5 Tips to Start the Semester Strong

Spring semester is right around the corner and we want you to be fully prepared to continue living a healthy lifestyle with us. We’re sharing our 5 best tips on how to start the semester off strong!

  1. Download the Bite App in the App Store or Google Play and enter the code “F2X42” to view our daily menus, nutritional information, hours and even share your feedback! The Bite App has many interesting features, such as menu controls that allow you to filter our options, and you can even track to your FitBit!
  2. Know how to navigate our dining halls. We have so many different stations to choose from in Memorial Hall and Hilltop Cafe.
    • If you have any food allergies, Simple Servings should be your favorite station. Simple Servings only serves food free from peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, milk products, eggs and gluten-containing ingredients.
    • The Mindful station in Memorial abides by certain nutritional guidelines and only serves dishes under 600 calories. You can find out more about Mindful.
    • We also offer a MyZone pantry in Memorial Hall and Hilltop Cafe, where food items needed by students with Celiac disease or nut allergies are stored and prepared with precautions against cross-contact. This area is free of tree nut, peanut and gluten-containing ingredients and products.
  3. Know our hours and locations so you can be sure to set aside time to eat throughout the day. Keeping your body and mind fueled throughout the day is important for proper health and brain function. Check out our hours.
  4. Stay connected with us so you always know what’s happening in our dining halls. You can sign up to receive specials deals, coupons and dining news by texting “Devil” to 82257.  You can also follow us @ccsudining on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
  5. Understand the difference between Flex Dollars and BlueChip. Flex Dollars are pre-loaded onto your card when you have a resident dining plan and can be used in any of our dining locations. Grab yourself a coffee from Starbucks in the library or a tasty meal in Devil’s Den, but keep in mind that they expire at the end of the semester. BlueChip dollars can be used in any of our dining locations, but also for things such as laundry on campus or participating merchants off campus.

If you’re commuting to campus, you can still enjoy delicious food and a social atmosphere by signing up for one of our convenient Commuter Meal Plans! You sure don’t want to lose that parking spot in the winter months trying to find somewhere to eat during classes!

Memorial Hall will be the only location open on Monday, January 21st, and will be open from from 9am-7:30pm. Normal dining hours will resume on Tuesday, January 22nd in all of our dining locations. We’re excited to see all of you next week! 


10 Tip to Survive Finals Week

The bittersweet time of exam week has finally arrived. You’re excited that your headed home for break, but you’re studying day and night for those tough exams…we get it! We want to share our 10 most important tips for surviving finals week.

