Metea’s cafeteria food diversifies

Venkata Sri Saiveer Chelliboyina

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Venkata Sri Saiveer Chelliboyina

Stir fry noodles are made on the spot.

Back in middle school, I remember wanting to try school lunch because I have always brought my own food to the cafeteria. I was attracted to the smell of hot cheese pizza or the soft touch of a custom-wrapped burrito. On the days that I was allowed to try school food, I would grab a banana and chocolate milk along with my meal and eat it with glee. As I grew older, I grew bored of the same few options and went back to eating home-cooked meals. So when my friends came back from the lunch line a few days ago with Alu Chole, my interest was caught. 

OrganicLife: Smart FoodService is the company that provides school lunches for Metea. They claim to want to “change the way children view school lunch.” In my time trying new dishes in Metea’s kitchen, I have come across chicken alfredo pasta, boneless wings and other dishes that I never thought I would find in a school cafeteria. 

While the line for hot cheese pizza remains long, students have been choosing alternate options and developing new favorites amidst the more eye-catching meals. Freshman Deepak Pasikanti states that stir fry is his favorite of the newer food options that opened up in Metea’s kitchen. On the other hand, Junior Eman Ahmed prefers the various types of pasta offered on different days. Widening the scope of dishes offered in the cafeteria creates a curious atmosphere and allows students to try new things. 

Compared to last year, this year’s lunch items also feel more wholesome as they are either heated up or made on the spot, which is the case for stir fry noodles. The diverse options offer value to the $2.80 that meals cost this year. They were free last year, but they were also colder.

Junior Siddarth Pattisapu particularly enjoys the sandwich station where students can choose ingredients to create a custom sandwich, which goes in a panini press before checkout. This flexible meal is far more attractive than standing in line to get the same pre-made pizza or burger every time. 

“It has gotten better this year because there are more food options,” Pattisapu stated.