Heather Hartel/Old Gold & Black
Heather Hartel/Old Gold & Black

A Positive Perspective on the “Take Two” Station

As most students are deeply divided on this Benson Center staple, two Old Gold & Black staff members review the Asian Fusion options.

We all know the dreaded feeling when your friends decide to avoid the monotony of The Pit by proposing eating at Benson. Here, your options are seemingly limited by either eating unhealthy fried food at Chick Fil A, overeating a burrito and chips at Moes or remaining unsatisfied by a salad at Forest Greens.

Until recently, I dreaded Benson for these very reasons — never knowing what to eat and fearing I’d leave either unsatisfied or uncomfortably full. Upon returning from studying abroad last semester, however, I was happily introduced to the Asian Fusion option “Take Two.” I had heard mixed reviews of the Chipotle-esque build-your-own option, from reviews that it made people ill, was too greasy, or on a slightly more positive note was meerly stomachable for dinner.

After trying it out multiple times, I have discovered the best combination of ingredients that leave me feeling satisfied but also somewhat healthy after a quick Benson meal. Take Two has now transitioned from a dining option I had only heard negative rumors about, to my go-to for on-the-go dining. I know that most counterparts will complain that Take Two leaves them feeling “sick,” or “too full,” but I would argue that this relates more to their individual orders than with the food itself.

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My go-to bowl is as follows: white rice topped with tofu, edamame, jalapeno peppers, kimchi and seaweed salad. I top the bowl with a little avocado dressing and sriracha to add more complex flavors and a little bit of spice. Although fried and heavy, the tofu is an outstanding option, as it offers plant-based protein with added flavor from the sauce it is cooked in.

As a vegetarian, Take Two is absolutely the best option in Benson, as there is enough protein from the tofu and I am left much more satisfied than eating a measly salad. I will concede in the argument that the meat available is sub-par, but anyone ordering pork or beef from a fast-food hot bar must proceed with caution regardless of the circumstances. Another major mistake one can make would be to start their bowl with the chicken fried rice; there are already enough complex flavors available in the bowls, wherein the white rice offers a blank palette to build upon.

In sum, the Take Two option is the best tasting, most satisfying option that Benson has to offer. For an Old Gold swipe, students can get a rice or salad bowl with four toppings and various sauces to top. While there are some less-than-ideal options for toppings, such as the pork or the uncooked broccoli, Take Two allows students to eat a filling, healthy, satisfactory meal. For criticizers of this delectable dining establishment, I would advise them to reflect upon what they are deciding to put in their bowls, for their order could be the source of blame opposed to the restaurant itself.

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