  1. Don’t procrastinate! This may seem obvious, but it’s really important that you set up a schedule that works for you. Remember to set aside time to study, eat a healthy meal, socialize and fit in some exercise. You’ll stress less if you plan your day before it starts!
  2. Get enough sleep! Sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to proper brain function. As stated above, if you plan your day ahead of time, you won’t have to stay up all hours of the night studying. College students need about seven hours of sleep per night in order to properly function, so be sure to get some shut eye!
  3. Fuel up on healthy foods! Make sure you’re filling up with a balanced meal at least three times per day. The ideal plate includes a quarter of healthy carbs, a quarter of lean protein and half veggies. We have so many stations in Memorial and Hilltop, it should be easy to fuel up before your final. Don’t be afraid to pick certain items from each station, it’s always fun to mix and match! Check out this article for healthy snack ideas.
  4. Eat Breakfast! Start your day with a balanced breakfast. Not only will it help you think better, but it’ll also give you the energy needed to get through your day. We suggest a veggie filled omelette with toast or oatmeal and a side of fruit. Add in a cup of coffee or green tea to give you a caffeine boost! If you’re not into eating when you first wake up, we suggest getting a smoothie at Natural! in Devil’s Den! (It’s open from 10:30am-8pm Mon-Thurs and 10:30am-3pm on Friday!)
  5. Take a break while you study! Make time for small study breaks throughout your day. According to a study, it’s best to take a 15-20 minute break from studying every 50-90 minutes. We suggest getting up and taking a quick walk, eating a healthy snack or doing a mindless activity. Check out the article if you’re interested in reading more!
  6. Stay hydrated! Don’t forget to drink water throughout the day in order to keep your body and mind functioning properly. If you find it hard to drink the recommended daily amount, try carrying a large cup or water bottle around. If you’re more of the tech-centered person, check the App Store for water logging apps!
  7. Practice proper hygiene! Staying healthy during finals week is definitely important, especially since it’s also cold and flu season. Aside from the tips that we’ve already shared, be sure to wash your hands frequently throughout the day. We also advise keeping hand sanitizer close by for those on-the go moments. Lastly, don’t share food or drinks with friends.
  8. Socialize! Don’t forget to call friends and family during finals week. Chatting with someone close can help keep your mood up and also take your mind off of finals. (Ps. If you haven’t finished holiday shopping for friends and family, visit Starbucks in the library. You can buy gifts with your Flex Dollars!)
  9. Don’t stress! Don’t overthink your exams….you’re going to get through this! If it’s your first finals week experience or your last, it’s best to stay cool and not to stress out. Take some time to forget about studying, even if it’s just 5-10 minutes a day. We suggest heading to the gym, listening to music, taking a brisk walk around campus, hanging with friends or even meditating. Your mind, body and grades will thank you later!
  10. Treat yourself! You’ve made it through the tough times….you deserve something special. Take yourself over to Devil’s Den and get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, or a tasty drink from Starbucks. If you’re really in the mood to treat yourself, order a full pizza from Pizza! Pasta! in Devil’s Den for you and your friends with your Flex Dollars, the expire at the end of the semester!

We hope that our tips help you get through finals week, we know you’ll do great! Hopefully we’ll be seeing you at our Finals Week events. Check out the images below to see what we’ve got going on! Don’t forget to use your Flex Dollars, they expire at the end of the semester!


What’s Happening in December

It’s already December and we can’t believe how fast this semester went! We’re ready to serve you some tasty specials and treats this month, keep reading to see what we have planned for you!

On Monday, December 3rd, we’re celebrating Mac & Cheese Monday with a delicious, cheesy special at Chef’s Table in Memorial Hall. I think we can agree that everyone loves mac & cheese, right?!🧀

We’re celebrating National Cookie Day on Tuesday, December 4th. Join us for lunch in Memorial Hall and decorate your own cookie! 🍪

On Wednesday, December 5th, we’re serving a taste of Australia for lunch at Hilltop Cafe. Never had Australian cuisine? You better come try it, you might find a new favorite!

On Thursday, December 6th, we’re having a Meatball Madness special for lunch in Memorial Hall. You definitely won’t want to miss it if you love meatballs!

We’re serving up another tasty special on Thursday, December 6th! We know that you love burritos, so we’re having a burrito bar for dinner at the grill in Hilltop. Just a heads up, grilled chicken and hamburgers won’t be available for dinner. 🌯

On Friday, December 7th, we’re having an all-day pancake special at Hilltop. It’s our last Friday open at Hilltop, so we had to serve a fun fan favorite! 🥞

On Monday, December 10th, we’re hosting the Almost Midnight Breakfast! We hope that you gather all of your friends for one last hurrah and enjoy a sweet late night breakfast! 🍳🍩

On Wednesday, December 12th, we’re serving authentic Italian specials during lunch at Hilltop Cafe. It’s also the last day that Hilltop will be open, so be sure to stop by if you haven’t visited lately!

Take a break from studying and join us for Exam Treats during finals week! Exam Treats will be in the Memorial Hall South West Study Lounge from 7:30pm-midnight.             Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • Tuesday, December 11th– Taco Bar
  • Wednesday, December 12th– Hot Cocoa & Pulled Pork Sliders
  • Thursday, December 13th– Assorted Desserts

PS. Flex Dollars expire at the end of the semester, so be sure to use them so you don’t lose them!

