The Courier Collective: a review of the Wheat Cafe

Reanna Comiso, Features Editor

A quick, modern and cheap dining option on campus? Count the Courier staff in.

Many College of DuPage students are unaware of the amazing facilities on campus, one of them being a gourmet restaurant and culinary market ran entirely by students. Until  recently, many of us at the Courier were in the same position. When we became aware of the culinary attractions on campus, it was at the top of the semester bucket-list.

The Culinary Market at the Wheat Cafe is one of the two student-run dining options on campus. Located in the Culinary and Hospitality Center, the Wheat Cafe focuses on serving breakfast and lunch items, as well as baked goods created by the Culinary and Pastry Arts program. They prepare an array of soups, sandwiches, burgers and various baked goods like muffins, bagels and sweets. The cafe also offers several vegan options, perfect for customers with special dietary needs.

Food can be ordered to go at the counter at the Culinary Market or at a dine-in table in the Wheat Cafe. Service in the 60-seat cafe is provided by students in the Culinary and Hospitality Management program.

The first important note for all prospective diners is the price. Everything at the Wheat Cafe is incredibly affordable. At my first visit to the culinary market, I ordered a batch of three lemon poppyseed muffins and their smoothie of the week, which was a strawberry-lemonade smoothie. The total came out to a whopping $4. For a place that gives off a fine dining vibe, I expected my order to cost $6 or more, so I was pleasantly surprised. The price alone was enough for me to come back the next week to order more.

The next visit to the cafe, Courier staff bought an array of the various pre-packaged baked goods. We bought blondies, cranberry scones, pumpkin bread pudding and pumpkin sponge cake. I also bought myself another smoothie of the week, which was a cranberry-strawberry smoothie with greek yogurt.

Everything tasted amazing, specifically the pumpkin bread pudding. Pumpkin flavoring can often be overwhelming, but the bread had just the right amount. The portion was also way more than necessary for one person, which made for great leftovers and sharing, especially for the price of $3.

“The bread pudding looks slightly unappealing, but one bite was orgasmic,” said Courier Reporter Joey Weslo.

Editor-in-Chief Tessa Morton emphasized how apparent it was the items were made from scratch, specifically in regard to the cranberry scone. “I wish it was a little stronger (flavor), and I wish it came with butter, but it was good if you have a British taste bud or two,” said Morton.

For the many staff members who have never had a scone, it was generally well-liked, even by Opinion Editor Kimberly Wilson, who had a hard time finding something to satisfy her taste buds.

Editor Alison Pfaff noted the chocolate eclair she bought on her own time was her favorite, while Graphics Editor Brandon Beckwith enjoyed the lemonade the most. My personal favorite was the smoothie of the week, which I now look forward to purchasing every Wednesday. I look forward to trying different flavors of muffins and scones as the weeks pass.

The Culinary Market at the Wheat Cafe has become one of the Courier’s favorite places on campus to get a cheap lunch, making several trips each week. The price is unbeatable, and the quality is great, not to mention the real-world experience the culinary students gain from the market. Students and staff at COD should make their way to the Culinary and Hospitality Center to try it out for themselves.

The Culinary Market at the Wheat Cafe is open from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays now until Nov. 28.