Iacocca Café and Market X are the two dining options on MTC, offering limited food choices. Lehigh is trying to figure out ways to bring a wider range of food options to the campus. (Letong Zhang/B&W Staff)

Lehigh Dining works to secure better options on Mountaintop Campus

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With core academic departments such as computer science and art, architecture and design residing on Mountaintop Campus, students crave more accessible and diverse food options— specifically healthier and more substantial choices.

Although Mountaintop offers a café inside Iacocca Hall and a self-serve market in Building C, students often can’t find what they’re looking for.

“The self-service area has good coffee options, but the food is limited to snacks and unappetizing sandwiches,” John Cantwell, ’20, said. “I’ll usually just eat before coming or bring my own food if I’m staying late.”

With scarce vegetarian options available, Arielle Gordon, ’21, said she often brings her own food when she goes to Mountaintop for class and to study.

She said if she gets hungry while on Mountaintop Campus, she she often has to leave to get food or struggles to find dining options she can eat. 

“If I want something substantial, I can’t find it,” Gordon said. “All of the options are processed or are small snacks, and there’s really not many options, especially for me.”

The excess of healthier options like fruit smoothies, fresh salads and sandwiches at Fairchild-Martindale Library’s new café may make studying on Asa Packer campus more appealing.

Fairchild-Martindale Library’s close proximity to nearby restaurants also entices students for late-night studying.

“FML’s compelling options make me more inclined to study there, as well as the fact that it’s close to Johnny’s, Campus Pizza, P1 and other food options,” Cantwell said.

Lehigh Dining received feedback from faculty, staff and students regarding Mountaintop’s lacking of food options and is attempting to implement some changes.

Lehigh’s Simply Skewered food truck offers Brazilian-inspired plates like Mala chicken, vegetable kebobs and yucca fries. The truck is often parked near STEPS.

Starting this semester, Simply Skewered will be served at Mountaintop on Tuesdays, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., with hopes of providing to students appealing and fresh options.

“We’ve worked closely with the Fusion group, who is based out of Mountaintop for the design and marketing Lehigh’s Simply Skewered food truck, so we thought it would make sense to have the truck up there on a trial basis,” said Evan Rehrig, the marketing manager for Lehigh Dining. 

There hasn’t been a lot of activity between faculty, staff, students and Simply Skewered, but Lehigh Dining is happy to try it out and see what people think, Rehrig said.

“It’s hard to say if Simply Skewered will become permanent at Mountaintop or if there’s more options or plans in the works,” Rehrig said. “We understand there’s more classes and activity up there, but we’re still looking at ways we can add more food and dining.”

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