Bobcat Den Mixes it Up

Meghan Parmentier

Zona Mexicana of the Bobcat Den is mixing things up.
The menu at Zona has changed from offering Mexican food on a daily basis to offering a different culturally-themed menu each day. Student reactions to the new daily menu rotation seem to be just as mixed.
Mark Crean has been the Associate Director of the Bobcat Den for six years.
“Looking at the numbers, it is an improvement,” he said, although he recognized that some student feedback had shown they were not happy with not having the Mexican option every day.
“The reason we made the change is that through our student survey process, students’ main issue was variety of offerings at the Bobcat Den,” Joseph Tobin, director of Chartwells Dining Services, said. “Seeing Zona was the least popular station at the Bobcat Den, we made the change. We did however keep the Mexican offering on the rotation once a week.”
Each day now has a specific menu, which can be easily accessed by the large menu in the Bobcat Den or online on Quinnipiac’s Dining Website.
The former sole selection, “Catina Mexicana” is now offered on Monday, a day Crean now rates as one of their most popular draws.
The variety begins Tuesday with the “Panini Express.” Italian food such as baked stuffed shells, chicken parmesan, sautéed pasta and a special pizza of the day highlight the menu on Wednesdays for “La Cucina Di Mama.” On Thursdays, the “Szechuan Café” offers stir-fried chicken, pork, shrimp, vegetables and vegetable egg rolls. “Baja Flats” presents fresh grilled flat-bread sandwiches on Fridays. Saturday serves a variety of salads for their “Wild Greens” theme. Sunday dishes are all-day omelets.
To Crean’s knowledge, Zona Mexicana, a brand of Chartwells, has existed in Trinity University and two other locations. In each other location, Zona has been pulled due to its lack of interest. Crean said the change was really just a desire to phase the concept out.
Given the convenient, close location in proximity to the dorm buildings and Cafe Q’s Monday through Thursday 8 p.m. closing time, the Bobcat Den is the spot for students looking for a late night snack or break from their studies.
Junior Andrew McDonald continues to eat regularly at Zona Mexicana–even though he was happier with last year’s Mexican offering every day.
“I live in the Village, so my roommates and I are too lazy to walk to the Café,” he said.
Monday is now one of the days he reports to the Den most faithfully.
“You always have your Zona fans,” Tobin said.
Freshman Sacha Kaufer has yet to eat at Zona on a Monday.
“The line is always really long,” she said. “Everyone always loves the Mexican food.”
Kaufer, however, was pleased with the daily mix-up.
“Overall, it’s good to switch it up a little,” she said.