worse. I am especially disappointed with weekend brunch.”

Jane Hill, College ’00
“Yes, I have noticed changes. Better food, but less selections. There is more food made to order, but that leads to longer lines.”

Lily Ng, Wharton ’00
“Pastas are cooked in smaller portions so they remain fresher. More specialty salads, desserts, etc.; just a wider variety. However, fish and vegetarian dishes have worsened. Also, Hill house is far better than Kings Court.”

Katie Alex, Grace Enriquez and Laura Spadanuta



Originally published on November 11, 1999