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Head-to-Head: The Inn-Between is Better than the Caf

Brian Keim
The JCU Inn-Between promises an authentic culinary experience for all customers.

This article is part of a head-to-head series. Read the counterargument by Brian Keim.

I will start by saying I am not the largest fan of JCU food in general. I think I have been to The Caf less than 20 times during my entire academic career of nearly 3 and a half years, including for meetings or quick catch-ups with friends (then again, meetings inside The Caf are few and far between since it costs a meal swipe just to enter). To be honest, when someone says, “let’s go get food,” my first thought is usually that we are going to pull up to Swensons for a milkshake, not walk to Schott. To be fair, I am glad that preferring The ’Tween is my initial, and often correct, assumption.

This is for two main reasons: time and limited options.

Personally, I find myself DoorDashing more often than not or muddling through The Nook for snacks in between classes. Saxby’s is also a constant on my meal plan, for its caffeine and legitimate sustenance alike. Much of this stems from convenience. When I am running from my work shift off-campus to my CH1750 course to the library to tutor communications, I feel as if there is not a spare minute where I can actually sit inside the dining hall and enjoy a meal. It is also off course from my desired final destination, whether it be the O’Malley Center or Bernet Hall.

I know this is probably my own fault, but this is also an opinion piece so I am allowed to voice complaints. As a busy college student, on-the-go food is a luxury that I quite often take advantage of. If I cannot work while I walk, I might as well chow down. The same goes for studying, as it is difficult to do homework in Schott because of its volume, which throws a wrench in my already hefty schedule.

However, not only do I have little time for The Caf, but I feel as if The Caf has little time for me. When looking at the vast array of food available in Schott Dining Hall, there are so few options that are catered to vegetarians. I understand that I am not the primary audience for the cooks, but I am left with a desert of cuisine next to an oasis for the carnivores around me.

Additionally, whenever I have asked for vegetarian (or God forbid vegan) options in Schott, I am often greeted with annoyance from the workers. It has gotten to the point where, if a dish is not overtly vegetarian, I am not even going to try and find a work around because I feel like such an inconvenience to those behind the stations. There are also rumors that the vegetarian burgers are cooked on the same grill as the meat products and that irks me. Perhaps the other gossip of pink chicken and hairs on plates has also left a bad taste in my mouth, marring the flavor of the limited options I do have.

I know I do not have a leg to stand on with the undercooked poultry debacle as I am a vegetarian, but this lack of quality makes me wary of other products The Caf serves. This controversy has left a permanent stain on Schott in my eyes and the fact that it doesn’t even care to cater to my diet is the icing on the cake.

When looking at the alternative, the renowned Inn Between, I would choose it every time. Regarding my first problem, it is so easy to place a ‘Tween order, pick it up and return to my dorm to crank out homework.

The Caf’s environment is very much for socialization and I do not see an issue with that. It is still a little difficult to study or write a paper with the hustle and bustle of campus life around you. For sheer productivity reasons, The ‘Tween grants me the ability to both nourish my body and focus on the task at hand without getting distracted by aimless side-conversations or passing acquaintances.

The second contention is where my heart truly lies on this debate. Especially with the addition of Choolaah, The Inn Between has multiple options not only for me but for others with dietary restrictions. This is especially shocking when you consider that there are only three restaurants at The ’Tween with even fewer options than The Caf based purely off of meal exchange options.

With the sheer convenience of ordering on the Get app, I also avoid those judging remarks from workers in The Caf who are troubled by my meal choices. I can get a vegetarian burger from The ‘Tween within 30 minutes while still working on an assignment for 95% of that time. I also avoid the grimaces of those I inconvenience with my diet because the food is served in a grab-and-go format.

Undoubtedly, these problems are limited to both my herbivore diet and my eternally busy peers, but these are still prevalent concerns nonetheless. Perhaps if The Caf created more dishes that I could consume and I did not feel like a bother for eating as I please, my mind could change. Until then, I am placing my Blue Streak Grill order for 7:30 p.m!

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About the Contributors
Laken Kincaid
Laken Kincaid, Editor-in-Chief
Laken Kincaid is the Editor-in-Chief for The Carroll News from Beckley, West Virginia. They are a senior at John Carroll University who is double majoring in political science and communications (digital media) and minoring in leadership development. Laken has written for The Carroll News since the start of their freshman year and has previously served as a staff reporter, campus section editor and managing editor of the paper. They have received 18 Best of SNO awards, a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for Region 4 and two honorable mentions from the College Media Association. They have also been recognized by universities like Georgetown for their investigative reports. Additionally, they also write political satire for The Hilltop Show and feature stories on global poverty for The Borgen Project. In addition to their involvement with The Carroll News, Laken is involved with the Kappa Delta sorority, the speech and debate team, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Improv club and other organizations. They also serve as the news director for WJCU 88.7, John Carroll's own radio station, and as the president for John Carroll's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.  Laken also started their own national nonprofit organization known as Art with the Elderly which they have won the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Humanity Rising Award for. When not writing, Laken can be found doing graphic design for their internship with Union Home Mortgage or working as a resident assistant and peer learning facilitator on campus. Laken also enjoys skiing and watching true crime documentaries. In the future, Laken hopes to become a political journalist for a national news organization or to be a campaign commercial editor for politicians. To contact Laken, email them at [email protected].
Brian Keim
Brian Keim, Campus Editor
Brian Keim is the Campus Editor for The Carroll News, hailing from Medina, Ohio. He is a sophomore at John Carroll University, majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and minoring in communications with a concentration in digital media.
Often referred to as a “person” who “exists,” Brian is also involved in the JCU Improv Troupe and Blue Streaks on the Run. In his free time he allegedly considers film-watching and book-reading to be two activities that are enjoyable as well as life-changing, if you know where to look.
To request biased film opinions, haphazard Academy Award predictions, or otherwise contact Brian Keim, he can be reached at [email protected]

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