Gourmet food, excellence service and a small bill – that’s what you’ll get at The Restaurant at Prairie Dell. Managed by the East Central College Culinary Program, the limited-run restaurant gives students hands-on experience at running an establishment of their own.
“The Restaurant at Prairie Dell should prove to be a very valuable component we have been missing -management and practical experience,” said Culinary Arts Instructor Mike Palazzola.
Located at the East Central College Training Center on Prairie Dell Road in Union, advanced culinary students make up the management team. They are responsible for scheduling, production, job descriptions for staff and handling of revenue.
“First year students act as their staff, following guidance and remaining teachable,” Palazzola said. “The students will be able to use this as an opportunity to learn processes and standards that will be present in the hospitality industry in a learning environment, not when their job is on the line.”
Customers can start their meal with gourmet appetizer options and then jump into the soups and salads. If you are looking for a burger or sandwich, they have you covered. If you are looking for seafood pasta (with homemade noodles!) or steak, they have that too. The menu is diverse and affordable.
“We have something for everyone,” said Palazzola. “Plus, we’ll be changing up the menu on a regular basis.”
The current menu will run March 27 – April 13. Then, students will get the chance to try out their own concepts. From April 18 – 20, the menu will reflect “good, home-style cooking.” From April 25-27, the menu will reflect a modern take on traditional German cuisine. Then, from May 2-4, the menu will have some Cajun flair.
Most appetizers are $2.50 apiece. Sandwiches and entrees run about $6.00.
“Our prices only cover the cost of the food,” said Palazzola. “This is more about providing a unique experience for our students – helping them prepare for the real world.”
Seating starts at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday – Thursday and goes in 15 minute intervals until noon. To reserve your seat, email Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org. Cash or check is accepted.