UNT Denton launches innovative food hall with 7 restaurants on campus
The University of North Texas has always been a pioneer in campus cooking and continues that streak for the fall semester of 2021 with the opening of a new dining hall inspired by the hottest trend: The Hall. to eat.
Called Eagle landing, it is inspired by Plano’s Legacy Hall, offering seven independent restaurant concepts under one roof serving a variety of fresh dishes prepared from scratch and recipes developed by UNT’s in-house culinary team.
Offerings range from Latin fusion street tacos on homemade tortillas to a plant-based vegan stand to a bakery with fresh cookies, ice cream and pastries all made on campus.
UNT President Neal Smatresk calls the new hall a “crown jewel” which is just the latest example of the university’s brand innovation.
“Eagle Landing is a jewel in the crown that exemplifies the innovative spirit of our university,” said Smatresk. “It creates a community dining experience where our Mean Green Family breaks bread together and celebrates college life. Fresh, locally produced and inventive are hallmarks of the UNT Dining Services experience.”
The hall includes seven restaurants under one roof:
- Menu: traditional dishes like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, smoked barbecue and all-day breakfast
- Centerpiece: Southern Pride brand smoker
- Good to know: Can serve 960 servings of macaroni and cheese and 1,700 servings of fried chicken per day. Includes freshly baked Clark Bakery scratch paste cookies. The linear foot measurement of the A Avenue service line is greater than all Kerr Dining Room service lines combined.
- Menu: Asian-inspired stir-fried rice and noodle dishes
- Centerpiece: Traditional wok cooker that can reach temperatures of 1600 ° F
- Good to know: offers Korean and Cantonese (South China) cuisine. Can serve over 600 servings of rice per hour.
- Menu: Chef’s pizza and pasta mix
- Centerpiece: Rotoflex brand pizza oven with four rotating stone trays
- Good to know: Can serve 200 pizzas (3,200 slices) per hour. Includes fresh basil grown at Mean Green Acres, UNT’s hydroponic garden located on campus.
Clark Bakery in Eagle Landing
- Menu: Fresh pastries, cookies, hot desserts, Scrappy’s ice cream cones and personalized milkshakes
- Centerpiece: Pastry case with a range of Clark Bakery desserts and pastries
- Good to know: All items, including Scrappy’s ice cream, are made on the campus of Clark Bakery, the UNT’s scratch-off bakery run by certified and professionally trained bakers and pastry chefs. Cookie dough made at the Central Bakery is transferred to Eagle Landing, where customers can see cookies being baked right behind the counter.
- Menu: Latin fusion street tacos, nachos, fresh toppings and homemade tortillas
- Centerpiece: Spiral Conveyor Tortilla Press and Oven
- Good to know: Can serve up to 900 6-inch tortillas per hour made with 100% vegetable (vegan) Clark Bakery scratch paste
- Menu: Contemporary vegetarian concept, including fresh vegetables, mixed salads and salads, four daily soups and many 100% vegetable (vegan) options
- Centerpiece: Salad bar over 20 feet long
- Good to know: Includes fresh leafy greens and herbs grown at Mean Green Acres, UNT’s non-GMO hydroponic garden located on campus. Also offers fresh produce grown by regional farms, mixed salads, a build-your-own pho bar and hot vegan starters. The croutons and salad dressings are made from scratch.
- Menu: House burgers, plant-based burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches served on fresh buns baked at Clark Bakery, along with homemade fries and chips
- Centerpiece: Argentinian gaucho grill with hard charcoal and real wood
- Good to know: can grill up to 280 homemade burgers per hour
To maximize freshness and food safety measures, fresh produce and meats are stored and prepared in separate and designated cold spaces, unlike a traditional kitchen where items can be mixed throughout the delivery, storage processes. and preparation, and prepared at room temperature.
The commissary-style production spaces will allow Dining Services to distribute the items produced at Eagle Landing to other restaurants on campus in the future, including the retail market located in the Eagle Landing building. Commercial blast chillers will chill foods from 145 ° F to frozen in about 30 minutes.
Eagle Landing is the UNT’s first stand-alone dining hall as well as the largest dining hall on campus with a capacity of 700 people. Sitting areas provide options for eating, socializing, and studying, including a 24-foot-long community table, a quiet area, seating overlooking the first floor, and a table in the shape of the UNT diving eagle symbol .
The design of the 25,990 square foot building offers greater culinary transparency and customization of menu items by patrons by showing more preparation in front of guests. Kirksey Architecture, based in Houston, was the architect and Rogers-O’Brien the general contractor for the project.
Peter Balabuch, director of UNT Dining Services, said in a statement that they wanted to cater for all tastes and preferences.
“Eagle Landing demonstrates our commitment to doing catering the right way: preparing the highest quality food, using whole ingredients and cooking with sustainable methods,” Balabuch says. “Our guests deserve no less, and whether you are a student, teacher, staff member or visitor to our campus, we want you to have the best dining experience possible.”
The design reinforces UNT’s commitment to sustainability by using 30 percent less water and 10 percent less energy than a standard code-compliant building. Strict procedures during construction minimized landfill waste and avoided pollution of storm sewers and local waterways. The project prioritized local materials with a high recycled content, fully disclosed environmental and human health impacts, and less toxic chemicals.
Eagle Landing is open seven days a week during the fall and spring semesters, serving up to 6,000 guests each day. It follows an all-you-can-eat style of service, accessible with a single meal plan or $ 8.45 plus tax at the door without a meal plan.
UNT Dining Services is the largest self-catering restaurant service in North Texas. With more than 20 retail food stores, five dining venues, an upscale restaurant, on-site bakery, and full-service food service, it serves nearly 5 million meals a year.
It is also the largest employer on campus, providing resume creation employment opportunities to nearly 1,100 students.
The university is recognized as a leader in vegan dining on college campuses, thanks to the success of the Mean Greens Café, the country’s first all-vegan college dining hall. He is also a member of the Menus of Change Academic Research Collaboration. UNT was named # 2 in the nation as the College with Best Food by Delish.com and is also the recipient of the prestigious Loyal E. Horton Award.