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The Asian Bistro: Should It Stay or Should It Go


There have been many new improvements to UT’s campus this semester, including the addition of a brand new food option. Asian Bistro has replaced SparBQ in Morsani and is now open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., offering three meal exchanges: Build Your Rice Bowl, Veggie Delight Rice Bowl, and dumplings. All meal exchanges include a fountain beverage as well as a fortune cookie.

Students have a choice between chicken, pork, and tofu and if you are willing to pay extra, either with Spartan Dollars or cash, shrimp is also offered. There are a myriad of fresh vegetables to choose from including carrots, broccoli and mushrooms. The Bistro also offers three sauce options: teriyaki, General Tso’s and sweet & sour. Students can also choose from brown or white rice with every entree. As for dumplings, there are two choices: chicken or vegetable shiitake mushroom.

The Asian Bistro also offers food not on the meal plan including fresh rice paper rolls with sauce. For individually listed prices on their menu you can also add extra portions of food to your meal.

Similar to ordering at Pandini’s, when ordering at the Asian Bistro, you must swipe your ID or pay at the register, get a printed “ticket,” and proceed around the Bistro to the end of the line, which has caused some confusion. Unlike ordering pasta dishes at Pandini’s, where the line begins right after the register, when you finish paying at the Bistro you must walk around to the other end of the line which is next to Salsa Rico.

Lately, the lines at the Bistro have been especially long around lunch and dinner time. Unlike the old SparBQ option, which was less popular with students, the Asian Bistro is attracting many students craving new meal options.

“Asian was the perfect choice because it added a better variety to campus,” said Mariah Miller, a sophomore digital arts major.  

While many students are trying the Bistro, not everyone is satisfied with the new food option.

“The bistro was a nice thought but not good food.” said Ally Clements, a junior public health major. “I can appreciate that UT is trying to add healthier and tastier options to our meal plans. However, I feel as if the quality of meat at the new bistro is really unsatisfactory.”

Other students are finding that the Bistro has some negatives, but overall the addition was a step in the right direction.

The Bistro only has room for two pans to cook at a time, meaning only two meals can be made at once, causing the slow service.

“It’s a good experience, but the lines are kind of slow,” said Chelsea Mullins, a sophomore athletic training major.


Jenna Manto can be reached at


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