Forget the Ramen noodles, mac n’cheese and junk food. Try a hot brown, baked chimichanga, or a smoked pulled-pork sandwich from the student-run restaurant, Café Burrier.

Café Burrier is a three-course, reservation-only, dine-in restaurant managed and operated by EKU dietetics students. The café serves all American foods and traditional Kentucky meals using local ingredients.

Nutrition Associate Professor Mary Wilson said the Greek chicken salad is her favorite, that is until she remembers the lasagna Florentine and fancy grilled cheese.

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Guests enjoying their lunch at Cafe Burrier

“I mean, I like most of their meals,” Wilson said. “I like every single dish, but those are some of my favorites.”

The café serves as part of the Quantity Food Production class, which is a requirement for the general dietetics major. The class is separated into two parts: the first focusing on the behind the scenes of restaurant operation, and the second serving as the food lab that gives students hands-on experience with restaurant management.

Mary Plowman, 20, a general dietetics student from Irvine, believes in the many advantages of running the restaurant as a class project.

“The benefit for us is learning food handing skills and cooking skills that we might not have otherwise known, and also learning proper etiquette for fine dining,” Plowman said.

Donna Moseley, a food sciences professor who teaches the course, said the student benefits are endless. But the most important one, she said, is teaching them proper food handling skills.

“A lot of kids today don’t have a lot of cooking experience,” Moseley said. “I know a lot of them are sometimes timid and fearful of kitchen equipment because they weren’t exposed to it in any way. So being able to expose them to it is always a good thing.”

For students and staff running on a tight schedule, finding time to eat more than a snack can be difficult. However, the meals are offered for a one-hour time slot from 12-1 p.m. providing a quick and quality meal for hectic schedules.

“It’s a good dining experience that takes them out of their normal workday environment,” Moseley said. “We kind of turn the lights down low and put some soft music on and kind of create a different ambiance for them.”

The café operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week during the fall semester. The café, which has room to serve up to 40 people, is funded by charging $10 per person. Lunches include a three-course meal—appetizer, entrée and dessert—with a choice of tea, water or coffee. The restaurant also takes to-go orders up to two days before the meal.