The Battle For Minds, Hearts, Cholesterol

That break between classes just rolled around, and your stomach continues to growl as hunger makes its presence. You head to the cafeteria to try and grab something to eat. 

As you walk into the cafeteria the two main competitors to satisfy your hunger are Fresh and Natural, the old stand by, and Campus Kitchen, the new arrival at SMC. But which one to choose?

While they both offer similar menus, featuring sandwiches, burritos, and salads, the two entities are separate, each with their own positives and negatives. 

As you walk up to the newly opened Campus Kitchen, you are greeted by two flat screen televisions that display the menu. One screen displays the Asian food offerings along with the pizza, while the other screen shows the options you have to order from the grill side of the eatery.  

The grill side includes burgers, veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries and other sides. The menu displays a bit of the vendors health initiative by stating that the fries are baked, rather than fried.

 The Campus Kitchen company website even states, "If an item can be baked and not fried, we bake, reducing fat."  

Campus Kitchen also has self-serve refrigerated units that you can grab a drink out of, or even a salad. 

The drinks range from the usual selection, with the usual prices you would see in a vending machine, minus the soda. 

So it's time to order from the Campus Kitchen. I get a slice of pizza, a chicken sandwich, and a side of fries. All together it cost me $9.00, which isn't too bad considering the eateries in this city. 

The pizza, that tastes like it could have come from any major pizza place, was so hot and cheesy, that I had to fight the urge to go back for another slice. 

The chicken sandwich was grilled, and tasted good with the just one major downfall: the hard bun. The biggest upset was the healthy, baked fries that were served to me somewhat cold. 

Overall, Campus Kitchen is worth trying if you need a quick bite in the cafeteria. The pizza is a delicious and inexpensive snack in between meals. The Asian food also looked delectable, while the burritos looked pretty full of ingredients. 

The journey in the cafeteria continues around the corner at the veteran of food service, Fresh and Natural.  I was apprehensive as I walked over to the vender, as I have heard several jokes about the place being nicknamed "Fresh and Nasty." However, my experience proved the nickname incorrect. 

With a very similar menu, offering salads, sandwiches, burritos, and Asian cuisine, the Fresh and Natural looks like Campus Kitchen's, less hip sibling missing the flat screen televisions. 

The Fresh and Natural website also expresses the health initiatives similar to Campus Kitchen. The company's website states, "Our special cultural menus represent different parts of the world, along with our traditional café / cafeteria menu, will promote a tasty and healthy meal"

When it is time to order at Fresh and Natural, I just order a plain chicken burrito with all the fixings. I found myself really enjoying the burrito, and enjoying that it only set me back about $6.00. The other students in line at the time seem to be enjoying the same Mexican fiesta I was, with two out of the three behind me also ordering a burrito. 

The news about Fresh and Natural isn't all good though, one student Maxwell White, 19, expresses his views on Fresh and Natural stating, "The burritos were good and cheap enough. But one day I ended up spending $8 on a single salad and I've cut back from eating there since." 

In these hard times, prices is certainly a factor, but I found that across the board, prices between the two were competitively similar, not making it a giant factor in picking one place over the other. 

After the eating experiences at both Campus Kitchen and Fresh and Natural, I would have to say they are similar and the choice would have to depend on what you are craving. 

If pizza is your thing, then head on over to Campus Kitchen. On the other hand, if you are hungry for a burrito Fresh and Natural may be your choice. And if you aren't craving anything in particular, flipping a coin might be best. 

And for those times you find yourself without a coin, Subway is always right across the street.