By: Dylan Doyle, East Staff Writer
For students on the Eastern Campus who want a break from the food offered by the cafeteria or vending machines, Cafe 4250 provides a nice alternative. Located in EEC Room 180F, this small student run restaurant has a comfortable and classy feel. Cafe 4250 operates from 11:15 to 12:30 every Tuesday and Wednesday and features a varied and affordable menu including appetizers starting at $5 and entrées starting at $7. Also included on the menu is the Chef de Cuisine Special, a meal created by one of the student chefs that changes from day to day. This special meal features an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert for just $10! Just make sure you bring cash or a Tri-C card to pay with.
The restaurant carries a particularly novel feel due to the staff being composed entirely of students from Tri-C’s very own Culinary Arts program. From the servers to the cooks, every part of your dining experience doubles as an educational process. To some, the idea of students running the show might sound frightening, but speaking from my dining experience, you have nothing to worry about.
Tascula Mills, Food Services and Restaurant Management Major, was the server for my visit. Mills’ waitressing was as professional as it was prompt, starting with a complimentary basket of bread and sriracha honey butter. She gave a quick rundown of the menu before, at her recommendation, we ordered the Garlic Rosemary Skirt Steak. Mills returned mere minutes later carrying the dish, which included a side of carrots and sliced potatoes. The skirt steak was good for its low $8 price, and the potatoes were an excellent addition. All throughout the meal Mills stopped to check if we needed any refills and to ask if the food was satisfactory, really showing her commitment to the job.
Mills has been cooking for 16 years at University Hospital before she started working on her Culinary Arts Degree. She appreciated how the program gave her a more well rounded view of the restaurant environment.
“At this restaurant it’s kind of different since I’m doing front of the house work,” Mills said. “I have a different respect, because I’m used to being in the back where they [the chefs] are.”
A brief foray into the kitchen unveiled a veritable hive of activity, with student chefs working quickly to prepare meals for their paying customers. At the head of the kitchen stood Michelle Gock, Chef Instructor for Hospitality 2350. Gock has an impressive resume with 18 years as the chef of a watermark in addition to private cooking work.
“Cooking has been my world for a long time,” said Gock.
Under her watchful eye, the students of Culinary Arts program fulfill all the needs of the kitchen, from line work to sous chef. Her role is purely advisory, but knowing that the students have such an experienced chef as a mentor is reassuring.
All in all, Cafe 4250 is a nice place to know about for any student looking for a tasty meal at an affordable price, created by our very own Tri-C classmates.