The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE Monday lunches draw crowds

By Karen Gavis/managing editor

Students from SE Campus’ culinary and diatetics department plan, prepare and serve meals to students, faculty and staff every Monday. The meals cost $5, and all proceeds go toward student scholarships awarded in the spring.
David Reid/The Collegian

Mondays around noon, a lunch line snakes down the hallway and into the Red Room on SE Campus.

Whether tempted by the week’s menu or perhaps drawn by an opportunity to socialize, they come. And once inside, for the cash sum of $5, diners can choose between a meat and vegetarian entrée before eating atop tables draped in scarlet.

“Five bucks, can’t beat that,” said SE student Bond Miller. “Beats eating Subway all the time.”

Meals are planned, prepared and served by seven teams of students from SE’s culinary and dietetics department, culinary arts instructor Katrina Warner said. The number of people served usually depends on the menu.

David Maldonado, who manned the cash box at a table near the entrance, said the average number served is about 40-80.

“We’ve run out of room before,” he said. “We do really good.”

On Nov. 5, the Red Room was filled to near capacity with SE students, faculty and staff. And a steady stream of take-out orders were being carted off as well.

“This is the best lunch deal in town,” said SE electrician Rick Yoes. “It’s to the point now that a quarter till noon there’s a line going down the hallway.”

The meal, which includes soup, choice of entrée, vegetables, salad, drink and dessert, is fantastic, said SE English instructor Pennie Boyett.

“Order to go or eat in the room, which is decorated according to

that day’s theme,” she said. “They serve until they run out of food.”

Student Francisco Vera opted to dine in. Before mopping his plate and leaving only a small sprig of decorative lettuce, Vera said he especially enjoyed the whipped, spiced sweet potatoes.

“The price is pretty good for what you get,” he said.

Student Clayton Stiff helped plan the menu, which included Salisbury steak, bean ragout on whole-wheat pasta and pecan pie.

“We wanted something that would be appealing on the plate,” he said. “We went with whole-wheat pasta because it’s healthier.”

Stiff enjoys the program because it teaches real-world experience, and he has already used some of the things he has learned at his job.

Warner said the operation improves a little each week. That day, 81 customers had been served. But there are no plans for future growth because the Red Room lunches are in direct competition with Subway.

“Because of the terms with them,” she said, “they have allowed us this one day.”

All proceeds from the Red Room lunches go toward student scholarships awarded after a spring contest, Warner said. During the competition, students are given mystery baskets brimming with food items.

“They just walk in here and have to make something out of what we give them,” she said.

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