Please see below for our Finals Week Hours! Good luck and enjoy your winter break! 😊

CCSU Dining Receives a $1,000 Grant for Maria’s Place Second Year in a Row

We are excited to announce that we received a $1,000 Sodexo Stop Hunger grant for Maria’s Place, the on-campus food pantry, for the second year in a row! Maria’s Place is a free service to all CCSU students, faculty and staff who are in need of food assistance. Earlier in the semester Maria’s Place found a new home and is now located right below Memorial Hall, offering a bigger space and a more convenient location.

The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is part of the “Better Tomorrow” initiative to end hunger across the nation. The non-profit foundation was established in 1999 and promises the commitment to fight hunger and ensure that children in America have access to nutritious food. We are lucky to have been one of the 26 universities to receive this grant for our on-campus food pantry this year.

Over the last semester, we have collaborated with Maria’s Place a great deal in order to assist the CCSU Community. Last month we ran a campaign called “Dine & Donate” where we donated 1 bag of food for every faculty, staff and commuter meal plan purchased during the month of October. We were able to donate 33 bags of food, which made a great impact to the donations that Maria’s Place receives. We also ran a food drive during the week leading up to Thanksgiving and were able to donate more perishable items!

This isn’t the first time that we were lucky enough to be awarded this grant for Maria’s Place, and we sure hope it won’t be the last time! Stay tuned for more CCSU Dining and Maria’s Place collaborations!

5 Tips For A Great Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and we’re so ready to eat great food and spend time with great people! We’re also thankful to have that opportunity, as we bet you are too. Today we’re sharing 5 tips to have an enjoyable Thanksgiving!

  1. Be mindful of overeating- Take a look at all of the food that’s being served and pick your favorites. If there’s ever a time to indulge, it’s definitely Thanksgiving, but just be sure not to overeat. Thanksgiving is generally made up of three courses; appetizers, dinner and dessert, so keep that in mind when you’re filling your plate!
  2. Balance your plate– As you’re being mindful, be sure to add the three most important nutrients to your plate. Fill your plate with healthy carbs, healthy fats and the right amount of protein…don’t forget those veggies too!
  3. Get moving– Football is definitely a tradition on Thanksgiving, but sometimes it’s good to switch things up! Grab a football and bring your friends and family outside to enjoy the weather and get the food digesting. If you’re not into football, take a brisk walk or a relaxing bike ride.
  4. Be in the moment– Take in all the memories you’re making and really be in the moment this Thanksgiving. Eating is an every day thing, but on this day, you’re spending time with friends and family that you may not see every day. Be in the moment while you’re eating too, it could save you from overeating as you’re taking each delicious taste. Don’t forget to be thankful for those around you and the food that’s on the table!
  5. Keep your pet safe– It’s generally a known fact that dogs can’t eat grapes and chocolate, but did you know that there are many other foods that dogs shouldn’t have? Make sure your pup stays away from turkey skin, cooked bones, sage, onions, garlic, sausage, macadamia nuts, walnuts, nutmeg, alcohol, raw dough and batter, as well as food that includes those ingredients (think stuffing!!) Click here to find out more.

We hope you have a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Mindful

What’s Happening In November

Wow, did November arrive quick or what?! We’re so excited that it’s November because all of the delicious food that comes with it! We have so many fun specials planned for this month, keep reading to see what we’ve got planned for you.

On Monday, November 5th, we’re celebrating National Donut Day with top your own donut during lunch in Memorial Hall. Mark it on your calendar because this is something you donut want to miss! 🍩

Tuesday, November 6th is all about tacos. We’re having tacos for lunch and dinner at Hilltop…..taco ’bout delicious! 🌮

On Thursday, November 8th, we’re serving some of Bostons favorites! You’ll definitely want to join us in Memorial Hall for these wicked good lunch specials.

