Fresh Fusion opens in Swoops Food Court in the RUC

The construction is done, the lines are shorter, and a fresh new look has been added to Swoops Food Court. After a long wait for the Fire Marshall’s approval to open, students got the chance on Monday to get a taste of the grand opening of Fresh Fusion, a two-station restaurant that serves salads in one section called Wild Greens and burritos in the other section called Cocina Fresca.

“The concept of Fresh Fusion is taking fresh food and combining it with all different kinds of ethnic influences,” Joe Dostilio, executive chef/retail manager for Tech, said. “We wanted students to have variety and nutrition.”

Wild Greens makes every salad to order. Individuals can pick marinated shrimp, chicken or steak to top any combination of salad chosen. Customers can choose from citrus vinaigrette, sesame peanut, creamy peppercorn, creamy ranch, and wasabi dressings. Wild Greens offers preselected salad combinations or anyone can create their own salad with a variety of vegetable selections including three different lettuces: spring mix, romaine and baby spinach leaves.

The least expensive salad is creating your own salad without meat costing $4.49, and the most expensive being the Country Cobb salad and Marinated Steak salad costing $6.99.

“Monday, we did 250 salads,” Dostilio said. “I was not expecting the overflow we had, but it was good.”

Cocina Fresca makes nachos, burritos and taco salads all fresh to order. Customers can choose from beef, chicken or pork for their Mexican selections. Toppings and fillings for tacos, burritos and nachos are: sautéed peppers and onions, shredded romaine greens, guacamole, black olives, diced onions, sour cream, cheddar cheese, salsa, refried beans, and cilantro rice. Cocina Fresca offers combo selections such as three tacos with beans and rice for $4.49 to Whole Border Nachos for $5.19.

“We served almost 500 students on the taco side Monday,” Dostilio said. “We had 20 people in line from the time we opened to the time we closed.”

The new station gives Tech the option to change out the kind of food served more frequently because it is contracted with Chartwells. Dostilio hopes that next year they will be able to change the menu to Asian food. Other options are an Indian bar or an Italian bar. Chartwells will distribute surveys to students before making any decision on the menu change.

“If the students don’t tell us what they like or dislike, we can’t improve as a food management company on campus,” Dostilio said. “We need feedback. That’s why we do the surveys.”

In May 2008, Tech formed a food committee serving as a liaison between the campus and the contracted vendor. The committee meets to talk about consumer pricing, menu selections, and they also take the surveys that Chartwells does and looks to see what the company can do to improve.

“You get an inside look of what food services is doing,” Ed Boucher, chair of the food committee, said. “We’re here so we can have an impact on choice.”

The committee has 13 members ranging from students to individuals in the Business and President’s Office.

“I think the committee has an impact on the quality of our campus,” Boucher said. “Anyone can contact members on the committee to give suggestions.”

For questions, contact Joe Dostilio at jdostilio@tntech.edu or Ed Boucher at 372-3237.