September 1, 2011—A delectable range of culinary fare awaits students at Sam’s Place, the new 640-seat dining facility at The Heights, Montclair State’s state-of-the-art residential complex that comprises 568,000 square-feet of living space and a 24,000 square foot dining area. The residence and dining complex will formally open at a campus event on September 14, 2011 that is expected to be attended by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, and Assemblyman Albert Coutinho along with students and other distinguished guests.
The dining facility features six themed restaurant stations offering menu selections that include: comfort foods, healthy choices, exotic international dishes, Italian cuisine, grilled favorites, and deli sandwiches. Architectural and design elements give visually distinct identities to the restaurants, with comfortable seating areas complementing the restaurants in look and feel.
Sam’s Place is named in memory of Sam Mills, Montclair State’s two-time All-American linebacker and College Football Hall of Famer who went on to have a long and distinguished NFL career as both a player and a coach.
In keeping with the upscale tone, plastic tableware and trays have been banished in favor of china plates and heavy grade stainless steel cutlery. “This is miles from the old days of cafeterias,” declared campus executive chef Kenneth Fredericks. “It’s more like a corporate dining environment.”
Menu boards give a detailed nutritional and caloric breakdown of the foods at each station to help students eat more healthily and avoid weight gain. “They’re very helpful as long as people take portion size into account,” Fredericks said. Menus are also posted online.
World’s Fare—Pan-Asian dishes cooked on a 360-degree Mongolian grill, Asian-style salads and a vegetarian option. Topping selections include kim chi, marinated carrots, and sesame seeds. An express line features egg rolls, fried dumplings, and a stir-fried item.
Garden State Fresh—Salad bar and vegetarian entrees, and an omelet station on weekends.
Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta—Serves simple Italian dishes, from pizza and calzones to breadsticks and Italian-style salads. Offers a daily choice of two pastas, and a variety of sauces, vegetables, and meats.
Flying Hawk Grill—Traditional diner fare, including scrambled eggs and bacon, burgers and fries, roasts and stews, grilled cheese sandwiches, and specialty items such as mushroom, ham, and Swiss frittatas.
Panino’s Deli—Fresh, hand-tossed salads, as well as flavorful paninis, sandwiches, and wraps made to order. A choice of three different soups daily and delicious baked treats.
All Day Café—The place for cereal, waffles, desserts, bagels, grits and oatmeal, chili and stew.
Flying Hawk Grill, World’s Fare, and Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta have seafood on the menu. Cake, cookies and brownies are available at every station and fruits and juices are always within easy reach. Menus repeat once every 28 days, with occasional grilled and deli specials featured. All meals can be made-to-order and the restaurants are designed with forward facing equipment so food can be watched while it’s being cooked. “Our cooks never have their back to you. You can interact with them while they cook,” he added.
Food at Sam’s Place is peanut and monosodium glutamate (MSG) free, with zero trans fat oils and some sugar-free desserts. A gluten-free corner near the Flying Hawk Grill contains a microwave, a toaster, and a refrigerator filled with gluten-free bread, pasta, and other items that diners can prepare themselves.
Dining at The Heights is open to students, faculty, staff, and other visitors. Meal prices are: breakfast $5.00, brunch $9.25, lunch $8.00, and dinner $9.25 ($9.50 on premium nights).
Montclair State University
Montclair State offers the advantages of a large university -- a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with a global focus, a broad variety of superior graduate programs through the doctoral level, and a diverse faculty and student body -- combined with a small college's attention to students.
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