The CoHo reopened Monday morning, to some Stanford Facebook fanfare, after almost a year of absence. Was it worth the wait?
A friend of mine and I stopped by for lunch to give the “new” old CoHo a try. She ordered a Portobello mushroom sandwich, which came in a clear plastic container and looked encased in two thin slices of Corporate Bread. My friend, a vegetarian for many years said the sandwich had “way too much cheese”.
I ordered a Pear and Goat Cheese salad for 7.04 USD with tax, and some minutes later received a small bowl of baby spinach, tiny pear slices, soft bits of goat cheese, and a mild but seemingly omnipresent glaze of oil-based dressing.
We noted the aged wood tables still present, the odd Stanford alum? caricatures on the wall, and a large wall-sized poster of a Spanish matador. It was a quiet, Stanford summer scene, but after that small salad, my stomach asked for more.
I inquired about the provenance of the 1.75 USD Croissants on display, not the ones Satura-made, but the ones the cheery cashier claimed were made in-house by Guillermo, a trained pastry chef, she said. I asked about the flour — organic and/or refined? She didn’t know, just saw all-purpose flour, and Sysco Wholesome Farms butter.
As an artisan baker myself, spoiled by the organic Giusto’s flour and (American Humane association Certified) Clover Stornetta organic butter I use when preparing my own Viennoiserie from scratch, I gave the 1.75 USD CoHo-made croissant a try and was somewhat disappointed. Although the execution was good and the visual aesthetics pleasing, the quality of the ingredients, or shall I say the lack thereof, clearly shone through. I put the croissant back in the bag after two bites and left the new old CoHo.
Overall food rating: B+
Sustainability: B (no mention of organic ingredients, dairy sourced from large corporate farms (SYSCO), non-compostable utensils and plastic-heavy food containment)
For a campus that prides itself on being at the vanguard of sustainable food and dining for a college campus, I for one hope we can and will do better.