Packing the bowl

New campus eatery offers Ellicott residents healthy, diverse menu options


Sophomore pharmacy student, Vincent Zheng, is excited about The Bowl, the newest eatery to the Ellicott Food Court, because it has healthy options, which can be hard to find on campus.

The Bowl is a re-model of the Greens and Beans eatery, which was a simple, no-frills salad and soup bar. Campus Dining and Shops wanted to “re-energize” Greens and Beans based on customer feedback, according Raymond Kohl, marketing manager for Campus Dining and Shops.

The Bowl is a new attempt at a highly customizable dining option featuring an array of choices. Students can select rice noodles, brown rice or lettuce as the base of their bowl and from there sprinkle it with a flavorful variety of protein and vegetable offerings. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Bowl was inspired by CoreLife Eatery, a “healthy lifestyle” chain offering customizable salads, grain bowls and bone broth soups. Campus Dining and Shops wanted to create a new dining location offering similar fresh, whole food ingredients, according to Lori Benderksy, registered dietician for Campus Dining and Shops.

The three bases: rice noodles, brown rice and lettuce are “allergen friendly,” according to Bendersky because they aren’t made with gluten, dairy, nut or shellfish ingredients.

Students can choose from a wide variety of vegetables including broccoli, beets, edamame, olives, mushrooms and red onion. Foods that contain common allergens such as gluten, peanuts and soy are labeled accordingly, and more in-depth nutritional information about the menu offerings can be found on the Campus Dining and Shops website.

Bendersky also felt it was important to expand international menu options. The Bowl features several Asian-inspired dishes, including honey BBQ Korean shrimp, Thai grilled steak, chicken teriyaki and plum sauce.

The new dining spot provides plenty of plant-based protein options for vegetarian and vegan students, including black beans, kidney beans, tofu and edamame. Bendersky said it was important to consider vegetarian and vegan options while planning the menu. Vegan items are labeled “vg” and vegetarian items are labeled “ve” to make it easy for students to locate options that fit their diets.

Jared Barnett, a freshman business major, was drawn to the convenience of The Bowl.

“There’s lots of options, which is nice and there’s no lines so it’s very convenient for me; you don’t have to wait,” Barnett said.

He especially enjoyed the rice noodles, spinach and steak and described the ingredients as fresh and healthy.

César Ramírez, a freshman chemical engineering major, eats at The Bowl at least once a week, however, he doesn’t actually like it.

“I don't really like The Bowl, I just go there because it seems like it's the only healthy option [UB] has,” Ramírez said, “I feel like the school thinks that healthy is just a salad when they could make better foods that tasted better.”

Sophomore intended nursing major, Holly McCabe, wants to try The Bowl but doesn’t think she will be able to with her busy schedule – the restaurant is only open on weekdays in the middle of the day while she is at class. However, she would love to try it if the hours were more convenient for her schedule.

Kimberly Lam, a senior nursing major, likes the variety that The Bowl offers.

“There are a really good variety of healthy and high protein options and every week they change it up,” Lam said, “And since you make it yourself, you can specialize it to your preferred taste and styles.”