As I mentioned in a previous post, I typically don’t have time for lunch. My Math 141 class meets four days a week, and I have another class following it three of the four days. Therefore, I face two options: eating around 11:30am or 3:00pm.
I feel the need for a disclaimer here though. I did not walk into NSO with the intention of scheduling classes all afternoon long. My original Math 141H class took place much earlier in the morning, but simply was not feasible. We started with a 30 student class which immediately dropped to 15 due to the professor’s accent and constant contradicting of himself. When I decided switching classes was in my best interest, the other section of honors math was filled to capacity. I turned to the LionPath Class Search and saw two options for a new class which fit the parameters of my schedule: the first taught buy a man with “no social skills” according to “Rate My Professor” and the other taught by someone who did not exist on the internet.
I show up to the first day of the new class and a guy who looks like he’s no older than 20 walks to the front of the room. “Okay, he’s probably a TA or something” I think to myself. Then he logs onto the computer, says “hey guys” and just starts teaching.
Yes, he’s actually the professor!
While I was taken aback by this at first, the switch proved good for me. Now, the Steidle Building has become my go-to late-night study location (a place I never would have discovered without this class).
You know you’ve been studying in Steidle too long when the multi-colored lights kick in!
While both the time and location of this class can be inconvenient, the experience led me to a great location of the Au Bon Pain Cafe in the Kern Graduate Building. Facing Math and a four-hour Chem 111 lab back-to-back, I needed to find something to eat in order to keep my focus in lab. Between Chem 110 lecture and Math, I have an hour free, and pass Kern, so it proves quite convenient. A friend of mine who takes an Economics class in Kern mentioned the cafe one day and suggested I try it out.
Outside view of Au Bon Pain in Kern Graduate Building
Much like Cafe Laura, Au Bon Pain is surrounded by classrooms. However, the seating area is much larger, with tables and couches both outside and inside the establishment. Upon entering, the eatery seemed reminiscent of a Panera Bread. While they serve specialty espresso beverages, coffee, and smoothies, their baked goods and sandwiches prove more popular. Each station has a different line, and once you order at one, you can proceed to another while waiting. In my case, I ordered a smoothie and then went to the hot sandwich station while waiting for the smoothie.
I had mixed feelings following the overall process. This Au Bon Pain tends to be loud, chaotic, and crowded at this time. The customer service proves fair, but the food takes a long time to receive. However, the delicious chicken margherita sandwich and refreshing strawberry peach smoothie make up for it.
Featuring sundried tomatos, mozzarella cheese, basil, and warm, tender chicken, this sandwich is a must!!
Ultimately, I recommend Au Bon Pain for the great tasting food and beverages, but do not prefer the atmosphere. Since everything is packaged in a travel-friendly style, I typically proceed to Steidle Building with it and eat in their quiet lounge!
Me and my friend Steph on the steps of Steidle Building