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Hot Dogs, Burgers May Be Coming to Lobdell This Fall

By Harsha Wasalathanthri

Come next fall, the two vacant booths at the Lobdell food court may offer fast food such as hot dogs or burgers, said Director of Campus Dining Richard D. Berlin. Other options would include Asian food or, less likely, the return of the salad bar.

Until recently, fast food was available at a Burger King in Lobdell, but when independent vendors replaced food options catered by Sodexho last fall, the burgers and fries disappeared.

Dining is also considering opening up a Vietnamese and Thai cuisine stall under chef Mai Pham’s popular lemon grass restaurant. “This will ensure that MIT continues to have a diverse array of food options from around the globe,” Berlin said.

Another possibility would be bringing back the salad bar, but Berlin said prior to its closing last fall, the salad bar drew only a small percentage of Lobdell’s income. “One possible reason for wanting it reopened is the misconception that it is the only place to get fresh, healthy food,” Berlin said. “But the other establishments currently running at Lobdell all serve fresh healthy food.”

At present, plans are also underway to introduce a Dunkin’ Donuts shop in place of the Alpine Bagel Cafe on the first floor of the Student Center. “Our decisions are made with every consideration to feedback from the student body,” Berlin said. “Popular food stalls do good business, and if independent vendors are interested in moving their shop elsewhere, it is usually a clear indication that the shop is not sufficiently popular.”

Campus Dining also considers feedback from the Undergraduate Association Dining Committee, the Campus Dining Advisory Board and Dormitory Council.

Dining also conducts surveys to determine popular student requests. The Anna’s Taqueria in the Student Center was opened up last year because such a survey indicated strong demand.