Students taste-test food from possible Hawk’s Nest replacement


Brad Dress, Associate Editor

Approximately 120 students, faculty and staff attended the food tasting of the new company CDL Inc. on May 4, according to Steve Pegg, the director of auxiliary services.

The company could possibly take over The Hawk’s Nest Grill & Deli if the food tasters favored them; and once all negotiations are handled.

Pegg said mostly students attended, and he “thought it went well.”

“[I] got some good feedback,” Pegg added. “Students are going to have their input.”

Pegg explained that he and his team—Andrew Little, the executive director of finance, Christine Storck, the director of student engagement and Wanda Grace, the manager of The Hawk’s Nest Grill & Deli—will review the feedback.

After taking that into consideration, as well as legal terms and business negotiations, a final say will be heard within a month, according to Pegg.

Students and staff who signed up were required to fill out a form, noting their opinion on the food and service. The form’s questions revolved around whether they would recommend the provider to others, whether they would come back again, and what they thought of the breakfast, lunch and chicken, as well as other services there.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in six, 30 minute periods, students and staff cycled into SUN 102, eating the food and filling out the forms.

CDL placed the food buffet style around a ring of connected tables. The food was inside metal chafers, and ranged from turkey sandwiches to breakfast rolls to chicken fingers and even to dumplings and vegetable soups.

Catherine Jackson, a second-year nursing major, said the food was “really good,” and that she is glad the company is going to take over The Hawk’s Nest.

“Food quality has gone down at The Hawk’s Nest,” she said. “We need more food choices [also] … [And] they are going to charge by weight, which is more honest.”

CDL representatives were there to answer questions and receive feedback from the food tasters.

Alexander Dones, the head chef of CDL and general manager, said he took over the company from his parents two and a half years ago, and now runs it with his wife and brother-in-law. He said he started at CDL when he was little, bussing tables at the age of seven.

Dones explained that he cooks all the food from scratch and that he “hates frozen food.” He also explained that he wouldn’t change the name of The Hawk’s Nest or strip the menu. Dones said he would instead add additional food items and a hot bar—as well as focusing more on soups.

“I don’t want to change the menu because everyone has their usual,” he explained. “We’re going to add stuff to the menu … like a hot bar; it will be $5.95 a pound.”

The staff, he added, would stay the same, except he, his wife and brother-in-law, all of whom would manage the deli.

Dones said everyday would highlight something different; for example, one day could be “Taco Tuesday,” and the next day would display something different.

Dones, whose company also operates out of the College of Southern Maryland, agreed with Pegg that the tasting went well, and that he wants to work with students because of the flair and joy colleges bring to life.

“I love the atmosphere of college life because everyone is so happy to be here,” Dones said.”[I’m] just serving the people; I will be your friend.”