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    Posted December 13, 2012 by
    Kennesaw, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    100 places to eat like a local

    Best Dining Concept

    I am a student here at Kennesaw State University. Our school has developed a sustainability dining program that has paved a new twist on the concept of dining. The Commons is committed to buying and sourcing locally in addition to the produce that they grow on their farm. Open kitchens display small-batch food preparation in nine distinct venues: Apron Strings, for fried chicken Thursday’s; Globetrotter, featuring international cuisine; Hwy 41, with diner-style fare; Wok this Way, for Asian selections; Dan’s Deli, for soups and made-to-order sandwiches; Campus Green, with a fresh salad bar, composed salads and grilled proteins; Piatti’s for pizza and pastas; The Grind, with barista-prepared espresso and coffee drinks; and the Stone Mill Bakery, featuring freshly baked items. An on-site herb garden provides fresh herbs year-round, and locally sourced meats and produce are used in seasonal menus that change daily. All sauces, soups, baked goods, pizza dough, smoked meats, and pickles are made in-house, and no bases or MSG are used in recipes. The Commons single source all pork, beef and lamb, and Soups are made from homemade stocks prepared daily. The Commons grind their own organic grits and flour in house. Additionally, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are available each day. In addition to all of the sustainability initiatives, The Commons has some of the best food in Atlanta.

    A true highlight of the Sustainable Dining Program at KSU is its farm-to-campus program, launched in May 2010. In addition to growing its own produce, KSU installed two apiaries on the properties, and houses 42 honeybee colonies to assist with the open pollinated varieties. Produce, and honey, harvested from the farms is served in dishes in The Commons year-round for our enjoyment. The farm-to-campus program is a key component of the sustainable dining outreach and education campaign. Students, such as myself, and residents of the local community have had the opportunity to volunteer to work on the farm, and guests in the dining hall are able to contently enjoy organic, heirloom produce that was grown on the university’s farms. All cardboard, plastic, aluminum, and glass are recycled. All wet waste and organic food production waste is sent for compost production. Used oil from fryers is recycled and repurposed as biodiesel. The Commons ranked #10 for 2012 Best Colleges for Food in America, top 25 colleges for food in 2011-Newsweek, NACUFS Sustainability Award Recipient for 2012, Platinum Member of Georgia Grown Program. In addition to all of the sustainability initiatives, The Commons has some of the best food in Atlanta.

    This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure:  100 places to eat like a local
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