Located in Ohio University’s Baker University Center, West 82 Food Court is supposed to be the main place for the general public comes to eat when on campus. Aimed at off-campus students, visitors, and the general public, West 82 is supposed to have something for everyone — half a dozen food stalls offer small menus of various flavors. Among them:
- The Brick Oven: Pizzas and pastas
- Verde Blanco: Tacos, burritos, and other tex-mex dishes
- McGuffey’s Grill: Burgers, fries and other grilled food
- Jade: Indian and Asian-themed cuisine
- Ivy Deli: deli sandwiches
Conceivably I could talk about each food stall individually but in the end they all suffer from the same strengths and weaknesses so it’s really just a matter of nitpicking the menus. In general, West 82 offers the same foods as the campus dining halls, the only difference is that it is open to the public. The Brick Oven’s pizza oven is unique but that’s about it.
West 82’s food isn’t repulsive, but it is somewhat bland. I have to concede I have been eating this food for three years with regularity from the dining halls, and dining hall food grows old real fast. The burritos, pizza and jade bowl are all somewhat lacking in flavor and spices. Though the grilled foods are definitely a stronger point on the menu, all of the food is overpriced. Entrées like these are usually reserved for the discount eateries for people who are only eating there to save a buck — unless they have a meal plan. West 82 accepts meal plans, and the majority of people eating pay in this way.
I’d have to put in a good word for the service and environment, though. Employees only make your food and check it out for you, so there isn’t a lot of service involved, still they are generally very friendly and efficient about getting you in and out as quickly as possible. West 82 offers a large amount of indoor and outdoor seating, and even at peak hours few tables are left dirty for long. That said, West 82 sacrifices price and taste for variety and convenience. You decide which of these are more important to you.