Tag Archives: food

Ammerman campus' hidden gem: Southampton's P.O.D. Market

Suffolk County Community College’s Ammerman Campus technically has three options to dine. The Babylon Student Center cafeteria — with a variety of options including Moe’s Southwest Grill, Grille Works, Bene Pizzeria, Asian Village and the breakfast bar– is the most popular. It’s also the place where most students gather in off time to socialize. Starbucks, located separately towards the back of the cafeteria, is another option.

But there’s a third, lesser-known option. It’s called the P.O.D. Market, located on the bottom floor of the Southampton Building, where fewer students travel to frequently.

The P.O.D., unlike the cafeteria, is more like a convenience store in that it sells smaller snack items instead of full meals. The items sold there range from a bag of chips to Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

A freezer carries frozen meals such as Hot Pockets, White Castle burgers, etc.

There is also a microwave to heat up frozen food before rushing off to class.

Even with multiple vending machines scattered throughout campus, they don’t have the biggest selection, while The P.O.D. offers a variety of snacks.

Regarding the location of the P.O.D., “They wanted something down here at the bottom of the hill,” said a cashier, who said she wasn’t allowed to divulge her name.

The P.O.D. is a convenient stop for students in taking courses in the Southampton Building, rather than having to run to the cafeteria up the hill, but students interviewed for this story said they haven’t had the chance to visit it because of its location away from their studies.

“I have heard of it, but have never entered it,” said Jordan Menjivar, 18. He added that he likes the look of it.

at the new Centereach Brownstones Coffee, it’s breafast, lunch or brunch

Brownstones Coffee, a family-owned and operated restaurant chains that serves breakfast, lunch or brunch, opened in Centereach in November.

Store manager Diego Morcles, 28, who has overseen the location since it opened, said some of Brownstones’ favorites include its many styles of pancakes, waffles, eggs and omelets.

“We never get any complaints of any bad service,” he said. “We always get good praises of what food we serve.”

Brownstones, which has 25 to 30 workers, operates seven days a week. It is open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, it is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Brownstones also has locations in West Islip, Amityville and East Northport.

Skyler Sur, 17, who has been working there for more than two months as a hostess said she has fun serving people and bringing them to their table. She also serves drinks.

Elena F., 33, a server who had been working at another branch for three years before coming to Centereach when it opened, said, “I serve all kinds of people of many backgrounds. I always get good satisfaction from every customer and lots of big tips.”

Eliane Costello, 51, who has visited several times with her family, said her favorite is the french toast. “It tastes great,” she said. “I would definitely recommend this to friends and family.”

The menu also features birthday pancakes decorated with sprinkles, icing, whipped cream and cherries, the cinnamon swirl with brown sugar and cinnamon swirl topped with rich cream cheese.

For lunch, Brownstones serves burgers and several types of meat sandwiches. They also serve paninis and salad dishes for the vegans.

Diego Morcles is the store manager at the new Brownstones Coffee Centereach location. (Suffolk Sentinel/Christian Foley)

Texas Roadhouse is coming to Selden

A Texas Roadhouse steakhouse is taking over the former Ruby Tuesday’s in the Selden Plaza shopping center in Selden.

A company representative told GreaterPortJeff.com that the company plans to open the new location sometime in early spring.

Kristina Wilson, managing partner of the new location, told the local news outlet that the restaurant is now hiring and will have just under 200 employees. The company has two other Long Island locations: in East Meadow and Deer Park.

According to the Texas Roadhouse website, the company was founded in 1993 by W. Kent Taylor in Clarksville, Indiana. It’s currently headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, and has over 563 locations across America. It also has branches in other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, China and the Philippines.

The main entrance of the new Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Seldon that was built over the former Ruby Tuesday’s that has yet to be completed. The official grand opening has yet to be announced.

It serves steaks, ribs, chicken and seafood, specializing in steaks and promoting a western theme. It even offers 15 varieties of margaritas.

Once the 7,163-square-foot space, located at 289 Middle County Road, is open, the hours of operation will be Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The former Ruby Tuesday, which closed down four years ago, has a new restaurant steakhouse called Texas Roadhouse being built over it. (Suffolk Sentinel/Christian Foley)

SCCC students voice concerns about Babylon cafeteria

The Babylon Student Center cafeteria has a selection of food vendors, including Starbucks, Asian Village, Bene Pizzeria, Grille Works and Moe’s Southwest Grill. And many students say they have one thing in common: long lines to get food and then pay for it.

Cameron Hammer, a 19-year-old liberal arts major from Sound Beach, said he was able to quickly grab a box of chicken with rice and noodles at Asian Village, then hit a long line at the cashier’s counter.

“I spent 20 minutes waiting on line where I could’ve been eating already and wouldn’t be late to class,” he said.

