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Pollo or Mesquite?

Over the summer, UMBC said goodbye to Mesquite Grill and hello to a new fast food option in The Commons: Pollo. As its name suggests, Pollo (“chicken” in Spanish) focuses on serving chicken, accompanied with a side of fries.

While this new dining service is great for chicken lovers, its introduction does leave one issue: no more options on campus for beef. Mesquite offered a variety of meat, serving both chicken tenders and hamburgers and even served more obscure options such as mozzarella sticks. So was the introduction of a new chicken place at the expense of a more diverse menu worth it?

Nansen Kuo, a sophomore biology and psychology double major, said that he prefers Pollo over having the option of beef and other food products from Mesquite. “Pollo is a fast, efficient and better dining option than Mesquite,” said Kuo. “At Mesquite, you’d have to wait a while to get your burger and the burger wasn’t even that good.” Kuo finds that Pollo serves “much better food” than Mesquite did and that the chicken tenders are of “better quality”.

Peter Wu, a sophomore computer science major, also enjoys the new Pollo. “The chicken is much better than it was at Mesquite,” stated Wu, very much happy with the introduction of Pollo on campus. “I have never had chicken tenders as good as these before. It isn’t dry or unsavory. It just tastes like really good chicken.”

In fact, although Mesquite offered a number of options not available at Pollo, everyone we spoke to about this new option not only embraced the change, but preferred it when compared to Mesquite. Students reported that the chicken in particular is an improvement over what Mesquite used to serve. Although the campus has fewer options in terms of food, the offering of higher quality food makes up for this. UMBC students seem to prefer quality over quantity when it comes to dining options.

UMBC isn’t necessarily known for the quality of its dining options. In fact, many believe that that the food on campus, in general, isn’t spectacular. However, if Pollo is an indicator of what students want, perhaps dining services should focus on removing a vast array of food options at each restaurant to focus on serving high quality food. Doing so would not only have students better appreciate the food on campus, but it would also make for a more enjoyable campus living experience.