A taste of the CEA

Parnia Dehghani

The Covered Eating Area (CEA), offers students a variety of food selections, both for breakfast and lunch. Many, including myself, rely mainly on their lunch items as a source of energy after a long morning of classes. As the lunch bell goes off, students rush out in a hustle to get in line and often spend a large portion of their lunchtime waiting to get the food. Is all of this worth the long-lasting wait? In this article, I will review the top lunch items picked based on an anonymous survey completed by Redwood students to determine if the food is really worth the lengthy line.

Sitting on top of the cafeteria tables lies the top picked lunch item, the orange chicken rice bowl.

Orange Chicken Rice bowl:

The top choice picked by students is the orange chicken rice bowl. I actually enjoy the orange chicken and think that it’s very flavorful even though there aren’t as many pieces of chicken as you would hope to receive upon opening up the box. My only real problem with it is the proportions of white rice compared to the orange chicken pieces, as the white rice by itself is very dry and bland.

Cheese pizza:

The second most popular choice was the cheese pizza. Due to its frequent appearance on the cafeteria menu, students often pick it out. As delicious as a nice cheesy pizza sounds, after waiting in a line for 10 minutes, the warm, rubbery, and almost sweet-tasting cheese pizza is not very fulfilling due to its small proportions. Overall, there is nothing too special about it due to the lack of flavor, though it might be the next best choice when your favorite item is not available.

Piling up together, students wait in line to get lunch.

Chicken Sandwich:

The third pick was the chicken sandwich. Now the chicken sandwich is a hit or a miss for me. At times it’s a bit mushy on the outside, and other times it’s crispy and dry. The chicken also can be chewy or tender at times which is another reason it’s not on the top of my list. The buns, on the other hand, are a bit soggy. Upon adding some condiments, however, there is more balance created between the flavor and texture.

Mac and cheese:

The fourth choice was mac and cheese. Although the size portion of it compared to the other lunch items is significantly bigger, the taste, in my opinion, is solid. Depending on the temperature you receive, it ranges from creamy to almost solid-like. It is not too flavorful even though it contains a generous amount of cheese. However, it still leaves you very fulfilled afterward.


The final choice was the cheeseburger. Although it is quite similar to the chicken sandwich due to the soggy buns, I actually prefer the cheeseburger. The taste of the patty itself is pretty juicy, and I think the cheese adds flavor, especially when it’s hot and melted. I enjoy it more with condiments and think that it’s one of the better menu items, even with its low ranking.

Overall I think it’s safe to say that the cafeteria food is not as terrible as others make it out to be. Yes, there are items on the menu that could use improvements, however, I think that there are more items that are worth your time than items that are not, especially when you are very hungry.