What’s for lunch? Students’ favorite cafeteria items

Theo Teske, copy editor

The cafeteria is in many ways the heart of the school. It provides a forum for students to interact and serves as a central hub between the four different wings. Most importantly, however, the cafeteria provides students with food from a broad and varied menu.

One of the key people responsible for creating that menu is Alexandra Turnbull, a Registered Dietitian Nurse working with Edina Public Schools. She has been keeping track of the foods that students eat the most to understand how to develop new food options that cater to the wants of the student body.

Turnbull has found that old classics of the lunchroom still reign supreme in terms of popularity among students, but grab and go options are gaining. “We have our most popular with pizza and our grill options. We’re continually seeing our on the go salads and sandwiches and stuff like that grow. It has some room to catch up with those grill options but the new items that we’ve featured with whole muscle chicken breasts like our Nashville chicken and our barbecue chicken sandwiches are getting more popular,” Turnbull said.

This variety in popular items is reflected by students’ statements as well. Freshmen Micah Berge and Hugh Rankin enjoy the old standbys. “I like pizza because there’s no line and it tastes good,” Berge said. Meanwhile, Rankin prefers the grill options. “I like the tater tots because their taste and crunch can’t be beat,” Rankin said.

More portable, smaller food items are also popular. Junior Vicki Braianova prefers snack options over larger meals, with one item in particular as her favorite. “I don’t eat the lunch food often, but the Rice Krispy treats are great,” Braianova said.

Students will have even more variety to look forward to soon. “We’re always continually adding to our grab and go section. We have on the go salads, wraps, and more complete meals that you can just grab and go. so there’s gonna be some new options there in March,” Turnbull said.

The Student Senate has also influenced the menu. “We have heard from Student Senate that they would like to see more soups. We’re adding soup in March with our Hornet Greens salads. The made to order salad line will feature one soup per week and you can also have them out of the Ecafe,” Turnbull said.

It will also be easier to get access to all the nutritious options offered because the Ecafe is now open. “It’s been open for breakfast for the last few months but we’re now open during lunch. We’re always offering salads, sandwiches, and pizza and stuff like that out of there to help alleviate lines downstairs. We know you guys are busy so we want to have a second option to grab from,” Turnbull said.

With new options coming to the lunchroom every day, there’s something for everybody to enjoy.