The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Taste the seasons: 100 West Café offers new dining opportunities

Jonathan+Venegas+grilling+a+shrimp+entre%C3%A9+on+Sept.+22%2C+2023.
Carlos Herrera
Jonathan Venegas grilling a shrimp entreé on Sept. 22, 2023.

Student-run restaurants offer more than just tasty food; they provide a one-of-a-kind dining experience that exudes a strong sense of community and atmosphere. From the moment you walk into 100 West Café, you can feel the difference. 

100 West Café, located in Gerald Thomas Hall, is a food laboratory for students operated by the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. This establishment is student-run, providing opportunities to develop skills and experience to thrive in the restaurant management industry. 

Lunches are available on Fridays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. with opportunities for dine-in or carryout for $15 per person with a $2 surcharge for carryout. Multimedia specialist Carlos Herrera and I immersed ourselves in the ambiance of the restaurant, eager to savor the flavors of the season. 

 I was immediately greeted by the sound of upbeat summer-themed music playing softly in the background. Complemented by the warm lighting and comfortable seating, the music created a perfect ambiance for the restaurant, making it feel more vibrant and alive. 

Manager-on-duty, Hondo Esperanza, posing for a picture on Sept. 22, 2023. (Carlos Herrera)

The manager on duty, Hondo Esparza, explained the menu’s themes for the semester. 

“So, we have three themes for this semester,” Esparza said. “It’s the taste of the seasons, but in periods of three weeks, we are doing different menus. The first three weeks is the summer menu, the next three weeks is the fall menu, and the following will be the winter menu.”

This week’s menu was summer-themed. The meal includes your choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert, as well as a choice of iced tea, water, or coffee. The three-course meal came as a pleasant surprise for me.  

I had the jalapeno popper wontons as my appetizer, which were absolutely scrumptious. The wonton shells were fried to a perfect golden brown, giving them a satisfying crunch with every bite. The creamy filling was a heavenly blend of tangy jalapenos and rich, gooey cheese that melted in my mouth.  

The level of spiciness from the jalapenos was just right, and it was balanced out by the creaminess of the cheese, creating a perfect harmony of flavors that left me craving for more. The spicy kick from the jalapenos was balanced out by the richness of the cheese, creating a perfect flavor combination. 

For my entrée, I had barbecue country-style ribs that were expertly seasoned with a perfect blend of spices. The meat was incredibly tender and juicy and had a rich, smoky flavor perfectly complemented by the barbecue sauce. Every bite was a delightful mix of sweet and savory flavors, with a hint of spiciness that added an extra kick to the dish.  

One of 100 West Café’s entreés, featuring barbecue ribs, coleslaw, and baked beans. (Carlos Herrera)

The crispy coleslaw and baked beans were the perfect sides to balance the flavors and textures and added a refreshing and comforting element to the dish. Overall, it was a fantastic culinary experience that left me feeling completely satisfied. 

The meal was topped with a lemon bar and raspberry sauce. The lemon bar had a perfect balance of tartness and sweetness, but I could not enjoy the raspberry sauce on the side, as there was very little on the plate. The texture of the bar itself was soft and crumbly, but not too dense. Comparing the other dishes I was served, the dessert presentation was the weakest of the three. It was not the meal’s highlight, but a great way to end it. 

The student service was swift and friendly. The waitstaff was attentive and knowledgeable about the menu, offering suggestions and answering any questions I had. They were proactive in refilling our drinks and removing empty plates from our way. It was clear that the students running the restaurant took great pride in their work and provided a top-notch dining experience. 

Overall, my dining experience at 100 West Café was exceptional. The restaurant’s unique concept of being run by students added an extra layer of authenticity to the meal. The food was expertly prepared, and the service was attentive and friendly.  

The restaurant’s lively and welcoming ambiance provided a perfect backdrop for a memorable dining experience. I highly recommend 100 West Café for anyone looking for a delicious meal and a one-of-a-kind dining experience that exudes a strong sense of community and atmosphere. 

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About the Contributors
Ahmad Fairley, Staff Writer
Ahmad Fairley is entering his first semester with The Round Up as a staff writer. He is currently a senior majoring in Journalism & Media Studies with a minor in Strategic Communication. Ahmad discovered his passion for writing when he was thirteen and has been writing short stories since then. One of his goals is to write a novel. Ahmad loves and appreciates stories and is excited to express that love through his work. Other hobbies he enjoys are drawing, reading, listening to music, and being active outside. Ahmad hopes to contribute significantly to The Round Up and to grow as a writer for his future endeavors. 
Carlos Herrera, Multimedia Specialist
Carlos Herrera is entering his second year at The Round Up as a Multimedia Specialist. He is currently a senior in his undergraduate degree in Information Communication Technology. Carlos is looking forward to this year in expanding his love for graphic design and perfecting his photography while capturing "those big Aggie moments". He enjoys being active in everything he does, and also enjoys spending time with those important to him in his downtime.

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