Students enjoy fine dining at Flash House Bistro

Rachel Stevenson

Students could splurge on steak, crab legs, shrimp cocktails and other high-end menu items at the annual “Flash House Bistro” hosted by Kent State’s Dining Services in Eastway Café Wednesday evening.

“We heard the music playing and thought we might as well check it out, and then we walked in on this whole five-star experience,” said Colin Shinosky, a freshman pre-nursing major.

He said that although he has rarely seen the dining hall as busy as it was, he feels the event brings a different dining experience to students living on campus.

“It’s more regal,” he said. “I always have burgers or pizza or Subway, and this is bringing something more extravagant. It definitely brings out a little more of a finer, more domestic taste.”

Catherine Kurtz, senior manager of Eastway Café, said her staff starts food preparation for the event two to three days in advance, and on average, around 1,500 students attend each year between 4 and 9 p.m.

“This is the second largest event, with (the) Soul Food (event) being the first,” she said.

The Soul Food event, hosted Oct. 11, featured southern hospitality and comfort foods while celebrating African-American culture and featuring live entertainment.

“Normally (with) Soul Food we’ll have gospel singers in here,” Kurtz said. “(It) is standing room only.”

Kurtz said the diversity of these events provide an opportunity for students to expand their taste palettes and try cuisines from different cultures.

“I think it’s nice that we bring in different foods for them to splurge on and have fun with things they don’t normally get to do,” she said.

Andrew Eith, executive chef at Eastway Café, said he selected the menu items featured at the Flash House Bistro — including a standing prime rib to carve, which is new to the menu this year — in order to tailor menu items to student interests and provide healthy options.

“More than half the menu is healthy,” he said. “If they don’t want crab legs with butter, then you can just have crab legs so that will be healthy. And the steak is not unhealthy in moderation.”

Emily O’Millian, a sophomore fashion merchandising major, said she enjoys theme nights at Eastway because of the wide variety of menu options.

“They always have really good food when they do the theme nights,” she said. “It’s always better than just normal Eastway food.”

Furthermore, students said they enjoyed the ambiance and décor of the event.

“It’s cute because the tables are all together and there’s flowers and fancy music,” said Brooke Kinzel, a freshman pre-fashion merchandising major.

Shinosky said with the event being timed at the end of the semester, the regal dining environment is a great way for students to relax before finals. Other students, like freshman applied engineering major Brandon Jacinto, said he feels the event brings the Kent State community together.

“It’s kind of cool, seeing this many people, because usually when we come here there’s not really that many people here,” he said.

However, Eith said students are not the only ones who enjoy the event.

“These events, I think, are the most fun for myself and the staff to do so we’re glad the students like it,” he said.

Rachel Stevenson is the residence services reporter, contact her at [email protected].