Quad Kitchen opens, and BBQ scent is rich

Students enjoy the new Quad Kitchen on Thursday during its official opening.

Photos by Ralph Freso / Slideshow

There was a significant air quality improvement on Grand Canyon University’s campus on Thursday.

A barbecue joint opened near its center, sending heavenly scents of smoked meats in all directions.

“Everybody loves barbecue once in a while,” said Aubrey Braithwaite, Sodexo’s Director of Operations, who oversaw a steady line of students eager to taste The Quad Kitchen’s menu.

Everybody loves the smell all of the while.

Aubrey Braithwaite, Director of Operations, applies a spice rub to chicken prior to cooking.

The first-of-its-kind walk-up eatery on campus had students lining up even before the outdoor kitchen’s windows slid open at 11 a.m. Soon after, they were chowing down on patio tables or while sitting on the turf outside GCU Arena.

Braithwaite opened another door – to one of the smokers that line the back of the kitchen, revealing stacks of brown and lovely brisket that smokes for 16 hours. The pork smokes for 10 hours, the chicken for two. Throw some hot links on the grill and we’ve got a party.

The sandwiches come with pickle chips and a side – beans, slaw, potato salad or what student Skyler Sayers recommends – the tater tots.

A pulled pork sandwich and tater tots.

She also accompanied them with a delightful visual, a nostalgic-style can of Pepsi cream soda, a perfect complement among an array of down-home beverages.

Patrons also should try the sweet tea because it’s homemade, said John Milleson, Sodexo’s Vice President of Operations, and the Jones Soda because it’s made with cane instead of corn sugars.

Watch for the appetizer of smoked mac and cheese balls when that option is up and running, he said. But most of the rest on opening day was available and piled high in the paper-lined plastic baskets of outdoor diners.

“Look at those students,” Milleson said, “taking pictures of their food.”

While The Quad Kitchen closed by midafternoon Thursday to iron out technical difficulties, regular hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

Students eat lunch on the turf in front of GCU Arena as a crowd lines up at the new Quad Kitchen.

Diners also can get barbeque plates or barbecue tacos. But if you are like student Savannah Rous, there's nothing like the Cuban sandwich with its yellow mustard and pickles. She declared the entire experience the best on campus. Ever.

Speaking of pickles, student Noah Tople recommends the fried pickles appetizer.

Braithwaite did his best to describe them before dreamily shaking his head.

“Oh, my goodness.”

Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.

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Related content:

GCU News: Fun gathering spaces highlight campus changes

GCU News: Comfort level of campus keeps expanding

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