Melina Bourdeau/THE GATEPOST
By Scott Calzolaio
Say goodbye to pizza, cold cuts and the general’s rice, and say hello to Sodexo’s very own Panera-Subway crossbreed, Toasted.
“We really wanted to offer something that captured the sandwich and value component of Subway,” said Ralph Eddy, director of food services. “Looking at Panera, we considered the soup and salad options, as well as the buzzer component.”
The menu, which has replaced the three menus of The Fire Pit, Pizzeria Collina and State Street Deli, features customizable salad, sandwich and wrap combinations. The menu also features “Mindful” options.
Mindful, an eating plan by Sodexo, is the suggested option for a well-balanced meal. To be considered a Mindful meal, it must meet very specific standards. These meals are indicated on the Toasted menu by a green apple icon.
“All of these items Lt certain criteria for calorie count, fat content, [and] fiber,” said Eddy.
These meals include the chicken Caesar and hummus petite wrap.
So far, Toasted has proved to be a popular dining location on campus, retaining a persistent line during lunch hours and plenty of repeat business, Eddy said.
When it comes to favorites, “I always like the toasted Italian sub,” he said. “But the salad option has been popular with the faculty and staff.”
The top three sellers for students so far at Toasted have been the chicken Caesar salad wrap, the buffalo chicken sub and the turkey sub.
Seniors Caroline Claffin and Amy Harland shared a chicken parmesan sub and a meatball sub. While Claffin and Harland said that both sandwiches were good, they agreed that the meatball sub was superior by a landslide.
“I like this place better now. It’s easier to choose an option,” said Claffin.
Harland agreed. “I didn’t really eat at the other place,” she said.
Though feedback has been mostly positive about Toasted, some students say they will miss the old food options.
“I had a buffalo chicken salad. I’m trying to be all healthy,” said Dan Cabral, a senior. “Yeah, I’m going to miss my lomein, pizza and calzones, but this is better suitable for my newfound lifestyle.”
Alice Krause, a senior, said, “I had a chicken Caesar wrap. it was good. ... I miss the Chinese food though, because I loved it. I wish they could have both.”
During the 2014-15 academic year, Food Services administered a series of surveys to students, faculty and staff which aimed to narrow down the most popular fast-food and fast-casual chain restaurants within the Framingham State community. The goal was to get an idea of the kind of food people are interested in.
The survey was taken by 800 people, and the top contenders were Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread, Chipotle, Subway and McDonalds. Eddy said Dunkin’ was number one.
Taking these results into consideration, Dining Services created Toasted, the first and only of its kind.
“This place focuses on the brick oven,” said Eddy. “It’s truly the heart of campus.”