By Leah Wilkinson
Farmer’s Field has become the new place to dine on campus since opening Sept. 16.
Replacing Francisco’s Mexican Grill in Cafe Ogle, the salad bar gives students the opportunity to create their own salads or choose from a list on the menu.
Bellarmine’s Dean of Students Sean McGreevey said he’s heard nothing but positive feedback from students.
“We’ve [more than] doubled the amount of customers that we were seeing on a regular basis with Francisco’s, so I think people are voting with their feet,” he said.
McGreevey said students enjoy more dining options on campus.
“Students want variety. They want new. They want fresh. They don’t want to eat the same thing every day,” McGreevey said.
Junior Emily Tirocchi said she is also glad to see the university providing hearty meals to students who may not otherwise have them.
“It’s good to see Farmer’s Field because it’s a healthy option for college kids who usually live off the cheapest food they can get,” she said.
Katrina Powell, an SGA junior representative and the food service committee chair, said she’s also optimistic about the new option.
“It’s something fresh,” Powell said. “I’ve heard a lot of good feedback and I haven’t really heard any bad feedback.”
McGreevey said he was impressed with the quick initiative Sodexo took to create the new restaurant at the beginning of the school year.
“What I appreciate about the Farmer’s Field project is that [Sodexo] really got that up and running in about 14 days,” McGreevey said.
“We said to them, ‘Look, this Francisco’s thing just is not working. Students don’t like it and there are less than 30 customers a day. There’s gotta be something better,’ and they went out and they found that idea and flipped it without any cost to the institution,” McGreevey said.
Junior Maddie Horton is a regular at the restaurant and said her go-to salad is the Korean caesar. She also enjoys talking with the restaurant staff.
“My favorite part about Farmer’s Field is Steve, a worker there who not only makes great salads but also gives you a motivational pep talk,” Horton said. “When I finally earned a free salad he made sure to put extra toppings on.”
Although most experiences appear positive, there was an initial hiccup.
McGreevey said some vegetarians and vegans were concerned about the meat being kept near the produce, but said the restaurant has since rearranged the items to better accommodate students and prevent any cross-contamination.
Tirocchi has been vegan for more than four years and said she’s glad to see more options for those who have dietary restrictions.
“I think it’s really great because vegans don’t have a lot of options for dining on campus,” she said. “I really like how Farmers Field has a big selection of salad toppings like tofu and variety of veggies.”
With many tasty options, the only thing that may hold students back from the new eatery is the pricing. Salads average around $7, which can add up for those who get them regularly.
“The only negative thing I have to say about (Farmer’s Field) is how pricey it can get, especially for students who don’t have a lot of flex (dollars) to spare,” Tirocchi said.
To share feedback or concerns regarding Farmer’s Field, reach out to SGA via email at email@example.com. Follow @bellarminegrub on Instagram to stay updated on the latest on-campus dining options.