LIVING IT UP DOWN AT THE METRO GRILL

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Posted Sun, Feb 23, 2014

The Metropolitan Grill launched its grand opening by offering an all you can eat menu tasting promotion on Monday Feb.10 2014. [Photo by Daniel Day]

BON APPETIT: The Metropolitan Grill launched its grand opening by offering an all you can eat menu tasting promotion on Monday Feb. 10, 2014. [Photo by Daniel Day]

DENVER, Auraria Campus – The Hospitality Tourism and Event Department’s student-run Metropolitan Grill is now open in the Hospitality Learning Center. This marks the first public opening of the new MSU restaurant. Students enrolled in HTE’s Food Production and Service courses are excited about the new opportunity to experience professional operations in a live restaurant setting while serving high-class meals at a low-cost.

“I really like it,” said Tatianna Anderson, a student majoring in restaurant management who is on the new staff. She is one of the many HTE students who are enthusiastic about learning in a hands-on, real-life restaurant atmosphere.

Monday thru Wednesday the class serving lunch is instructed by Chef Koch and the menu has a selection of sandwiches and salads. Thursday, the restaurant will be serving elegant entrées as well as desserts and will be instructed by Chef David Beckwith. As of now, the restaurant is only serving lunch from 11a.m. until 12:30 p.m. because it is exclusively used as a college course and operated by students only.

Chef Koch led the class on its opening day. He has taught Food Production and Service at MSU for three semesters. With 25 years of experience in culinary arts, he has also taught at organizations such as Work Options for Women and the Colorado Chefs Association. His favorite dish on The Metropolitan Grill’s menu is the crabcake sliders. “I like the spiciness paired with the sweet crab,” he said.

The highly acclaimed crabcake sliders were a hot item on Monday’s grand opening.

CATCH OF THE DAY: The highly acclaimed crabcake sliders were a hot item on Monday’s grand opening. [Photo by Daniel Day]

Crabcake sliders were a favorite among guests too. After trying one of everything on the menu, Aaron McMullen, a student majoring in hotel management, agreed with Chef Koch’s sentiment of the crabcake sliders. He said, “The club sandwich was really good as well.” McMullen had taken the class last semester and was familiar with Chef Koch. “He’s really awesome. He’s very helpful to all of the students and he actually teaches everyone how to cook so this is absolutely a great class,” he said.

Prior to construction of the new HLC, the class was held in the Plaza Bldg. Students used to transform the classroom every day. “They’d have to tear out all the tables, all the chairs, roll in other tables and chairs, set it up as a dining room and we’d have a little lunch in there,” James “Jimi” Webb said. Jimi is the HTE operations manager and an alumnus of the program. “Now that we have the restaurant, it’s an outlet,” he said. Now students have more time to concentrate on important aspects of the restaurant industry. “In this class they’re learning how to use POS systems, how to use reservation systems, how a food service line in the kitchen runs and they learn a lot about service too,” Jimi said.

Students prepare the restaurant as customers await the first taste of The Metropolitan Grill.

FINE DINING: Students prepare the restaurant as customers await the first taste of The Metropolitan Grill. [Photo by Daniel Day]

The restaurant has been operable since the HLC’s grand opening in August 2012 but has been inactive for dining except for occasionally serving lunch to faculty and staff. “Now anybody can come in. We have everything set up so it’s cash, check or charge,” Jimi said. “We’re here. Come on over.”

The restaurant is located on the North side of campus next to the baseball field along Auraria Parkway. Menus are available and lunch reservations can be made online at http://www.msudenver.edu/hospitality/themetropolitangrill

HUNGRY?
What: Metropolitan Grill
Where: Hospitality Learning Center, 1190 Auraria Parkway Room #101
When: 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Mon. – Thurs.
Cost: Main Course Selections $8-$10
Phone: (303)-556-6824

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Daniel Day

About Daniel Day

Daniel Day is a journalist currently studying at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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