September 28, 2016, BY Heather Johns

Is seaweed the new kale? That's what Jay Breeding, director of retail operations at Bucknell for Parkhurst Dining Services, says — and the growing demand for healthy food is one of the reasons behind some new and refreshed Bucknell dining venues.

"We're striving to make sure everyone can find something to enjoy in our outlets," said Breeding. "Whether it's the new selection of gluten-free bread or the addition of vegan 'cheeses and spreads,' we want to make sure our guests can always find what they're hungry for."

Bison Fresh

Bison Fresh is a new station in The Bison where students can customize plant-based proteins and grain bowls, or stir fries with fresh vegetables like edamame, sun-dried tomatoes and snow peas, to eat in or take out. Students can order smoothies, juices, yogurt/acai/chia seed pudding bowls. Don't forget to throw in a wheatgrass shot — it's grown right on campus.

"The Bison Fresh station reflects a growing movement toward a more plant-centric diet," said Breeding. "Students are looking for healthy, whole foods. The ability to serve them exactly that — in an entirely customizable way — is what drove us to really up our game in this department."

Bison Fresh serves more environmentally friendly and sustainable foods, as well. The menu minimizes the use of most nut-based non-dairy milks and offers a hemp seed milk, which is more friendly to the water table and supplies all 10 essential amino acids. 

Students will recognize the expanded smoothie bar, now part of Bison Fresh, which features 16-ounce, pre-designed smoothie and juice options, as well as build-your-own-smoothies. A popular choice is Bucky's Beets-n-Berries, an antioxidant smoothie made of beets, apple juice, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe and watermelon.

Bison Fresh is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

The Commons Café  

The chopped salads formerly served in The Bison have been moved to The Commons Café, which was redesigned to have more of a restaurant feel.

"With a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and the guarantee that every item will be made to order, The Commons Café is bigger and better," said Breeding. "The expanded space means we can offer more veggies, crunchies and toppings."  

Students living uphill have more hot breakfast choices, including made-to-order eggs and Belgian waffles marked with the Bucknell B. Waffles are served until 11 a.m.; the rest of the breakfast menu is available all day.

The Commons Café is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brunch is served Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

7th Street Café 

"One of the biggest trends to hit coffee in years is the cold brew method of steeping coffee for a smoother, less acidic brew," said Breeding. "We've brought that to the 7th Street Café and put our own fun little twists on it with some classic coffee 'cocktails' — like the Brown Bison Float (cold brew coffee with ice cream) or the 7th Street Market Blend (cold brew coffee with sweetened condensed milk)."

For students looking for a boost that doesn't include caffeine, blended drinks and smoothies are also offered at 7th Street. Hot breakfast sandwiches and burritos are available Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

The 7th Street Café is open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.