What was once called the Pierce College Cafeteria is now called the Pierce Country Café, with changes including a new head chef, Jose Cruz, former personal chef to hockey celebrity Wayne Gretzky.
The name changed because, “we want a new face and want people to try us and try us again,” said Café Manager Linda Brown.
Open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., the Pierce Country Café is full of a variety of foods served on a daily basis. Anything from stir-fried noodles with chicken to fajitas to scalloped potatoes is available; the option of picking and choosing the food you want to eat is prevalent here.
The number of student workers in the Café dropped from last year’s 23 to only three students this year, because the Café is not allowed to have more than 20 percent of student workers compared to provisional workers.
They recently added a Frequent Buyers Card promotion where purchases of a custom sandwich or hot meal and a certain number of hole punches in the card, enables the buyer to receive free food or drink. This offer also applies to their salad bar and pizza.
If someone were to enter the Café on any Wednesday, they would witness Cruz cooking the selected meal of the week in the center of the Café.
“It is a great addition, fresh food made to order,” said Bob Lyons of the business department.
Looking around, visitors will see a number of fountain drinks, juices, cappuccino machines and the Brahma Deli, a salad bar full of condiments and any other assortments needed to complete a hot meal. At every station, a sign lists the name of the food inside the steaming dish.
“In the past the food was bland, but it’s now improved with a professional chef,” said Jeremiah Whitman, a 27-year-old technical theater major.
Hot meals are weighed at 40 cents an ounce and only cash is accepted.
Patrons are then able to sit in the spacious table areas and enjoy students singing karaoke, which is open to anyone who would like to test their vocal skills.
“There is good cooked food. The service is good, but they need a couple more people at the deli,” said 20-year-old anthropology major Kenya Harris.
If a person is not in the mood for such a hefty meal, they can still buy a Polish dog, a bowl of soup or a fresh piece of fruit.
There are weekly menus available at the entrance of the Café that show which meals are going to be prepared during the week. Every day there is at least one Persian food dish freshly prepared by cook Fery Azad.