On Monday, November 12th, we’re serving you a taste of Spain….no passport needed! Join us for our Spanish Tapas lunch specials at Hilltop Cafe. 🥘

We’re all about the CCSU community on Tuesday, November 13th! We’re closing down Hilltop Cafe at 2pm to host our second annual CCSU Community Thanksgiving Dinner in Memorial Hall. We’ll be sure to have all the fixins’!

If you love seafood then you’ll definitely want to have lunch or dinner in Devil’s Den on Wednesday, November 14th! We’re having a mouthwatering shrimp special at The Grill. 🍤

On Thursday, November 15th, we’re servin’ up Chicken & Biscuits during lunch in Memorial. Never had that combo before? Come on…..try it, don’t be a chicken!!

We’re getting our last destination food fix of the month on Monday, November 26th. You’ll be blown away by how good the Chicago Cityscapes lunch specials are at Hilltop Cafe! 🌬️

Craving cheesy quesadillas? We are too! Join us for lunch in Memorial Hall on Wednesday, November 28th for your quesadilla fix!

Wow, we have so many delicious specials to look forward to this month, and we hope to see you at the CCSU Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Don’t forget to follow us on social media or visit our dining halls to see what exciting pop ups we have going on each week!

PS. Enter the Dining Through the Decades Sweepstakes before Monday, November 26th! You could win a Retro-Inspired Polaroid Prize Pack!

November 2018 Calendar

What’s Happening In October

Can you believe that it’s October and we’re already a month into classes?! This semester is already flying by! We’re so excited for this month because we have tons of fun events for you to enjoy. Keep reading to see what we’re looking forward to!

We want to start off by telling you about an exciting promotion we have going on in October called Dine & Donate! We’re donating 1 bag of food to Maria’s Place for every Commuter, Faculty and Staff Meal Plan purchased in October! Donations will be made in plan holders name. Click here for more info or to purchase a plan.

On Wednesday, October 3rd we’re getting a taste of Charleston, South Carolina! We’re hosting a Cityscapes lunch special at Hilltop Cafe and the special that we’re looking forward to the most might just be Shrimp & Grits! 🍤

Thursday, October 4th is National Taco Day and you know we’re not missing this celebration! We’re serving tacos for lunch at Hilltop Cafe and Memorial Hall. This day is so special, we just had to plan it for both locations! 🌮

On Tuesday, October 9th we’re welcoming the fall season with a fun celebration. We’ll be serving fall favorites during lunch at Hilltop Cafe and Memorial Hall. Be on the look out for some fun pop up specials! 🍂🍁

The Farmington Farm Truck is coming back again to visit on Wednesday, October 10th. We’ve been loving all of the fresh & local produce, baked goods and apple cider! The truck will be on the Student Center Circle at 10:30am-12:30pm and you definitely don’t want to miss the opportunity to shop for fresh and local groceries! 🥦🌽🥕🍎🍪

Get your appetite ready for some authentic Louisiana dishes! On Thursday, October 11th we’re getting a taste of New Orleans during lunch in Memorial Hall. We’ve been loving the Cityscapes events and hope that you have been too! 🎷⚜️

Monday, October 15th marks the start of a very important time for us and the CCSU community! Our Satisfaction Surveys begin and we’re looking for your feedback on how we’re doing, what we’re serving, and what you’d like to see from us in the future. We’ll be handing out goodies for everyone who takes it in the dining hall, and you can also enter to win a grand prize! We’ll be posting the survey link online as well, so be sure it take it if you have a free minute before it ends on October 27th! 😊

We love trying new foods and we know that you do too! On Tuesday, October 16th we’re serving Asian cuisine for our Exotic Eats lunch special in Memorial Hall. It’s also World Food Day, so we can’t wait to celebrate with a tasty menu! 🥡

We want you to get your creative minds flowing on Wednesday, October 17th! We’re having a special event to celebrate National Dessert and National Cookie Month. Join us for Sweet Things at 12pm-2pm in Devil’s Den to decorate your own cookie! 🍪

On Thursday, October 18th we’re kicking off Homecoming with a fun celebration at Hilltop Cafe. It’s also National Chocolate Cupcake Day, so we’ll obviously be decorating some! 🎂

Be sure to stop by Memorial Hall to pick up a pumpkin on Friday, October 19th! We’re hosting our annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest and we can’t wait how creative you get with yours. 🎃

On Monday, October 22nd we’re getting a taste of Spain. Join us for lunch in Memorial Hall if you’re craving traditional Spanish cuisine!

