New OSU restaurant features Latin American street food


McNary Dining Hall on the east side of the Oregon State University campus will have a new food option starting this fall – La Calle - but currently only night owls will reap the benefits.

La Calle will offer Latin street cuisine-inspired dishes (calle means street in Spanish), and will be open 7:30 p.m. to midnight to serve studying students and late night employees.

The new food concept will help meet a growing demand for late-night options on campus, according to Jennifer Rouse with University Housing and Dining Services.

Currently most campus food options don’t stay open past 9 p.m., with the exception of Java II, which is open until midnight Monday through Friday. The only current regular late night option is “Food 2 You,” a pizza, pasta, sandwich and salad delivery service for late night meals. It’s so incredibly popular, Rouse said, that people need to order their late night pizzas in advance, because they sell out quickly.

Executive Chef and UHDS Assistant Director Jaime Herrera said the menu, developed by UHDS Chef Jeffrey Lowman, emphasizes healthy options, portion size, price and a variety of toppings, and the menu will be built for speed and simplicity.

“The flavors will be customized toward a broader palate, with a little less spice than traditional Latin dishes,” Herrera said, and will utilize local ingredients like the Albany-based Ochoa cheese.

Fillings will include different preparations of chicken, pork and beef, some vegetarian options and occasionally shrimp or other types of seafood. Specialty drinks, including Jarritos sodas and hibiscus tea, also will be available. 

La Calle will be located just west of Raintree Coffee, in a location formerly used to make cookies and pastry. That will be relocated to the main kitchen to free up the space. Raintree Coffee will remain open until midnight each night so that students can also get caffeinated beverages during late night studying. MainSqueeze, a smoothie and convenience store located in McNary, also will stay open until midnight.

Depending on demand, hours could be expanded to include earlier opening hours, but that will be assessed later in the term.

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