Item 93: Quintessence of campus coffee

Often described as a Panera-like restaurant, Element 93 offers a classic campus cafe experience. The name is derived from the 93rd element of the Periodic Table of Elements, Neptunium or “NP”. Photo courtesy of Morgan Hughes.

Everyone on campus has opinions about food options, including Element 93. Their recent shift from their own coffee roasters to proudly serving Starbucks products has created mixed opinions about the restaurant. Personally, I had never tried Element 93 until recently and was very surprised by what they had to offer.

At first glance, their menu is overwhelming. They have a variety of options from soups to wraps to custom sandwiches. Some days their menu highlights a certain type of food or ingredient, such as Bacon Grilled Cheese Day; A popular item that eventually became a permanent menu item.

When I went there I decided to order something a little out of my comfort zone, a cheeseburger on naan bread. I’m not usually a fan of burgers, but I felt adventurous about my meal which required me to scour campus to get it.

The food was prepared in a timely manner, which I commend the staff for as long wait times are a recurring issue at campus restaurants. There were a lot of students eager to get their orders in the queue. The sandwich was freshly made and although I’m not one to have a burger it was very delicious. Had spicy ketchup sauce and lots of pickles, and I would definitely recommend this sandwich.

After hearing how spectacular the grilled cheese was, I decided to make the trip back to element 93. I placed my order: grilled cheese with bacon and tomato soup, and I didn’t was not disappointed. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup is a staple and familiar dish to enjoy while juggling a busy schedule.

This combination was phenomenal and I heard similar reviews from my peers.

Sophomore marketing major Jake Myers says his favorite dish is “bacon grilled cheese, if and when it’s available.”

Myers said the best time to go is between 2 and 3 p.m.

“It’s usually busy from its opening [at 7:30 a.m.] around 2 p.m., but after that it starts to calm down,” he explained.

In addition to a wonderful selection of food, Element 93 is conveniently located in Wooster Hall, which is perfect if you’re looking for a place to go between classes. The energy and dynamic of the restaurant is different from other restaurants on campus. I’ve noticed that most of the peers who eat together here aren’t very close friends, more like homework partners or just classmates in general. I came to this conclusion after hearing various conversations at this institution regarding course materials, grading habits of professors, and other things related to their studies. This dynamic is, in a short explanation, the epitome of a university café, with the bustle of students between enriching classes combining ideas with each other.

Element 93 is underrated and a restaurant you should definitely check out on campus. From a delicious menu to a cool and different environment, this is a place everyone on campus will enjoy. It is open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located on the first floor of Wooster Hall.

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