Sutter Dining Hall: Accessible but tasteless


Section of Sutter Dining Hall that serves Vegan pizza. Photo credit: Sophia Robledo-Borowy

Sutter Dining Hall has a range of food options from burgers and fries, fish tacos at Hot Spot to lemon chicken with sorghum risotto at Main Stage. Then there are various pastas, pizzas, soups and salads at other stations.

Sutter Dining Hall has been a conventional food source for a majority of Chico State students. On average, the dining hall serves about 15,000 meals every week.

For students waking up in a twin sized bed at Whitney Hall with no desire to trek into town to fuel up for the day, Sutter Dining is the way to go. The hall is an all-you-can-eat buffet just steps outside of your dorm room. Rather than spending real money on food, Sutter offers meals that are just a swipe away.

Due to availability and convenience, freshmen students with meal plans typically get the most use out of Sutter Dining. A full menu is provided online a day in advance so you can decide whether it’s worth the swipe or not.

Accessibility aside, would students still frequent Sutter Dining because they actually enjoy the food?

Freshman, Miguel Ruana lives on campus and visits Sutter about three times a week.

First-year student Miguel Ruana. Photo credit: Sophia Robledo-Borowy

“I feel it is okay. There needs to be more variety,” Ruana said.

Freshman, Julianne Ray agreed with Ruana. Despite living off-campus and rarely frequenting the eatery, Ray said that the food quality could be drastically improved by better seasoning.

First-Year student Julianne Ray. Photo credit: Sophia Robledo-Borowy

Priscilla Garcia, freshman, who goes to Sutter twice a week, said that the food seemed monotonous to her.

First-year student Priscilla Garcia. Photo credit: Sophia Robledo-Borowy

“I don’t like the ambiance. They could make improvements by providing better culture food,” Garcia said.

Garcia further explained that the cultured dishes, such as their Spanish rice and tostadas, did not taste authentic or traditional.

Sutter Dining Hall was awarded the 2013 ‘Silver Plate Award’ by The National Association of College and University Food Service. Outside of this success, it’s not stated if Sutter has won awards before or after the Silver Plate Award.

Yelp rates Sutter Dining Hall at a measly 2 out of 5 stars. Most of the critiques on Yelp state that the food is poor in authenticity and originality.

Despite this low score and lack of seasoned foods, Sutter Dining does offer a wide variety of cuisines.

A list of various options that are available for students to try at the salad bar. Photo credit: Sophia Robledo-Borowy

The dining hall now has a vegan and gluten-free food station offering personalized burritos or grains and green bowls. Next to the station, there is also an array of vegan desserts.

Aside from taste, I commend their efforts for being dietary conscious. With all the recent diet and lifestyle changes amongst our generation, it’s satisfying knowing places like Sutter accept these changes.

Sophia Robledo-Borowy can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.