Students reflect on options for off-campus eateries

Natalie Jimenez, Staff Writer

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The start of the new school year means a lot of changes, especially for new students. If you are new to Iona, the meal plan is probably unfamiliar to you. Regardless of your year, there are a few changes to off-campus dining that you should be aware of.

For one thing, Texas Roadhouse is no longer on the meal plan. But don’t worry, you can still dine in New Roc City; Applebee’s still accepts the Iona meal plan.

Other eateries on North Avenue like Smokehouse, Westchester Taco Grill and Gemelli’s are still available, but Sugarplums is under renovation for the time being.

What was once known as Sage, located beneath the North Avenue Residence Hall, is now under new management and is now called The Mirage.

Students like juniorKyle Jackson felt that Sage was, “too expensive and it’s not what we wanted to eat.”

Under its new management, The Mirage menu has seen a huge shift from what was once offered at Sage. It has gone from a trendy cafe to a full-on diner, with only a few items that seem out of place, but it turns out these dishes were passed down from Sage. Some of the newer additions include pancakes, which are offered all day, and there are more burger options. There are also the Sage components like fried calamari and crab cakes. The change has come as a delight to the students, especially those living on campus who will definitely use their off-campus dollars there.

Sophomore Cheyanne Blakley says she likes the new menu but something is missing.

“My friend and I used to go eat a skillet cookie a few times a week, but now they don’t serve it anymore,” Blakley said.

But the cookie isn’t the only dessert option missing from The Mirage. The new restaurant does not have a dessert menu yet.

“Why even bother opening without a dessert menu?” junior Aliyah Rodriguez said.

This is an opinion that is surely shared amongst the Iona student body.

The market, which is also a part of The Mirage and on the meal plan, has also changed a bit; there are less aisles for students to walk through, leaving less nonperishable options for students when browsing for dorm room snacks.

Another popular and newer option is B&A Froyo on North Ave. Students like going to B&A because it’s good for a quick snack and catching up with friends.

“I love to grab froyo with my friends,” said senior Ravyne Slaughter. “It’s easy and delicious.”

One change over the past few years that students may have noticed, and are probably wondering about, is the deli across from the quad, colloquially known as Moe’s. That deli is no longer on the meal plan, so if you plan on grabbing a snack while you stop by to say hi to Moe, you’ll be doing it out of your own pocket.

When considering other off-campus eateries that are still on the meal plan, we still have the college student favorite: McDonald’s. The McDonald’s on North Avenue is open 24 hours, so it accommodates both the night owls and the early birds.

There are plenty of optionswhen thinking about off-campus eats, but be wary when spending off-campus money and budget yourself. We all know the struggles of getting to the end of the semester and being confined to the on campus cafeterias, or worse, having no meal plan money left at all.