Cafe Fresco has sus­tained large crowds during its lunchtime oper­ating hours, and it will now accept Liberty Bucks for meals. Eliz­abeth Bachmann | Col­legian

Café Fresco, Hillsdale’s “grab and go” lunch des­ti­nation, started simply as a means to alle­viate the noon traffic in the Knorr Family Dining Room, but is fast becoming the on-campus food favorite.

Offering a to-go lunch option in exchange for one meal swipe, Café Fresco has lightened the lunch rush in the Dining Room by 250 to 300 stu­dents per day, according to General Manager of Bon Appetit Dave Apthorpe. With the addition of Liberty Bucks as a payment option last week, it has the potential to become even more popular.

Café Fresco is struc­tured to be a Grab option that facil­i­tates a quick and portable lunch option for stu­dents and faculty. Stu­dents grab a brown paper bag from the beginning of the line, and can fill it with they have the option to choose one entree, one side, and one dessert or snack, along with a water bottle.

The entrees include an assortment of sand­wiches, salads, and wraps, along with the new addition of snack boxes, filled with veggies, hummus, peanut butter, cheese, and other small bite options. Sides range from fruit cups to par­faits to quinoa salads. For snacks, there is a rotating cycle of fruit, granola bars, chips, and fruit snacks.

Junior Tim Polelle fre­quents Café Fresco most days because he said he likes the food better.

“I think the food here is better than in the cafe­teria,” Polelle said. “There’s less quantity, but typ­i­cally on average its just better quality food. I find that Passport and Com­forts tend to exper­iment a little too much for my taste. I get the sense it’s more reliably normal food at Café Fresco.”

Mar­keting Coor­di­nator and William Persson ’17 said the café plans to introduce an Asian inspired Bento Box to the menu later this semester.

“It orig­i­nated in Japan. It is a little box with five to seven dif­ferent com­part­ments with dif­ferent little bites,” Persson said. “Typ­i­cally, they would be more an Asian inspired, like maybe a decon­structed sushi roll or a tofu type dish. We spend a lot of time deciding what is going to go into the new items.

Though it now accepts Liberty Bucks, Bon Appetit is not con­sid­ering making the jump to cash or card.

“We wouldn’t con­sider that because we think the prox­imity of AJ’s to that location Café Fresco is close enough,” Apthorpe said. “We have that option available, the 300 yards is not unre­al­istic to travel.”

Despite requests from faculty, the café is also unlikely to break up items for indi­vidual pur­chase, for fear that it would slow down the line and create con­gestion in the already crowded space.

“The objective of Café Fresco is to be a really quick-swipe option,” Apthorpe said. “Breaking up the basket will slow every­thing down. So we are not con­sid­ering selling items à la carte.”