Mexican cuisine returns to J Street

Thyme began offering Mexican-style dishes last week to attract more students to one of the healthiest venues in the revamped dining hub.

Thyme, which replaced Chick-Fil-A during this summer’s dining overhaul, will begin serving quesadillas for lunch and burritos for dinner.

“The thing we heard over and over was that we don’t have any Mexican options,” Rich Yokeley, the director of campus dining for Sodexo, said of student feedback in surveys, conversations at the J Street grand opening Sept. 27 and recommendations from the Student Dining Board.

Thyme specializes in home-style favorites, offering three choices each for lunch and dinner, including a daily special that follows Sodexo’s Your Health Your Way nutrition guidelines.

Yokeley said between 150 and 200 students eat at Thyme daily, compared to the 800 to 900 students who order from the Metro Diner each day.

Yokeley said the Mexican menu at Thyme will have less variety than the former venue Burrito Del Rey, which closed last spring, but will cost less. Specific menu items and prices have yet to be finalized. Burrito Del Rey was added after students called for a Mexican venue, but was quickly criticized for a lack of items.

The venue will continue to serve two non-Mexican inspired dishes, including the 600-calorie-or-less Buff and Blue Plate.

Part of the problem may be the venue’s location in the back corner of J Street, Yokeley said. He hopes the new option will draw more students toward the overlooked venue.

Student Association Executive Vice President Ted Costigan said he approached Yokeley earlier this year about adding Mexican food to J Street.

“I just kind of told him what I thought and he ran with it. It was great for him to take student feedback like that and make an immediate impact,” Costigan said.

Yokeley said several panini presses will also be added to Thyme.

Dining Services will expand the Metro Diner menu, introducing chicken wings, loaded baked potatoes and bacon cheese fries as a trial in the next few weeks.

J Street’s remodeled Italian venue, Pesto, will offer stromboli in addition to pizza and calzones, Yokeley said.

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