If you thought Douglass only housed a dining hall and bookstore, you’ve been seriously missing out. Go up a couple floors and you’ll find yourself in the Meliora Restaurant, which, during weekday lunch hours, offers the Grab ‘n Go and Mel Express. The former is exactly what it sounds like: pick a meal from an assortment of prepared sandwiches, salads, soups and parfaits, then pair it with a drink, chips or fruit and a cookie, pay and be on your merry way. It’s the perfect way to get something to eat in or on the way to class, but many choose to eat it right there in the Mel. Most of the people in the Mel dining room, however, are there awaiting their orders from the Mel Express, which is best known for offering the illustrious Mel Burger. The inevitable wait at the Express isn’t optimal for those in a rush between classes, but the food is definitely worth the time.


Photo by Agnes Chen

Okay, upperclassman that got nothing out of that intro paragraph, you already know what the Mel is and just want to know what’s new. First off, the Grab ‘n Go has completely revamped its menu. Though only five of last year’s entrees remain, there are now nine sandwiches to pick from, including three kosher options and a vegan wrap. I tried the Roast Beef Lyonnaise, which paired excellently with Mel Sauce, and the Cucumber Salad Wrap, which was not as disappointing as I feared a vegan wrap might be. It still did not quite compensate for the loss of last year’s Vegetable Mozzarella Arugula Wrap though. At least you can console yourself with a cookie of any variety, as all are now offered at once rather than just two a day.


Photo by Agnes Chen

Now for the Mel Express. The steak salad has been turned into a sandwich, to the dismay of many students trying to eat more wholesomely – but fear not! The Mediterranean Salad, full of olives, tomato, feta and cucumber, allows you to skip some carbs and still have an extremely satisfying meal, especially if you opt for adding the finely-seasoned grilled chicken. Another notable on the menu is the Tex Mex Chicken Wrap, which probably ranks among the best things I’ve eaten from UR. The biggest buzz, however, has been generated by the Mel Margherita Pizza. Vegetarian, delightfully non-greasy and a generous-but-completely doable size. It’s larger than the typical personal pan pizza but smaller than a delivery place’s ‘small’ – and a refreshingly simple addition to the star-studded menu. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, though, feel free to try the buffalo chicken poutine.


Photo by Agnes Chen

Enticed? Go check out the Mel during your next weekday lunch! You won’t be disappointed.

Pizzas and salads and sandwiches, oh my!