The Farmington Farm Truck is back again on Wednesday, October 24th! We love supporting the local community and eating fresh food, and we’re also crazy about those baked goods! Be sure to stop by the Student Center Circle from 10:30am-12:30pm to get yourself produce and goodies! 🥦🌽🥕🍎🍪

On Wednesday, October 24th we’re going all out! We’re hosting Premium Night during dinner in Memorial Hall and we want you to know that this dinner will be the best dinner ever!!

We think it’s a known fact that everyone loves breakfast for dinner! Join us for dinner on Thursday, October 25th for our Flip Pancakes bar at Hilltop Cafe. Whipped cream, chocolate chips….we’re already dreaming about it. 😋🥞

Be sure to return your decorated pumpkin to Memorial Hall on Friday, October 26th. We’ll be uploading pictures of each pumpkin on our Facebook page so we can tally up votes and award a prize for the winner! 🎃

Mondays are better when meatballs are involved, right?! Join us on Monday, October 29th for our Meatball Madness lunch special in Memorial Hall and Hilltop Cafe! 🍝

On Tuesday, October 30th we’re hosting an event called Dining Through the Decades: Food & Flicks during dinner at Hilltop Cafe! We’ll be offering a classic movie inspired menu. There is also a national sweepstakes that you can enter and we’ll be posting it mid-October! 🎥📽️

We’ll be celebrating Halloween on Wednesday, October 31st during dinner in Memorial Hall. Join us to see what spooky specials we’ll be serving! Be sure to stop by Starbucks in the library to see your favorite baristas dressed up in costumes!👻

Wow, so many fun events this month! Don’t forget to be on the lookout for our surprise pop up events. We can’t wait to see you making memories in our dining halls this October!

PS. Click here to tell us about an employee who makes your day! We appreciate your feedback! 😊

Meet The Team: Will Mejias

We’re back again with our final Meet The Team blog post of the summer. We’re so sad to see it end, but we’re ready to see you in a few short days! Today we get to learn more about Will Mejias, our Campus Executive Chef.

Will has been with us at CCSU Dining for almost two years now. His favorite part about being our Campus Executive Chef is being around food, obviously, and also adding new trends into our daily menus. We definitely saw some fun items integrated into our menus last semester, we can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us this fall!

When we asked Will what his favorite meal of the day was, he said dinner. I mean, he is a chef and it is the best meal to cook, right?! If you plan on taking Will out to dinner, there better be Indian cuisine on the menu. He loves all of the flavors and spices that are incorporated into the dishes. Will, have you ever cooked your own Indian style food? Actually, who are we kidding…..you probably have! 👨🏻‍🍳

When you plan your Indian dinner outing with Will, you better invite his Fiance, Kate. He has dinner with Kate almost every night, but he loves her company, so why not plan another dinner date?! Will and Kate love to try new places that offer new food and drink trends. We can definitely see your trendiness in our menus at Memorial, we heard that the students are loving the Poke bowls! But Will, we want to know what your favorite recent food trend is. You left us hangin’! We’re into crazy donuts…😋🍩

When Will isn’t at work, you can find him out on the football field coaching his sons team. Do you cook them pre-game snacks, coach, or maybe post-game dinners?! Will also likes getting his group of friends together and going to new cities to try local beers and discover new restaurants. Sounds like a ton of fun, maybe one day you can travel to India to try some true homemade cuisine!

Before we go, there’s one last thing you should know about Will. He does have a secret talent, can you guess what it is? Well, we’ll just tell you…Will is a great singer! Maybe from all those hours spent listening to music in the kitchen. We can definitely take you down in a karaoke contest…..but, only if they play some Britney Spears! 🎤

Well, you’ve officially met all of our CCSU Dining office staff! We’re so glad we were able to share fun facts with you. Next time you see us around, don’t forget to say hi!

