The new menu features subs much like this Philly cheesesteak.
Students returning to the Lion’s Den will notice a difference in the menu — there’s less fat, more subs, and a lot more customization.
The menu changes came about because students weren’t going to the Den, said Jeff Brown, director of dining. The servings were too large and the service was too slow.
The dining staff found that part of the problem last year, he said, was that “the food was too large, if you will, too greasy, too filling.” The flat bread sandwiches, for example, were pulled from this year’s menu, which shifted largely to subs that serve as lighter versions of the flat breads. One such example is the Philly cheesesteak, which comes in a sub sandwich and is similar to the steak bomb flat bread from last year.
The subs also come with customization, something pretty standard with sub shops. Brown was proud to say that students could, “make it your way.”
While the Lion’s Den still offers signature sandwiches, the customization is a central part of the new menu. Both burgers and sandwiches can be made to order with different choices of free toppings, meats, and even bread, which Brown also mentioned is fresh from a bakery each day.
This customization opens the door for healthier options at the Den, something it’s not particularly known for. “I’m not saying everything there is healthy, but if you want to eat healthy there, you can,” Brown said.
While the turkey burger and the whole wheat breads are options, they’re not mandatory. Brown said, “you can still get a triple cheeseburger with bacon, if you wish,” for those who miss the greasy menu of the past.
The new menu also addresses the slowness that has plagued the Lion’s Den in the past. Previously, the Lion’s Den saw little activity during lunch hours, but Brown wanted students to be able to grab lunch from the Den and still make it to class on time. The shift away from the large, greasy foods in last year’s menu has helped speed up getting orders at the Lion’s Den.
Some may have noticed that the prices for the new menu are a little higher than the old one. When asked in an email about this, Brown replied that all the prices for the menu were given a clean slate and set based on the rising cost of the food.
Those with meal exchanges can still make any $5.99 item a combo without paying anything out of pocket, such as the ‘Quick Bites’ and Tender items, Brown said.
The dining staff hasn’t just been making changes to menus, however. The Lion’s Den in particular has seen some changes to the layout in an effort to make it seem more open, and is still a work in progress. In fact, the Den should start doing specials sometime soon. Brown suggested things such as a wing night or a karaoke night could be coming to the Lion’s Den. The Lion’s Den also has a new manager, Ali Elribie, who manages the Coffee House, as well.
Changes across dining to Queens are never finished, according to Brown. The Coffee House has also recently experienced several changes, and the dining hall is always a “work-in-progress,” as Brown put it. The dining staff is even taking a look at tinkering with the operating hours for Einstein’s.
Unsure of what to get at the Lion’s Den after the menu change? Brown recommended a toasted sub or the new nachos. He also added that the chicken tenders have always been one of the most popular items on the menu, and still is.