Students attending Interlachen High School and Crescent City High School this year are giving rave reviews to their new cafeteria facilities and food.
“I saw several students taking pictures of the dining area during the first few days of school,” said Nikki Hawthorne, director of Food Services.
“I had a vision and dream to serve something new, fresh and produced daily,” Hawthorne said. “ It was a total revamp from what we have done in the past. I wanted the students to feel like they were on a college campus and that they wanted to dine with us.”
The new cafeterias have four stations served daily:
Pizza Crush: This station offers pepperoni and cheese pizzas daily, with a daily specialty pizza, such as veggie, buffalo chicken or meat lovers.
Tex-Mex: This station includes flatbread and nachos with a choice of hand-pulled BBQ pork, taco beef or taco chicken, with toppings similar to Moe’s Southwest Grill or Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. Homemade salsa is also available.
Deli Delight: A sub sandwich line with bread baked fresh daily, similar to Subway, “only better,” said Hawthorne. “Homemade hummus is made daily on this line, too.”
The Grill: This station includes the standard favorites: popcorn chicken topped with homemade rolls, spicy chicken sandwich, chicken sandwich and cheeseburger along with hot fries.
Hawthorne, who has been working onsite at the CCHS cafeteria since the first day of school, said some of the students’ comments, along with their smiles, make all the hard work planning and focusing on the details during the summer payoff.
She said on the first day of school, one female 10th-grader asked her, “Is it going to be like this everyday?"
When Hawthorne told her yes, the student replied, "I plan to come to school everyday then.”
Another student told her, "These updates make us feel like we are special and they care about us.”
The menu isn’t the only change at the cafeterias.
Students have new tables, bar stools, charging stations for their computers and phones, and televisions that show sports and news channels.
Both schools even have logo lunch trays with their respective school logos, “Go Raiders” and “Go Rams.”
“Hungry kids can't learn and this is just another way we can say to them we care and we want you to learn,” Hawthorne said.