Meet The Team: Laurie Pelow

Can you believe the summer is almost over already?! We’re going to miss our Meet The Team posts, but hey, at least you got to know some new friendly faces! Today you get to learn more about Laurie Pelow, our Retail Manager.

Laurie has been with Sodexo for 25 years, but just joined our team this summer and we’ve been welcoming her with open arms! Laurie’s favorite part about working here is the people that she gets to deal with. There’s always someone new to meet around here, and it’s great to be involved with a campus community!

When we asked Laurie what her favorite meal of the day was, she said dessert….obviously! That’s one of our favorites too, Laurie. Are you more of a fruity dessert lover, or chocolate? You left us wondering! When Laurie is looking to eat a meal other than dessert, she loves Sushi. 🍣 California roll or avocado roll? We need to know these things, Laurie!!

If you’re taking Laurie out for a Sushi dinner, you better invite Andrew Lincoln. Why did she pick Andrew you ask? Laurie told us it was “for obvious reasons.” He’s in tons of shows and movies, so I’m sure there would be much to talk about, and since Laurie loves dessert, you know it’ll go way past dinner!

Laurie is very active when she isn’t working. She has so many hobbies, so we’re going to list them all! When Laurie isn’t with us, you can find her playing softball, taking a walk, working out, reading and golfing. Laurie also likes to spend time with family, go on vacation and get this, she likes to do home refinishing! We find that so interesting, we wish you told us about your latest project, Laurie! Next time you go on vacation, bring us with you….we can fit in your suitcase…we think. 😜

We’re excited for Laurie to be a part of our team and see how much fun we have when the semester starts! Check back with us in a few hours for our last and final Meet The Team blog post!

Feelin’ Fit Friday: 5 Tips For Setting Smart Goals

Happy Friday! Today is our last Feelin’ Fit Friday post, and we’re feeling more prepared than ever to live a healthy lifestyle. We thought that today’s topic was perfect for our last edition. We’re talking about how to set smart goals and achieve them. The semester is about to start and goal setting is definitely in full bloom!

So…you’re about to start classes and your mind is racing. You’re thinking about setting academic goals, fitness goals, financial goals…whatever it may be, they’re all one in the same. Goals are an end point, but it’s how you get there that brings great success. Here’s our tips on how to set yourself up for success and achieve your goals!

  1. Evaluate your goal and reflect on the reason behind it. If you’re aiming to receive an A in all of your classes, ask yourself why. The answer may be obvious, but knowing the exact reason can help put you on the right path.
  2. Make sure your goals are SMART. You want your goal to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. You goal should be eager enough to motivate you, but it’s good to make sure your goal isn’t on too much of a time crunch. For example, if your goal is to gain 5 pounds of muscle, it’s better to give yourself a few months rather than 2 weeks so you have time to focus.
  3. Determine the steps that you need to take to reach your goal. For example, if your goal is to learn how to cook, it would be best to start off by watching cooking TV shows and videos, then maybe sign up for a cooking class, and finally try cooking one meal a day.
  4. Be accountable. Tell the people that are closest to you about your goals. When the people around you know that you’re working at something, they will ask you about it and it will help motivate you and keep you on track.
  5. Reevaluate your success. Once you’ve reached your goal, look back at the progress that you’ve made. Was your goal to learn a new language? If so, what was the best learning technique and what did it teach you? Reevaluating can help you move towards bigger goals when you’re ready for a new challenge!

We hope that you’re ready to crush your goals this semester! If one of your goals is health, fitness or nutrition related, check out the Bite App by Sodexo in the App Store or Google Play. Once you’ve downloaded it, enter the code “F2X42” to see our full menus and nutritional information for Memorial Hall and Hilltop Cafe.

Good luck and we’ll see you soon!