We ask three different students where to eat and receive five different answers with 27 sets of directions. But we immediately trust the woman who points us toward Hart House and says: “Lots of fresh roasted chicken dishes and excellent vegetarian options.”
The menu at Sammy’s is heartening: it’s just great seeing a campus cafeteria serving food in tune with how students should be eating. Fresh food is colourful, and this cafeteria looks like a rainbow of sandwiches, salads, pizzas and smoothies. The “Chicken of the Worlds” section runs from tandoori to Cajun(five halal options daily)—the Thai-marinated and mysteriously deboned half-chicken is nicely spiced and juicy, the side of potatoes generous and warming. The mostly iceberg side salad is crisp, though the gloopy Thai dressing accompanying it is an unfortunate misstep. A six-inch brie and pear sandwich on whole wheat comes pre-wrapped or made to order. Either way, the ingredients are impeccable even if the cheese is standard issue.
Line service is chatty and smiley, but the seating area looks a titch post “Restaurant Makeover” (read: modern but cheap). Then again, pretty nice digs for a cafeteria.
Head over to salad central, and there’s a two-option plate: the couscous sporting tricoloured peppers, tomatoes, kidney beans and chickpeas with a hint of cumin, and the broccoli salad maintaining its crunch along with a fistful of strawberry slices and a whisper of red onion.
A large mango-strawberry smoothie is as thick as War and Peace and feels like a vitamin blast. Dessert, a fudgy Dufflet cupcake, has absolutely no downside. They also offer fair trade coffee: and all this for about $10 a person.
When the sun’s shining there are tables for alfresco dining, yet the pigeons and sparrows prove to be a nuisance. Then again, those must be some mighty healthy birds. Bonus: there’s also a full-service bar.
— Amy Rosen