As the 2022-23 school year kicks off, teachers reunite, new students pack the halls, and old students return with a fresh start. Similarly, the school lunch program has had the chance to start anew after many of its less-than-satisfactory meals from last year.
SOURDOUGH & CO.
Black Forest Ham Sandwich:
This sandwich tastes like something straight from Subway. It includes lettuce, tomato, American Cheese and Black Forest ham between two pieces of wheat bread, and nothing about it is eye-catching. The flavor of the sandwich was bland and the lettuce was overpowering, just like a Subway sandwich. However, it did come with a good-tasting chocolate chip cookie, so that gives it bonus points.
This sandwich is just above average with a little extra love. Sourdough and Co’s veggie sandwich option creates a food triad, containing a veggie sandwich, with a classic tomato and lettuce combo, a bag of chips and a chocolate-chip cookie. There’s nothing special or unique about it, unfortunately. From looks alone, this sandwich is naturally repulsive. Its taste? You’ll get through it, but you won’t hate it or love it.
THE OLD SPAGHETTI FACTORY
Ravioli and Tomato Sauce:
This year, the Spaghetti Factory has introduced a new ravioli dish. Compared to last year, the portions this year are much larger, so students get their money’s worth. Even though I’m not a ravioli fan, the warm, al dente pasta stuffed with a thick spinach and cheese filling made the ravioli both satisfying and delicious. To top it off, the chunky tomato sauce gave it a hint of sweetness, perfectly complementing the pasta.
Mac and Cheese:
The age-old classic with countless variations makes its appearance at Country Day every Tuesday. Last year Noodles & Co. went for a yellow mac with no cheese and a small salad on the side. But the Old Spaghetti Factory has given students actual mac and cheese in larger proportions, already providing an appetizing appearance. However, a single bite will deliver a near-tasteless sting to the mouth. Although an improvement it is unworthy of the price jump.
The veggie sandwich from Boudin is basically a salad slapped between two pieces of multigrain bread. It comes with lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, smashed avocado, red peppers, cucumber, sun-dried tomato spread, balsamic vinaigrette and Havarti cheese. The texture is similar to that of stale mashed potatoes, and the tomato spread and balsamic vinaigrette are overpowering.
Ham and Swiss Sandwich
If someone had to take the word “average” from the dictionary and mold it into a sandwich, you’d get the Ham and Swiss sandwich. It comes with ham, swiss cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, mustard and mayonnaise. Flavorwise, nothing is too overpowering, but nothing makes it better than a regular sandwich. Overall, it’s worthy of a school lunch but not its price.
ROUND TABLE PIZZA
The combo pizza from Round Table is leagues better than last year’s. It’s the same size but the quality has been significantly improved because it’s actually warm, and the cheese and the toppings are much more flavorful. The combo pizza comes with sausage, peppers, olives, onions, pepperoni and mushrooms.
Vegetarians rejoice! A new addition to the pizza menu. Fun to look at and wonderful to eat. The warm pizza, coupled with the many toppings, such as Artichoke hearts and tomatoes, and quality cheese are sure to make you smile all throughout lunchtime.
Chili’s salad comes with chicken, lettuce, beans, rice, corn crisps and tomatoes. It’s a great-tasting dish and a much bigger meal than the quesadillas. The Tex-Mex flavor perfectly complements the crunch of the salad and crisps, and it’s a great all-around meal.
Chili’s chose to keep it simple by keeping their quesadilla option the same as last year. The recipe for this item is simple: One block of slightly melted cheese encased in a crusty and unsavory miniature tortilla. However, the rice and beans are a cold but delectable combination that will cleanse your mouth of whatever cheese chunks remain.
— By William Holz and Ishaan Sekhon
Originally published in the Sept. 28 edition of The Octagon.