Deputy Editor Vivian Zhou and New Bwogger Lynne Irvin are avid fans of the Diana Center Café. Such avid fans that they will love and accept her even if she’s growing up and going through some changes.
For returning Barnumbia students, maybe you’re furious about the new Diana, maybe you LOVE it, or maybe you haven’t even been there yet. Whichever of the above you are, surely you’ve noticed some changes. For the incoming class, we’ll help you catch up: Last spring, Barnard and Columbia students boycotted Barnard’s food service provider Aramark and this year, Barnard changed its food service provider to Chartwells.
Here we’ve compiled a list of things that have changed about Diana and how we feel about them.
Please Bring Hot Sandwich Man Back From Hewitt
A lot has changed with the sandwich bar. Where is the honey turkey? Where is the avocado mayo? Where are the bread varieties? Why is the chicken breast so dry? Why was my sandwich toasted for 0.000002 seconds? But let’s be honest, what’s dearest to all of Barnard’s hearts is this: where is the hot sandwich man? Gone were the days when he would smile coyly while asking me what cheese I want in my sandwich. Gone were the days when he would toast my sandwich to absolute perfection. Rumor has it he’s just serving hot food at Hewitt now. Why is he wasting his sandwich making skills and good looks serving hot food at Hewitt?? Somebody please answer these questions and bring him back.
Instead of the classic Tomato Basil, BBQ Chicken, White pizza, etc, Diana lets you make your own pizza. Each topping is $0.30 extra and you can literally put whatever you want, including ricotta, olives, broccoli, meatballs, and more. This, as a concept, is wonderful but during peak lunch hours, it is an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE to line up and wait for the person in front of you to decide between mushrooms or spinach or maybe both?? The good news is that the pizza is still the same thin crust and oven baked. And yeah it’s definitely pretty good.
WHERE ARE OUR SMOOTHIES?
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. We want our late night smoothies!!!! Diana may have nice sushi or pizza, but Diana is nothing without smoothies, arguably one of the best options for dining on campus! A perfect healthy alternative (please, god forbid, don’t make me go to JJs) to end the night. Our hearts broke when we learned of their absence, but rumor has it they’re bringing them back VERY SOON, but two weeks without Diana smoothies has been a NIGHTMARE, so PLEASE we demand yummy kale-mango-peach smoothies!
Super Popular Middle Section With Pretty Okay Curry
Gone are the seasonally-changing middle section (Bibimbap bowl, anyone?), but in their place resides Chaat House, Diana’s take on “indian cuisine”. Student can build a grain bowl based around rice, chicken or tofu curries, and a variety of toppings. So far, we are giving it a rating of Pretty Okay, and it is definitely one of the more popular options in new Diana. During rush hour, the line extends all the way past the sandwich bar. As of right now this seems like a permanent placement. Will Diana be able to maintain the taste and quality? Unsure as of right now, but we have hope!
A Sushi Bar– We Are BASICALLY Blair Waldorf
Watch out Cafe East – it may have been your birthday last week, but Diana is coming for your brand regardless! Students can now customize and create their own sushi rolls. Not only can you get your spicy tuna or avocado roll fix, there are now fancier options such as the Red Dragon Roll (avocado and crab on the inside, tuna and avocado on top), Rainbow Roll (avocado and crab on the inside, tuna, salmon, AND avocado on top), and other “Chef’s specials”. You can also get made-to-order bowls such as the veggie bowl or shrimp tempura bowl. You can also splurge and get a sampler or platter with both rolls and nigiri. The sushi bar is not part of the meal exchange, but can be purchased for points.
What is Bubly? Why is it Everywhere?????
Drink wise Diana is pretty much the same – except for the addition of LaCroix knock off Bubly soda. Chartwells seems to be a BIG fan and this lightly flavored sparkling water is now an option for the beverage aspect of the meal exchange if getting a bottle of water and KILLING THE PLANET is on your dinner agenda. What’s with the trend of liking seltzer anyways? Sparkling water was always the gross drink your weird snobby aunt would purse up her lips and order…and now people are pretending to like LaCroix and Bubly and White Claw like it’s cool? To quote Kanye West, “Why you try to act like you was drinkin’ sparklin’ water ‘fore you came out here?”
Lack Of Salad Dressing
The salad bar looks pretty much the same and still pretty good, but literally the only salad dressings provided are: Thousand Island, ranch, and olive oil and balsamic. Old Diana gave us raspberry balsamic and I felt like I was a fancy downtown health nut. For people looking for a healthier option, Thousand Island and ranch simply won’t do, but a salad with just olive oil and balsamic just sounds so boring.
Meal Swipes For Lunch: A Concept
Students have been asking for meal swipes at Diana for literally so long. Without even letting us know, they’re now allowing SWIPES for LUNCH (what??). The swipes are only for Barnard students and you can get an entrée, a side, and a beverage. Entrées include pizza, the grill, the Chaat house, a large salad, a large soup, or a prepackaged sandwich or salad. Sides include any side provided at the grill or at Chaat house, a small salad, hand fruit, lays chips, or a small soup. You can get a can of Bubly, a bottle of water, or a “fountain beverage”. Only one thing though, Diana, you don’t even have a soda fountain so what exactly is a “fountain beverage”? And why can’t Columbia students swipe for lunch? And why didn’t you tell us about the swipes before we bought our 400-point meal plan?
Photos via excellent foodographers Vivian and Eva