Humanistic focus on the salad bar

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Plenty of prejudices about humanists came into play when the two cafeteria reviewers René Bærentsen and Søren Amstrup visited the Nobel Park cafeteria. They were generally satisfied, but also tasted a rather boring meatballs in curry.

2014.12.05 | Sara Kristiansen

René Bærentsen (yellow T-shirt) and Søren Amstrup, did not hold anything back when trying the Nobel Park cafeteria. "It’s pretty rare for me to really attack a cafeteria buffet that hard," laughed Søren Amstrup. Photo: Maria Randima.

Photo: Maria Randima.

Photo: Maria Randima.

Photo: Maria Randima.

Reviewed by: René Bærentsen and Søren Amstrup, both studying molecular biology and on their third semester.

Food: We usually keep to our local cafeterias – the Chemical cafeteria or the Mathematics cafeteria – but we were happy to take on the task of reviewing the Nobel Park cafeteria. We were met by an attractive salad bar with a range of interesting salads, large sandwiches with different fillings, Danish meatballs, quiche and the dishes of the day: meatballs in curry and goulash soup. In addition, there was a wide range of drinks, fruit and cakes.

We tried a bit of everything so we would have the best possible basis for the review. We ended up with the meatballs in curry, a salmon sandwich, cranberry juice, a cookie, a raspberry bar – and neither of us could resist trying the inviting salad bar, which certainly didn’t disappoint.

The salmon sandwich is big. The bread is home-baked and stodgy but still good, even though it wasn’t really crispy, but you can’t really expect it to be after it’s been lying there so long. And there was plenty of filling while the salmon was delicious. A sandwich that really fills you up.

But the meatballs in curry was not quite as impressive. The rice was sludgy and overcooked. The sauce was harmless and the level of spices used was not exactly open handed. But it was honest and it was meatballs in curry the way your mother likes it. It was just not worth DKK 38. Had it been somewhat cheaper then it would have been more acceptable.

On the other hand, the salad bar was a success. There were five different salads to choose from and, on top of that, a selection of different toppings and dressings. Everything looked fresh and they had used good quality ingredients. There were no signs so we had to guess what was in the salads. They were, however, tasty and filling, even though you couldn’t always guess what you were actually eating. Even with typically Danish reservation we’d have to say that the salads tasted really good.

It was then that the prejudices about humanists were brought into play when we saw that the salads had been given the most prominent place in the cafeteria, while the dishes of the day were hidden further back – salads are good, but meatballs in curry and Danish meatballs are not for humanists!

Though the main courses were filling, nothing was going to stop us testing the choice of cakes. As a self-appointed raspberry bar (and similar types of cake) fan, René turned his critical attention to the raspberry bar. It was a bit soft and kind of melted together so you tasted everything at once. It was a little below the level of a professional bakery – but not much. Without doubt a good raspberry bar. We tested the cookie by breaking it in two – it wasn’t soft. Even though it’s a matter of taste, we’d like it to be softer. But it was good and they hadn’t tried to save money on the best of all – the chocolate. Finally, the organic cranberry juice tasted good and there was free water.

Price: The salad, drinks, sandwiches and cake prices were, like they are in other cafeterias, very fair. But DKK 38 for the hot dish – it was simply not worth it.

Atmosphere: Nice, bright and open. Although there is a lot of activity you can still sit and talk undisturbed. The view of the auditorium and the nice outdoor areas are somewhat more attractive than what we’re used to. And it has a good, central location.

Conclusion: It looks like they generally understand that what you want is something for your money. The salad is well worth the price – it fills you up and a full stomach is what we like. In fact, that’s the most important thing for a student. But the meatballs in curry make it hard to give top marks.

 


Grading:

Food: 1-5 Omnibus logos

1: Ugh!
2: Just barely edible
3: Not exactly a culinary experience but the food does at least fill you up
4: Happy taste buds!
5: Yummy! I want to come and eat here again....

Atmosphere: 1-3 Omnibus logos

1: Boring/cold/packed/empty
2: OK but not very interesting
3: Cosy - I could sit here all afternoon!


Are you peckish and are your taste buds discriminating?

Then you could be an Omnibus cafeteria reviewer. You must be a student or member of staff at Aarhus University and preferably a bit of a foodie. As a minimum, you need to be interested in finding a good, well-prepared meal at AU at a fair price. We review both the food and the atmosphere in the cafeteria.

Write to us at: omnibus@au.dk

Translated by Peter Lambourne.

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