Garden, Dusty’s Diner team up for meals

Garden, Dusty’s Diner team up for meals

By Jhoanna Angeles
Bridge Staff Intern

Published Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

During a free event for participants who signed up, the TAMIU Garden and Dusty’s Diner teamed up to offer a healthy meal.

Texas A&M International University students were treated to a dinner featuring organic ingredients on Feb. 1 at the Student Center. Those ingredients were grown on campus.

Students received an email providing information about the event, as well as a link to sign up to receive a plate of the following options: cauliflower steak or chicken stir fry.

Cauliflower steak
Alejandro Carbajal | Bridge
A cauliflower steak seared and served alongside spinach and mashed cauliflower on Feb. 1 at Dusty’s Diner.

Christopher Segovia manages the garden.

“There was a small fee but it was pretty much first-come first-serve,” Segovia said. “There [were] quite a number of people [in attendance].

“I’m sure there will be other events coming up. We should be doing another harvest later on … What happens with that food, might go toward another event like this.”

Chef Rameriez cooks cauliflower steak
Alejandro Carbajal | Bridge
Chef Rameriez finishes cooking cauliflower steak and begins the chicken stir fry on Feb. 1 at Dusty’s Diner.

As the future and products of the garden continue to grow, so do the options for its rewards.

“I’m really anticipating this garden growing and producing a lot,” he said. “Whoever is willing to participate is entitled to a certain percentage of the crops that we harvest … the rest of the crops are going to different organizations around Laredo such as the orphanage, and battered women’s shelter … It’s all about sustainability and sharing.”

Student Melanie Lint attended the event.

“I feel like we get to eat more and feel [fuller] rather than just taking a box to our room and eat whatever is in it,” Lint said.

The food served at the event made an impact on some students.

Dusty’s Diner employees set up tables throughout the floor, at a safe social distance from one another. This allows students to sit and enjoy their meal, rather than picking up a plate and eating at their dorm room, or elsewhere.

Chef Rameriez cooks cauliflower steak
Alejandro Carbajal | Bridge
Chef Rameriez cooks cauliflower steak on Feb. 1 at Dusty’s Diner.

Student Paige Saser was one of those able to eat her meal in the diner.

“I think the atmosphere is totally different in eating in the diner, compared to your room, with your group of friends,” Saser said. “I definitely think the food is slowly getting better over time… it’s definitely getting to where it used to be.”

Criticism of the diner is not unheard of by students; after the pandemic hit, the meals began to diminish in variety.

Student Nitza Meza enjoys being able to eat at the diner again and eat ingredients grown on campus.

“I love how they serve the food,” Meza said. “It changes; it’s not always the basic … They try to give something different for the diversity we have here … Sometimes they even have surveys for you to fill out in case you have any complaints about the food or anything … Nobody’s perfect, so sometimes the food will lack something like salt, but even then you can ask for condiments to spice it up.”

Chicken stir fry
Alejandro Carbajal | Bridge
Chicken stir fry, consisting of chicken, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, purple onion and mashed cauliflower on Feb. 1 at Dusty’s Diner.

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