Central Campus residents disappointed with the departure of Dame's Express in Spring 2018 can look forward to a potential new healthy food vendor at the Devil's Bistro.
The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee considered a new vendor called Trinity Kitchen for the space during its Tuesday meeting. The committee sampled options from the vendor that included a chicken salad sandwich, kale salad and walnut red pepper spread on naan. Trinity Kitchen's managing partner, Eric Burchfield, developed the menu specifically for the location.
“We want to keep it simple—except, of course, when there’s more traffic around dinner time,” Burchfield said. “We want there to be healthy focus as well, without completely eliminating comfort food options.”
Trinity Kitchen would offer breakfast options including bowls, toasts and smoothies that would allow students to quickly grab food before class.
Robert Coffey, director of dining services, said that Southwest themed-dinners might attract those students who have expressed concern over the lack of on-campus Latinx options.
Burchfield and Reed Frankel, another representative for Trinity Kitchen, said they also wants to place an emphasis on offering both vegetarian and meat-based salads, bowls and sandwiches all day.
“We think the clientele would prefer to lean a bit healthier with their food choices, so we wanted to offer filling options for them,” Frankel said.
Committee members said they want a vendor willing to stay open late. They explained that to the partners that Brodhead Center closes at 8 p.m., often leaving students caught up in class and meetings without healthy options. Burchfield expressed interest in continuing to offer their healthy options until 11 p.m. each night.
Committee member Samantha Glover, a senior, also expressed concerns over the lack of gluten-free sandwiches on campus. She suggested that advertising gluten-free options might draw traffic to the new eatery.
Food would not be the only thing listed on the menu at Trinity Kitchen. Red and white wine would be sold by the glass, along with local craft beers, assuming the necessary permits are approved.
Burchfield and Frankel also discussed customizing their menus based on student preferences. DUSDAC members suggested a Facebook page for students to offer constructive feedback.
Although the partners highlighted the “grab-and-go” style of Trinity Cafe, they mentioned nightly dinner specials for those looking for a sit-down meal. Themed nights would be announced at the venue and on their website, though their digital presence hasn’t been set up yet.
“Bringing traffic back to this location is a priority," Burchfield said. "We want to build a community in this space, whether that’s through themed dinners or quicker breakfast options."
Besides its themed dinners, Trinity Kitchen might offer catering on Central Campus. Coffey pointed to hosting events with Greek organizations or partnering with Housing and Residential Life as ways to facilitate a relationship with the Central Campus community.
“Past vendors haven’t really taken advantage of the community,” Burchfield said. “We want to connect with residents.”