By Jacob Croteau 

Quite recently, Bryant University dining has made some “upgrades” to the options available for students here on campus. Over my past two years on campus, we have had the same rotation of meal-time options. Salmanson Dining Hall is available with a variety of food for a mere meal swipe from 7:15 AM until 7:30 PM, with its scheduled two-hour break at 2:30 PM. As many students have taken note, Salmo can outdo expectations but can also leave you with nothing much. Nick’s Place, the better quality McDonald’s of campus, opens at 11 AM and doesn’t close until 11:30 PM. Nick’s had become very popular among students the moment their meal swipe option opens up, allowing students to get an entree, one side, and a 21-ounce soda of their choice. As of this semester, Nick’s has extended their meal swipe meal option from only 7:30 PM – 10 PM to now being available 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM. However, be careful, if you go to Nick’s at the wrong time, you may end up enjoying that long line of about 20-30 hungry Bryant students straight out of night class at 9:15 PM.  

You can never forget the late-night weekend HOT SPOT, Ronzio’s Pizza. Ronzio’s, due to being privately owned, gives students a reason to use our bulldog bucks or our own hard-earned cash. Now, Ronzio’s can expose some freshmen to sights they never thought they would see in a respectable pizza parlor. With their cheap, yummy slices and exquisite side dishes, Ronzio’s takes care of the cheap late-late-night snack we all crave. Personally, the bacon mac and steak parmesan pizzas outrank the rest of their pizza choices, with the small order of mozzarella sticks being another go-to favorite. 

These three options have dominated my first year and a half at Bryant, but it has become time to expand my palate. As of January 2020, our signature Starbucks cafes have begun to steal those beloved meal swipes that have been exhausted into Salmonson and Nick’s Place. Cafe a la Carte and Bulldog Bytes Cafe, located in the Rotunda and the Bello Center respectively, introduced the newest dining option, a you-pick-four meal deal. The pick-four allows students access to a sandwich or salad alongside a drink, dessert bar or fruit, and a bag of chips for one meal swipe. Having the option begin at 11 AM until 8 PM every day is game changing for students, especially with the ability to access the deal for two separate meals throughout the entire day. This upgrade within our cafes has improved our student meal plans to a whole new level. The quickness, healthiness, and availability of the you-pick-four makes it easy for students to pass in-and-out of the cafes in minutes with an entire meal at their fingers. This deal has made some of my peers and myself change our meal swipes to higher counts since they no longer have to repeatedly eat at Salmanson or Nick’s Place and have a healthy option to spice up their daily diets. 

While many students have been focusing on the things Salmanson and Sodexo need to be fixing, Bryant has decided to add this extra level to our dining experience instead. I find it very beneficial to the campus and enables students to easily feed themselves amongst our busy daily schedules. Bulldog Bytes Cafe and Cafe a la Carte are now new, extraordinary, healthy meal options for Bryant Students as of the spring semester of 2020, not only attractive to us, but possibly even to prospecting students.