February 10, 2020

SIU dining halls are offering meal specials to showcase new Mongolian-style grill

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The university community and public can feast on a made-to-order Asian grill bowl meal or any of the other scores of all-you-can eat options and take advantage of meal specials this month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The “Grill at Trueblood” and Lentz Dining Hall are both offering two-for-one promotions where diners can enjoy a buy one, get one free lunch or dinner deal now through Feb. 24.

It’s all about highlighting the tasty dining hall fare – particularly the new Mongolian-style Grill at Trueblood and getting the word out that it’s open to the public.

Asian cuisine, made-to-order

The bowl is proving to be hugely popular with the students and University Housing officials believe visitors will enjoy it as well. Diners can select all of the ingredients they want – either with meat or without for vegetarian preferences – and watch the grill masters prepare the ingredients in their bowls on the 500-degree flat top grill, serving the meals steaming hot.

Choices include several types of noodles, quinoa, tofu, several meats and myriad of veggies, from broccoli, peppers and carrots to several types of onions, beans and just about anything one might want. There’s also several types of noodles, many different in-house sauces and an assortment of meats and proteins.

The grill is open daily 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. when classes are in session.

Options abound

That’s not all though. There are many, many other choices offered at each dining hall – all for one price -- including:

  • Salad bars.
  • Delis with sandwiches on fresh-made bread.
  • Pizza and pasta.
  • Dessert and yogurt bars.
  • Soda fountains with flavor shots.
  • Burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and similar fare.
  • Homemade signature soups.
  • Action stations featuring different foods or entrees each day, cooked as diners watch.
  • Buffets featuring home-style cooking at its finest.

Get tickets at the door

University Housing is offering the special any day through Feb. 24 for lunch and dinner on a walk-in basis. Reservations are not required.

Tickets are available at the Trueblood Dining Hall, located at 1175 S. Washington Street, or Lentz Dining Hall, located at 1275 Point Drive, in Carbondale. Get tickets at the door and when one ticket is purchased the second guest gets to eat free. Both people must be present at the same time and vouchers are not available.

Dining passes are available by cash, check or credit card payment. Ticket prices and additional information are available online. Free parking is also available nearby in Lot 58.

International flair

University Housing staff are always looking for ways to make dining on campus a better experience for students and others. That includes offering a “Recipes from Home” program that allows students to submit any favorite recipe for consideration as an addition to the dining hall menus. The staff also accommodates students who have allergies or food sensitivities and assures there are ample vegetarian and vegan food options at all times.

Each semester, the University Housing Nutrition Team and Culinary and Nutrition Services staff collaborate to offer a series of special international meals. The “Passport to Good Nutrition” program gives diners the chance to enjoy dishes from other countries. The cost for those who don’t have student dining plans is $11 per meal ($12.29 including tax) and meal tickets may be purchased at the door. All of these lunch meals are served from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The schedule for the spring semester, including the country from which the cuisine originates, is:

  • Feb. 17 – Trueblood Dining Hall, Germany.
  • Feb. 19 – Lentz Dining Hall, Germany.
  • April 6 – Trueblood Dining Hall, Philippines.
  • April 8 – Lentz Dining Hall, Philippines.
  • April 20 – Trueblood Dining Hall, Italy.
  • April 22 – Lentz Dining Hall, Italy.

The Nutrition Team also provides nutrition and healthy eating information and resources to diners via signage and online at nutrition.housing.siu.edu/NetNutrition.

Find more details about the dining halls and menus at SIU at housing.siu.edu/dining.