Some students suggested improving the cafe experience with new food options like 

Chick-fil-A, or to have local restaurants open pop-up shops.

The busiest time to go to the cafeteria is generally between 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Common Hour is held during that time on Wednesday, allowing students to spend time with campus groups or just relax.

A cafeteria worker at the Bene Pizzeria station named Stella, said, “there is always a ton of people here.”

The best time to get food, however, is before or after Common Hour, students said.

Besides the long lines and possibly adding different vendor options, students also say the food is expensive. 

“Economic-wise, it’s great for the school because they get students to spend money on overpriced food,” said Nick Lavouges, a liberal arts major. “I’m not going to spend $8 every day for a plate of Asian Village. It’s outrageous! Why pay almost $4 for a pizza that looks and tastes like cardboard.”

Multiple calls to an Aramark representative, which runs the cafeteria, for comment on this story were not returned.

Cinco de Mayo celebration livens up the campus with Mexican culture

The Spanish Club on the Ammerman Campus held a Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Eaton’s Neck room on May 7. Festivities included a presentation on Mexico’s history, Hispanic cuisine and a live mariachi band. Faculty advisors Kristin Peters and Cathy Garcia-Hill coordinated the event.

The fiesta was held in Eaton’s Neck room on May 7 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Kristin Peters, left, and Cathy Garcia-Hill are Spanish instructors as well as the faculty advisors for the Spanish Club.

A common misconception is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day. In fact, Cinco de Mayo is actually celebrated to honor Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican War (1861-1867).

An arrangement of tissue paper flowers were on the front table so the girls can wear them in their hair. Sombreros were also available for the gentlemen.

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An assortment of traditional Hispanic cuisine was available, including empanadas, fried plantains and rice with beans.

The live mariachi band livened up the room with traditional Mexican music. They also took song requests from guests.

SCCC students Alicia, and Nick enjoyed the festivities with some empanadas and a complementary Cinco de Mayo-themed word search game.

Fun fact: More than 81 million avocados are consumed on Cinco de Mayo every year in the United States alone.

Suffolk Sentinel reporter Mike Guido got to experience the fiesta as well. Check out his audio piece of the event below.


Fun fact: Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in the United States, with the largest celebration being held in Los Angeles. In fact, Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico. 

All photos by Paula Schultz

SCCC needs more healthy options to prevent the ‘Freshman 15’

The healthy food section at the Babylon Student Center food court. Photo by Paula Schultz. (April 11, 2018)

The “Freshman 15.” It’s a dreaded phrase that refers to students’ weight gain as they adjust to life in college.

Actually, according to the National Eating Disorder Association, the average college freshman gains about 2.5 to 3.5 pounds during their first year of college.

When students start college, they get exposed to much greater freedom and stress than they did as children and adolescents. The large selection of cheap junk food and lack of exercise can result in an unhealthy lifestyle and weight gain.

At SCCC, the encouragement of student wellness is rather small. All students are required to take two credits worth of physical education, but students are on their own after that.

Some students understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle by having gym memberships and bringing food from home. Most students, however, find it challenging to fit healthy habits into their busy lives.

There are some opportunities for students to get moving on campus, but they interfere with many students’ schedules.

Zumba and dance classes are offered to students every Wednesday at 11 a.m., but that is during Common Hour and may interfere with students’ club commitments. There is also a weight room open to students at the Brookhaven Gymnasium, but the hours are very inconsistent.

Maintaining a healthy diet is another important factor that many college students tend to brush aside. Fast food is convenient for the average student who does not have the time to make their own meals. The cafeteria is where most students end up in between classes. The lack of healthy – and delicious – options further increase the issue.

The cafeteria at SCCC offers a plethora of food options including Chinese food, pizza, and a Moe’s Southwest Grill. The great number of food options is favored amongst students, but what about the healthy options?

The so-called “nutritious” food area in the cafeteria lies in a refrigerated section in the middle of the food court. Some food options include salads, wraps, sushi and fruit. Unlike the other stations in the food court, the healthy area rarely gets updated with new and interesting food options. It’s always the same Caesar salads and spicy tuna rolls that lack in the flavor department.

Because SCCC is not taking student wellness as seriously as they should, students may forget just how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is not all about looking your best, but, rather, feeling your best.

With academic and life stress being in the way, having a healthy lifestyle may not seem like another important part of life. When in fact, the healthy choices you make now will determine your health in the future.

In order to have a greater emphasis on student health, I think SCCC needs to make some changes in order to resonate with students. Providing a bigger, creative and more updated selection of healthy food options may interest students to make better food choices in school and outside of it.

As far as exercise is concerned, requiring students to take a physical education course every semester may be a challenge because of other graduation requirements. However, SCCC should invest in building another weight room on campus for students who want to work out on their own time.