Trail room options unsatisfactory, not an adequate alternative to Bon

Greyscale photo of pizza, fries, and an apple
By Rose Bialk

Another typical Tuesday afternoon is spent at the Trail Room (a.k.a. The Troom) for your lunch break after your grueling morning classes. You begin to order your food from one of the kiosks, with the main course options consisting of various cafeteria staples & sides. As you had the house special vegetarian pizza yesterday, you decide to get chicken tenders with a side of fries and a salad. 

As it is a Tuesday, you are relieved to be able to dine at the Troom for dinner after being dissatisfied with what the Bon was going to offer tonight. 

When compared, you find that the Troom food tastes better than Bon food and has a consistent menu.

Although I find Troom food may be superior to Bon food in regards to quality, the Troom struggles with its lack of choices, given the only available main course options are chicken tenders, pizza and pasta. Therefore, I suggest that at least one additional option should be added to the Troom’s menu to increase student satisfaction. 

The Troom was closed during the Fowler remodel, reopening in October 2022 after renovations were finished. While it initially served only pizza and chicken tenders as the main course options after it reopened, the menu expanded in the following semester, adding pasta and house special sandwiches. 

The sandwiches were my favorite, as they were made in various types each day, from a cheesy bread topped with chicken nuggets to a sloppy joe. Similarly to the pizzas and chicken nuggets, the house special sandwiches had a vegan option, being a pita-falafel sandwich, which was usually just as satisfying as the meat sandwiches.

Unfortunately, the Troom removed the house special sandwiches from their menu this year. I realized this once I tried to order it from the kiosk on my first day at the Troom since I returned home for the summer, when I was informed by one of the staff members that they no longer served the sandwiches. 

Furthermore, I have talked to a few upperclass students about the food options before my first semester at Lewis & Clark in fall of 2022, and they reminisced how LC and the Troom itself had more options than it does now. Perhaps the greatest factor to the lack of variety was the closure of Maggie’s. 

While Maggie’s closed down before my freshman year, its closure was a big mistake, as it remained open until midnight for students to get late night sandwiches and drinks and even accepted meal swipes.

If LC has no interest in bringing back Maggie’s or establishing a new dining location, the Troom’s menu should be expanded to include more options. 

I miss the house special sandwiches the Troom served last year, as many others likely do, so why not bring them back? Or even better, add basic new foods like burgers, hotdogs or tacos? While the Bon may serve those foods, its menu is not consistent like the Troom’s. 

While I prefer the Troom’s food to the Bon’s, it can get monotonous. The Troom’s menu could definitely get a makeover by adding more choices, such as bringing back the meat and falafel special sandwiches. 

Given Maggie’s closure and the unpredictable nature of Bon food, a revamp of the Troom could make dining on campus more satisfactory.

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