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In between classes, plenty of food for thought

When Aramark took over the contract for USF dining last summer, it asked students what it could do to improve food options on campus.

A year later, big changes in campus eateries have begun to take form. Look no farther than the improved Tampa Room in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center, which now boasts among other additions, sushi.

Why sushi?

The need for an on-campus sushi restaurant was one of the top comments made on the survey, said Monica Witte, USF Dining Services marketing manager.

“We try to keep up with the trends and this is definitely a major food trend as well as a great addition for the vegetarian students on campus,” Witte said.

Besides adding new food joints around campus, renovations to old ones have also been made, the biggest perhaps being the makeover to the campus cafeteria formerly known as Crossroads.

In its place now is The Fresh Food Company. The exhibition-style cooking restaurant features a cooking station in the dining area where students can watch food being prepared. Fresh food is delivered daily so each dish can be made specifically to each student’s taste.

“It’s so nice, because it’s made for you. If you don’t like spinach in your pasta, then you don’t have to have it in your pasta. You can choose what you want and what you don’t want,” Witte said.

The Marshall Center also added several new restaurants along with changes made to the Tampa Room.

Bene, one of the new restaurants, serves pizza and pasta dishes such as lasagna and stuffed shells. The Salad Garden features a healthy selection of meals that are pre-made or made to order.

In the Andros dining center, USF added a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop and a new convenience store. The area is a late night hangout for students and is open until 1 a.m. for those late night snacks, Witte said.

Additional food services that have been added to campus are Montague’s Deli and Java City in the Business building, Freshens Smoothie and Java City in the Health Sciences building, and Express Shop convenience store in the Engineering building.

Witte said a Starbucks being built next to the USF Library will be open by the middle of this semester and a Burger King restaurant in construction beside the Education Building will be finished by the beginning of the spring semester, Witte said.

“The Marshall Center didn’t look anything like this when I came here as an undergrad. I’m impressed,” said Tyvi Small, former student body president and current graduate student at USF.

Besides sushi being a popular demand, the new ice creams shops have received high praise as well.

“It’s more organized, has better décor and I can get ice cream any time I want,” said Katja Blythe, a junior.

For more information and the locations of all of the dining services, visit