FSU’s Dining Services is “excited” to introduce a number of new changes this fall semester, said Aretha Phillips, the school’s new general manager of Dining Services.
One of them is Metamorphosis, an entirely new restaurant that replaced Toasted in the McCarthy Center.
Phillips said the restaurant will change about halfway through the semester after students are given the opportunity to take a survey on what they want the next menu to be.
The restaurant’s menu “changes based on student preference,” according to Phillips.
“Students get to vote on a concept, and we’ll just drop it in there and see how it runs,” Phillips explained. “It’s an ever-changing menu.”
Senior Johan Perez said it was a “really interesting idea” and something that would give him a break from “the same three menu items” he always gets at the Ram’s Den Grille.
“I’m glad to see more variety here. Any type of variety is welcome with me,” Perez added.
Senior Amanda Miller said she’s “sick” of always eating in the main Dining Commons and would be willing to try out the new restaurant “depending on what they have.”
Metamorphosis currently hosts a Kalamata menu, sharing its name with the seaside city in Greece and offering Mediterranean-inspired dishes like mezze and pitas with a choice of meats and vegetables for toppings.
Sophomore Zoe Tsavdarides said she was “excited” about Greek food being the current option and added that she thought the aspect of the ever-changing menu was “fascinating.”
Sophomore Austin Vanlingen agreed with Tsavdarides and said it “gives the student body more choices over what they eat.”
Perez said he hopes Latin food will be the next menu option, while Miller suggested Chinese food.
However, some students were unhappy about the new restaurant
Senior Kevin Guzman said, “I liked Toasted. That was my go-to spot.”
He said, “I’d go in there and get a sub – easy.” And he doesn’t think the new menus from Metamorphosis will make up for it.
Guzman added he thought a half-semester wait for a new menu to come in was too long. “It kind of defeats the purpose,” he said.
Frank Harding Logan IV, a junior, said the new name lost the simplicity that Toasted had and also reminded him of bugs.
“I can’t see myself saying, ‘Let’s go to Metamorphosis,’” he added.
Senior Jen Ferrucci said, “I was happy with the consistency of Toasted,” but added she thought changing menus was a good idea for the school.
The cost of replacing Toasted was less than $1,000, and the cost of introducing new Metamorphosis menus will typically range between $500 and $1,200, depending on the concept that’s chosen, according to Phillips.
Dining Services also introduced the new Green to Go program. Phillips explained that this new program offers students who are “on the run” an option to take their meals outside of the Dining Commons to eat elsewhere.
“If you’re running from class to class, or just don’t have time to eat your meal here, you can bring your container in, fill your container with your meal, and take it with you to go,” Phillips said.
These Green to Go containers cost six dollars and can be ordered from Dining Services’ website, after which a “carabiner” can be picked up from Dining Services’ office and then exchanged at the dining commons for a container itself, according to Phillips.
She added the containers are reusable and that dirty ones can either be exchanged for either clean ones at the Dining Commons or a carabiner to save for another day.
Senior Richard McKeen said, “That’s actually extremely useful to me because I work long shifts on weekends and sometimes I can’t find the time to eat here.
“It’s definitely something I’ll look into,” he added.
Senior Cheryl Thomas was annoyed over having to pay extra to be able to take meals outside the Dining Commons.
“Why are you charging me for something I already pay for?” she asked.
Thomas also expressed concern over an unintended change by Dining Services – the recent breakdown of the Dining Commons’ dirty dish conveyor belt.
“It’s not a good situation,” Thomas said.
“It’s made things slower and I feel bad for those who have to push everything down it,” she added.
McKeen said “congestion” occurs around the conveyor at peak hours “when everyone’s trying to leave to get to class.”
Phillips acknowledged the situation and said Dining Services are waiting for a part to arrive so they can fix the conveyer. “I believe they gave us an estimate of next week when the part should be delivered, and then shortly after that, it should be fixed,” she said.
“It’s a point of contention, obviously – we need it to run,” she added.
Phillips said the hours of operation for all stations in the Dining Commons have been extended until 7:30 p.m. However, the Dunkin’ upstairs will now close at 3 p.m.
She added the decision to close Dunkin’ earlier came after Dining Services had noticed a “slow down” after 2 p.m. and the change was made to “adjust accordingly.”
Phillips herself is also a new addition to the FSU community this year. She joined after Ralph Eddy, former director of Dining Services, was promoted to a district manager position by Sodexo.
“I’m very excited to be here. I like what I see and I’m ready for the challenges and opportunities that may come up,” Phillips said.