Audrey Clayton –
Forget about Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders! The only vote you need to cast is to decide which theme you want in the Uncommons Grill next semester.
For anyone that does not know, the Grill is considered a “food democracy,” which is arguably the best form of democracy. Once again, students are given the chance to vote on what will be served there in the spring semester.
“Neither me nor my staff have a vote on the theme or control over the poll,” says Joe Werts, the Director of Dining Services. The vote is controlled solely by the student body. This semester’s theme is “Smokin’ Aces BBQ” that features many types of smoked meats and sauces with all the sides you would expect from a steakhouse.
An interesting thing is how the themes that are voted on are chosen. Werts says he has a list of potential themes for the Grill. Each semester’s poll contains the current theme, an old favorite that could be brought back, and three new options to add to the food democracy. The voting does not only affect the upcoming semester, but future semesters as well. If a theme does not get a high enough rating, it is removed from the list of possible choices for coming semesters as a way of focusing on what students want to see from their alternative dining experience.
This time around, the options are this semester’s winner “Smokin’ Aces BBQ,” the old favorite “Rustic Range,” and three new choices: “Twisted Mac,” “Saboroso,” and “Pollo.” The voting has already begun for the next semester, so seeing as the new theme has yet to be chosen, the menu has yet to be made. However, Werts did say what the menus for each of the themes would be like in comparison to already existing restaurants.
“Rustic Range” is a customizable burger bar that for two consecutive semesters was the winner of the Grill vote. “Twisted Mac” is a noodle bar with all types of noodles and sauces that make it much more than your average mac and cheese, and also includes a more international menu (think “Noodles & Co.” or when you’re trying to spice up your Ramen by adding whatever you have in your room).. “Saboroso” is a build-your-own Mexican bar with everything from quesadillas to burritos, and is based off of Chipotle Mexican Grill. Lastly, “Pollo” (Spanish for “chicken”) is centered on everything chicken and is molded off of Buffalo Wild Wings.
As of November 11, 570 votes had been cast for the next choice. At that time, Saboroso was in first place with almost half of the votes at 253; Pollo held second with 170 votes, while Rustic Range takes third place with only 89 votes.
If you have not cast a vote yet, there is still time and three ways to do so. To take the poll, like the IC Dining Hall on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or see one of the tables set up in Caine. The poll will be open until the day before Thanksgiving break, November 24.