The Arizona Desert Lamp

Myth Busting: “More Healthy Options”

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 27 February 2009

Healthy Eating PyramidListening to the candidates describe the healthy eating scene on campus, you might think that we live in Sbarroland. Scant hours after the Senate candidates forum, though, I received this UANews update in my inbox:

The popular Core restaurant has expanded.

On March 2, the restaurant will open in a brand new location – at The University of Arizona’s Park Student Union – serving an entirely different area of campus. Core takes over the area at the union once occupied by Panda Express.

The UA restaurant, which serves more than 120 fresh ingredients and organic options allowing guests to customize their own salads, opened in September 2007 at the Student Union Memorial Center and quickly became a popular feature.

So now we have not one, but two locations of a restaurant solely dedicated to customizable salads, about as healthy of an option as one can concoct. This comes on the heels of the transformation of the former Cellar Grill into the Cellar Bistro, with offerings such as a quinoa salad or blackened chicken with mango salsa. The new Boost market offers nutritious power-bars for those who are on the run.

These are just the healthy eateries that have sprouted up in the last two years. We still have IQ Fresh, which in addition to its SUMC location also offers smoothies at the PSU and the U-Mart. On Deck Deli continues to offer plenty of healthy sandwich offerings, as do both the Breugger’s Bagels in the PSU and the Eller Deli by McClelland Hall. Redington Cafe‘s buffet has many healthy entrees for the choosing, and the Cactus Grill continues to offer a salad bar. Three Cheeses vends a vegetarian sandwich, as well as caesar salad. Cafe Sonora provides for vegetarian options, taco salads, soy cheese, and daily vegetables. Then there’s the Oy Vey Cafe, with its vegetarian paninis and salads, and the Highland Market, which now offers fresh fruits and vegetables, along with undefined offerings of “health food.”

Even this list isn’t even comprehensive; I refer you instead to a list offered by the Union itself, providing a list of the varied healthy options available on campus. It also doesn’t take into account the many, many healthy options that exist on University Ave. alone, a short walk from campus. It doesn’t take into account the ability to go to the grocery store, via Safe Ride, and buy your own healthy eating materials at a very decent rate.

It is quite possible to eat healthy on campus; moreover, it is probably easier to maintain a healthier diet here on campus than almost any other area in the city. Students who want to eat in a healthier manner have a vast array of established resources at their disposal. Yet this is a personal choice, and not one that needs to be forced even further down the collective gullet by a legislative body. Current complaints over healthy eating would be legitimate if the Union was intentionally stymying efforts to establish healthy options in favor of a Jack-in-the-Box; yet a quick survey of the scene reveals that the opposite trend is in effect.

Now, there is one healthy option that the Lamp could support: allowing Union eateries to serve wine, which, as all good health nuts know, is quite healthy when taken in moderation [Like all things! – MA]. Good luck getting that one past the Union administration.

Image courtesy of Flickr user stevegarfield

Election 2008: Battle for the Cellar

Posted in Campus, Culture by Connor Mendenhall on 3 December 2008

Excited to cast a ballot in a nugatory campuswide election between three insipid candidates? If so, you’re in luck—thanks to Arizona Student Unions, you won’t have to wait until student government elections this spring!

In a contest sure to appeal to lovers of local democracy and carbon-neutral organic quinoa, the restaurant formerly known as the “Cellar” is submitting its new name and logo to the will of the people. Formerly a purveyor of bacon cheeseburgers, breakfast burritos, and Oreo milkshakes, the restaurant’s menu has been “infused with more healthy options,” like “organic grass-fed burgers,” “bistro egg burritos,” and “hand spun milkshakes.” (The last because, as any local-foodie worth his salt knows, blood, sweat, toil, and tears are directly proportional to nutrition).

They’ve also added a smorgasbord of stuff white people like: “honey mustard grilled wild salmon, apricot chipotle glazed wild salmon, coconut curry shrimp, Thai red curry grilled chicken, blackened tilapia, prickly pear grilled chicken, turkey and veggie burgers, a grilled Portobello mushroom sandwich, quinoa and potato salads and boba teas.”

Bobo tea might be more appropriate, but I must admit that parts of the new menu are more appealing than the old greasy fare. And though I don’t care much about limiting my radish radix radius, it looks like the changes do give students more meal options, which I can get behind.

So what of the election? In the interest of an informed studentry, here’s a brief analysis of the name contenders:


Green Underground Eats:  With edgy typography, Cthulhic tendrils, and the hip use of “eats” as a noun, this candidate is the most radical departure from “Cellar Restaurant.” The term “underground” recalls not just the restaurant’s physical location, but a certain subversive chic. “Green,” of course, is a catch-all appendage for the environmentally conscious. A clear attempt both to convey a message of change and to appear relevant to young voters.

frescolg_horizFresco Honest Eats: A playful but wholesome font; a name and logo evoking the dappled play of summer sunshine across a jumping castle in the Italian countryside. The word “honest” carries a subtle but powerful implicit value judgement, leading us to wonder: how much do we really know about Green Underground Eats’ radical past? Here we again see “eats” employed as a noun, but recontextualized amid “fresco” and “honest,” the term takes on a folksy flair. Fresco is hardworking and energetic, plain-spoken and good-natured. In short, a hockey mom.


Cellar Bistro: The only candidate to retain a vestige of the old “Cellar Restaurant,” Cellar Bistro pays its respects to tradition, but offers a bold update to an old heritage. The word “restaurant” (from Fr. restaurer, lit. ‘restore to a former state’) was first used in Paris in 1765. The word “bistro” also originated in Paris, but not until the early 1920s. Here, “bistro” is a bridge between the rational scientific-innovative spirit of the Enlightenment and the world of the Modern—crucially, a period of the Modern after the indictment of these very values in the Great War. It is at once a call to return to the rudiments of our shared Western history and, especially as evidenced by its organic, primitive (yet humanist!) script, a repudiation of artificial ideology in favor of a more natural pragmatism.

Now go forth, dear readers, and vote! After all, if you don’t voice your preference for one of these three inspired identities, you can’t complain when our grand Democratic Process spits out a stupid one.