West Express Eatery: Fast Food, or Rush Job?


Jacqueline Rodriguez celebrates the opening of the West Express Eatery. Photo by Calvin Johnson.

Texas Wesleyan University’s GrilleWorks restaurant, previously located in the Brown-Lupton Campus Center, had its grand reopening on Aug. 30 in the Baker Building as the West Express Eatery.

With a new name, new menu items and a new location, the adjustment period for students is only beginning.

The first thing Yoni Cardoso, sophomore history major, noticed was the look of the restaurant.

“It’s very aesthetically pleasing — I love the old feel of the building,” Cardoso said. “I think it looks nice! Very rustic.”

Sophomore music major Joanna Sermeno agreed, but offered a few suggestions.

“They should really decorate the place,” Sermeno said. “They should probably draw a ram on the wall; make it more school-spirited to make us feel more at home.”

Cardoso felt the location change was reasonable.

“It’s a bit far, but it’s manageable,” Cardoso said.

Sermeno disagreed.

“It’s not worth it for a Snickers!” Sermeno said.

The Eatery was initially expected to be moved into its new space by the end of May, according to an article on txwes.edu. Instead, by the start of the fall 2016 semester in mid-August, the Eatery was still not open. In an email sent to students on Aug. 19 by Sarah McMahon, the assistant dean of students for Residence Life, the new expected opening was Aug. 25. Five days after this new projected date, the restaurant opened its doors to the public.

Sophomore religion and political science major Jacqueline Rodriguez felt the new facility was worth the wait.

“The food’s better than Dora’s,” Rodriguez said.

Sermeno disagreed.

“They weren’t completely done,” Sermeno said. “They were promoting pizza, I came here for pizza, and there was no pizza.”

Many other students, like Cardoso, felt the same way.

“I just overheard that they ran out of burgers. It kind of feels like they’re unprepared, still,” Cardoso said.

Rodriguez, who is slated to begin working for dining services at Texas Wesleyan this fall, offered up her opinion from a worker’s perspective.

“I want to work over here instead of in the cafeteria. It seems like there’s less people,” she said.

She also hoped an assignment to the Eatery would help alleviate some of the current staff members’ workload.

“They have a lot of responsibilities,” Rodriguez said. “The cashier is asking for the money, and then she’s also preparing some stuff. She has to do several things at the same time.”

Sermeno supported Rodriguez’s idea.

“I believe they should hire more personnel, because they only have one person in the kitchen. And that one person, according to my knowledge is new, so… yeah,” Sermeno said.

Despite the criticisms and suggestions, each student interviewed said that they would be returning to the Eatery again soon.

The West Express Eatery, located in the Baker Building, is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.