Food choices are vast. Seating is pleasant through the dining areas on the second floor of Wilkerson Commons at UND. The place is airy and light with windows all around. Food choices range widely from pizza and burgers to Asian foods and roast turkey.

In all, there are eight different serving stations with rotating menus. Beyond that on campus, there are a la carte options at Squires Hall food court and some choices in the Stomping Grounds at O’Kelly Hall.

Food service at Wilkerson was a bright spot during the opening week of classes at UND. On Tuesday evening, there were stations offering food choices including carved turkey, pork loin, gourmet noodles.

It was almost enough to make my head swim. So I followed choices of other customers – mostly UND students getting settled in for a new year of classes.

More than 4,000 meals were served at Wilkerson between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Tuesday. And the staff was expecting the same patronage every day.

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Diners were eating heartily in groups, in twosomes or alone. I made my way to a place where I could savor the surroundings. The are pleasant with a wide variety of food.

I paid $10.65 for dinner and was told the dining room was open to the public.

You never know until you ask. And I wasn’t sure when I found a parking place and made my way upstairs in Wilkerson Hall at UND.

After the busy opening, heavy patronage by was expected every day. Lunch is served from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner service runs from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Italian rotisserie turkey was one of the offerings Tuesday evening. I found it tender and tasty – somehow with more personality than the rather good, but often bland turkey served.

Wilkerson dining center offers a pleasing variety of choices with eight different stations and rotating menus.

Orlynn Rosaasen, director of dining at UND, said more than 7,000 meals were served over the opening weekend. And from Sunday through Thursday every day, there are around 5,500 to 6,000 meals served between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the closing is at 8 p.m.

UND Dining Services employ between 250 to 300 who are mostly students and work part time.

Rosaasen has seen changes over more than 20 years in food services. There are more choices and students prefer more variety. He said food buying is 15 percent regional.

All time favorites are chicken strips and macaroni and cheese. And students still like hamburgers and pizza.

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Wilkerson Dining Center

University of North Dakota

Director of dining: Orlynn Rosaasen

Assistant director: Jason Gallagher

Chef: Jeff St. Michael

Seating: 540 in two dining areas

Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 P.M. Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday

Report card: Wide variety of gourmet and every day foods offered at the University of North Dakota. New for fall is Grab N Go located on lower level of Wilkerson Commons.