Photo courtesy of: Culinary ServicesStudent tries out the new Let's Get Ramen station in West 82
While not impossible, it is a bit tricky to get through college life without encountering the stereotypical college noodle known as ramen. However, the opening of Let’s Get Ramen, Ohio University’s new West 82 station, aims to provide a filling, healthy and varied version of this dish.
While ramen has attracted a reputation as a solid staple of the unhealthy side of a student’s college culinary cookbook, the menu at Let’s Get Ramen includes expands the ways students can enjoy the popular dish through vegetarian and gluten free options.
“Part of the selling point is that it’s healthy,” said Executive Chef Tim Bruce. “It’s hearty and comforting, and it just happens to also be good for you.”
According to Brittany Koska, assistant manager of Culinary Services, the idea for renovating the space was voiced by one of the department’s student office assistants (OA’s).
“Originally we just had a snack station in the spot, but one of our student OA’s thought about putting a pasta bar there instead,” said Koska. While this goal eventually shifted from a pasta bar to a ramen-themed station, Koska pointed out that the renovation for the previous snack space was a rather simple affair, allowing them to roll out the new station at the beginning of the spring semester.
The station allows students to choose from a variety of options to create their own unique dish, ranging between chicken, tofu and beef as protein choices to a number of garnishes and flavoring options, including water chestnuts, sweet corn and miso.
“We thought this would be a little more interesting than the original pasta bar pitch,” said Bruce. “Ramen’s very popular and it’s a bit more of a ‘grab and go’ feel. With the semester starting in January we thought the warm ramen would be a great option for students.”
Although they did express a hope to improve upon the initial concept moving forward, both Bruce and Koska regarded the new station as a success, receiving mostly positive feedback from the student body.
“It’s gone over really well,” said Koska. “You notice it a bit more when it is a little colder outside, but even on warmer days I look around West 82 and see a bunch of ramen cups.”
Photo courtesy of: Culinary ServicesThe new Let's Get Ramen station has been a popular destination in West 82