This school year, Café 3 underwent some serious transformations. The dining hall's newly renovated menu has increased the array of plant-based options. Though Café 3 has striven to make these health-conscious choices both nutritious and delicious, a number of these choices aren't as appealing to the tastebuds as the residents have hoped.
But don't fret, navigating the vegetarian, vegan, and kosher stations is actually quite simple. Make sure to try these six following foods, and eventually, Café 3 will grow on you.
1. Omelet Bar
And I quote my roommate, "The only reason why I still come to Café 3 is for the omelets." Located at the center of Café 3 brunch, the omelet bar features custom-made omelets with a plethora of fillings, including bell peppers, cheese, tofu, and a variety of veggies. You can even substitute the regular eggs for egg whites for a healthier start to the day.
#SpoonTip: Season the omelets with salt and pepper for added taste.
2. Sweet Potato Tater Tots
This dish appears about once in a blue moon, so if you see it on the menu, make sure to sprint over. These bite-sized tater tots are lightly sweet with a slightly crispy texture and are less greasy than the traditional version. They're essentially the same as sweet potato fries – just more compact and socially acceptable for breakfast.
3. Apple Strudel
Next to the multitude of cereal dispensers, you'll find a diverse selection of pastries. As enticing as the croissants and muffins might be, the apple strudel outshines them all. Topped with cinnamon brown sugar, the strudel is really an apple pie in disguise. So if you're ever craving dessert for breakfast, you can indulge in one (or five) of these sweet treats.
4. Vegan Orange Tofu
Most of the vegan fare they offer at Café 3 is rather bland, but the vegan orange tofu exceeded my expectations with its distinct flavor. The tofu is pleasantly tangy and pairs well with the broccoli and brown rice served at the same station. Occasionally, they do serve up faux chicken tenders in place of the tofu, but don't worry – it tastes just as good.
Oddly enough, the sushi usually makes an appearance during brunch hours, but it is definitely worth waking up for. The sushi, which comes in pairs, was surprisingly fresh compared to the packaged types sold at Bear Market and Golden Bear Cafe. They even provide wasabi and ginger along with a bowl of soy sauce and a container of chopsticks. And yes, I grabbed seconds of these (no shame).
6. Flourless Chocolate Torte
The holy grail of Café 3 desserts (and every Cal dining hall really), the flourless chocolate torte is basically a slice of heaven. It's rich, fudgy, and gluten-free, so you don't have to feel 100% guilty about inhaling it in 2 seconds.
In the end, the Café 3's entire makeover hasn't been all that bad. Along with the ambiance and pleasant design, there are still plenty of tasty brunch, dinner, and dessert selections that keep all the residents coming back again and again.