During the summer of 2018, our beloved Benson Memorial Center dining hall (or just “Benson” to SCU students) underwent a major transformation. Beyond the cosmetic changes, Benson now has many improved and brand new food options, and is an awesome place for hanging out outside of mealtimes as well.
One of the most popular options in Benson is Stacks, the custom sandwich station where it feels like the world is truly your oyster. They offer several bread options, including (my personal favorite) dutch crunch and gluten-free wraps and all the fixins you could want, from grilled vegetables to bacon to pesto spread. I always opt to get my sandwich toasted at the end, which makes it taste extra good and gets your cheese melty.
One of the new stations that I frequent is Pacific Rim, which serves delicious Asian soups, noodles, and rice dishes. They do an awesome job of recreating traditional pan-Asian dishes, such as Korean bibimbap, Thai curries, and Vietnamese pho. They are open for lunch and dinner, and you can choose between their express option or get your meal made-to-order if you have a couple minutes to wait.
Another gem added this year is the Pacific Rim breakfast station, where you can also choose the express option or made-to-order food. The express station has pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, french toast, and other classics. If you want eggs made any way or a custom omelette, these can both be made fresh at Pacific Rim as well. One of my favorite breakfasts is toast from the salad bar topped with over-easy eggs.
One of my go-to stations for dinner this year is the Mediterranean station, which has a Chipotle-style assembly line, where you get to create your own Mediterranean meal. You choose your protein first, and I typically go with the falafel or chicken. You then add rice or quinoa, greens, and a bunch of different vegetables. At the end, they top it with your choice in sauce (they make a tasty tahini sauce), and a piece of pita bread. You never leave the Mediterranean station without a well-rounded, filling, and flavorful meal.
Besides my frequented stations, Benson also offers poke, grilled steaks, burgers, a full salad bar, and pasta. If you’re searching for something beyond these, look no further than Globe, a station that offers a different lunch and dinner special every day, ranging from bbq brisket with cornbread and to popcorn chicken with sweet corn and mashed potatoes. Their dishes are truly inspired and are often the source of my happiness and food comas.
One of the best parts about new Benson is that it is perfect not only for eating, but also for spending time studying and socializing. At Mission Bakery, you can now find comfy lounge furniture that’s perfect for studying or grabbing coffee with friends. There is also a beautiful atrium that brings in tons of natural light during the day, and is a beautiful place to plop down for some afternoon reading or a lunch date with a pal. With more seating options, Benson has become a very versatile space for SCU students.
Another change that you might notice in Benson is the new system for ordering food. At most stations, you’ll order your food on an iPad-esque kiosk screen that makes ordering and getting your food even more efficient. While it is easy for college dining hall food to get monotonous, Benson is now better than ever and truly boasts a variety of options that make it feel less like a cafeteria and more like Food Network’s test kitchen.
Click here to see Nikki give a 360 tour of the new Benson building!