College dining in Lehigh Valley is not like it used to be

October 7th, 2010 posted by Mike Stershic

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Muhlenberg Dining hall

Lehigh Valley is blessed with several excellent institutions of higher learning, one of which I even attended; however, the other day, it became incredibly obvious that I attended college 40 years too early. My, how things have changed related to food service.

My friend Mike Bruckner, Director of Public Relations at Muhlenberg College, invited me to lunch as a way for him to show off the new expansion to their student union. “WOW” is all I can say. From the natural finish on the wood, soaring ceiling, beautiful wood columns, the balcony with open seating and private dining areas, the school seal etched in glass at the exterior peak, to the huge selection of food, this made me want to go back to school. There’s even a fireplace!

With eight serving stations, the variety of foods available is incredible. There’s a grill for burgers and the like, a vegan area, a hot entrée area, a sandwich area (premade and custom made), a pizza bar, a prepared salads area, and two kosher areas, one for meat and one for dairy (the only kosher dining currently available in Lehigh Valley as far as I know). In addition, there’s a salad bar, a bread bar, a dessert area and frozen yogurt. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a student or I’d weigh a lot more.

The one problem with the number of choices available is it can be a bit overwhelming. As a result you end up like Mike and me: He had a hamburger, I had a turkey burger. So much for variety!

I saw a good mix of students, faculty and staff dining. In fact, I saw Muhlenberg President Peyton “Randy” Helm with a tray looking for a spot to eat.

As we ate, Mike talked about how the dining space was available for meetings and groups when school is not in session. I anticipate that this will be a popular spot.

When was the last time you ate on a college campus?

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