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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

New restaurants in the Highsmith Union food court bring variety on campus

Jayme Sawyer
Two of the new food options in Highsmith, the 828 Burger and Qdoba.

UNC Asheville students craved more variety in their food options, so the UNCA Dining Services supplied a national brand, boba tea and more breakfast options in the Highsmith Union Food Court. 

828 Burger, Qdoba and Ace Sushi opened in the Highsmith Union Food Court Aug 16. These restaurants cater to every student’s needs with grab-and-go markets and more diverse food options according to UNCA Dining Services. 

“I was able to look up a full allergen menu for Qdoba online which was helpful,” said business major Emily Zwolinski. 

Zwolinski said she could only eat at Qdoba because she has a severe egg allergy and it causes complications when choosing food to eat on campus. 

“I cannot eat at 828 Burger due to the cross-contamination issues with fried items and the buns,” Zwolinski said. 

Zwolinski said she has enjoyed the new restaurants so far, and also heard good things about them. She only wishes these restaurants were more allergen-friendly and less forgetful. 

“I will say sometimes the food is very good while other times they will forget things. One time they left out both my chicken and lettuce,” Zwolinski said. 

Zwolinski also said she is grateful for the new food options in Highsmith, and it’s a great alternative to Brown Hall if she does not like the choices that day. Brown Hall does tend to be more careful when considering dietary restrictions and allergies. 

“The only thing is, I enjoy how Brown had labels out for their food options stating whether they are vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. I wish we had some form of labels at the Highsmith food court to make it easier for people with dietary restrictions,” Zwolinski said. 

Sav McLean, UNCA senior and new media major said she tried all of the new restaurants in the Highsmith Union Food Court and enjoyed them, but also has a few complaints. 

“I honestly think they’ve been a hit-or-miss. Qdoba was amazing the first few days of being open, but their quality and proportions have declined since then,” McLean said. 

McLean said there should be more options, especially for toppings like cheese when reviewing 828 Burger. 

“At the moment, one slice of american cheese is the only option for cheeseburgers. Choices like provolone and pepper jack cheese would be wonderful,” McLean said. 

McLean also said she prefers Highsmith food over other food options on campus, but mostly finds herself eating at Brown Hall. 

UNCA sophomore and mechatronics major Kayla Bach said she also tried every new restaurant in Highsmith and exceptionally enjoyed them all. 

“I like all of them but I do wish Ace Sushi had more meal exchange options. I definitely enjoy having Highsmith as an option,” Bach said. 

The mechatronics major said she is glad there are food options like this available on campus because it brings more diversity rather than only having certain types of food in specific areas on campus. 

“It is better than Brown in my opinion,” Bach said. 

These new restaurants not only satisfy students, but faculty and staff as well. 

Dr. Ameena Batada, a health and wellness professor at UNCA said she has only tried the new restaurants in Highsmith once, and she was very impressed with the quick and easy process, tasteful food and diverse options. 

I like that there are some self-serve kiosks to order food. The variety appears to be good and I received my food quickly,” Batada said. 


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