Gluten-free students turn to new dining options during Prentice Café closure

Megan Medfisch Health and Fitness reporter

After the closure of Prentice Café, the only completely gluten-free dining hall on campus, gluten-free students must look elsewhere for dining options.

A new dining hall, DI Dining: Eat-In, located in the DI HUB, features a Gluten Solutions station. However, this dining hall is not open on weekends.

“It’s harder to find fulfilling meals on weekends,” said Susan Crawford, a freshman nursing major.

Crawford has been gluten-free for four years.  

“On weekends, I usually go to Rosie’s or Boar’s Head to eat,” she said. “But Rosie’s doesn’t list all of the allergens in some of the menu options. I got fries one time, assuming they would be gluten-free. But I believe they ended up having gluten, because they made me really sick.”

Prentice Café closed this summer as the DI Dining: Eat-In location opened with the Gluten Solutions station and has been repurposed into an engagement space for students, said Gary Goldberg, an Assistant VP for Student Engagement.

Crawford said it would be beneficial if Prentice was still open, as she would be able to eat freely without worrying about checking menus all the time. 

Eastway Fresh Food Company is open every day, making it a weekend option for gluten-free students. 

The True Balance station at Eastway includes gluten-free bread and hamburger buns for made-to-order hamburgers, turkey burgers, shredded chicken sandwiches, and deli meats. There is also a large salad bar offered throughout the day including fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Rosie’s, a dining service open every day, added more gluten-free menu items this semester.

“We made additions to gluten-free options at Rosie’s, including smoothies and gluten-free pizza available upon request,” said Kevin Moodhe, a Dining Services marketing manager. 

Another dining service available on weekends is Eastway Market & Deli Boar’s Head deli meats. Gluten-free bread is available upon request. 

“I like Rosie’s and Boar’s Head better than Eastway for gluten-free options on weekends,” Crawford said. “At Eastway, I’ve often seen options like vegetables and rice, but those foods don’t make me feel full.”

Moodhe said Dining Services always works to provide a variety of food options that work with every dietary need.

“We are constantly looking to enhance our dining program so that there are options available for any guest no matter where they are on campus,” said Moodhe.

Crawford said she hopes for an all gluten-free dining hall again in the future.

The Dining Services’ online menu system can be found here. There is also a gluten-free options page, and a gluten-free brochure listing options available on campus. 

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Prentice Cafe was set to reopen in the spring of 2021. However, this was never the case. The article has been updated to reflect this information.

Megan Medfisch covers heath and fitness. Contact her at [email protected].


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