Bon Appétit, étudiants! Crystal Room Bistro

Lauren Simmers

Galluci Hall, the former hotel that is now used as a student residence hall, is the last place anyone ever would’ve suspected to find the hidden gem of The University of Akron’s campus. 

Don’t let the graying outside fool you about what is on the inside. Stepping into the Crystal Room Bistro, it’s almost as if you are transported to another place entirely.

Immediately greeted by pleasant students and employees, I was seated at “the best seat in the house.” The atmosphere was that of a five-star restaurant, complete with elegant décor and music.

Thomas Farriss, a hospitality management student studying culinary arts and also acting as my waiter, was very excited about being involved with the Crystal Room Bistro.

“It’s very hands-on,” said Farriss. “You get to work in multiple areas, which prepares you for the real world.”

Looking over the menu, something immediately grabbed my attention; the prices were incredibly affordable. They had lunches starting at $3.99 and desserts for only $1.00. If you think about it, you spend more money at Subway than you would the Crystal Room Bistro.

When I placed my order of Cajun Fish & Chips, it took only ten minutes for them to cook my meal, right on the spot, and bring me a steaming hot plate.

Actually tasting the food was something else altogether. My dish that I ordered was absolutely unbelievable. The fish was perfectly seasoned and battered so that it was practically melting in my mouth, and the flavors were so subtle, yet they coincided perfectly. The homemade fries were impeccably done.

My overall experience at the Crystal Room Bistro was amazing. The staff was pleasant and knew the menu, checking multiple times to make sure if I needed anything else. The dining room was very clean and elegantly decorated with ornate furniture. But the most important part was the food, which was cooked to perfection. Farriss said it best. 

“You get gourmet food and incredible desserts for cheap,” said Farriss. “You can’t find that at normal restaurants. The food’s almost all made by students.”

The Crystal Room Bistro isn’t just a restaurant with amazingly low prices; it’s a program for students at The University of Akron to get hands-on training to go into their field of choice. 

That’s the most important part. This program supports the students and that’s the main reason why I ate there. Upon being there, I found completely different reasons for going in the first place, such as the gourmet food and warm-toned surroundings.

So students, faculty, and staff alike, here’s a challenge for you: Eat at the Crystal Room Bistro at least once this semester. Support your peers and students by helping them get the skills and experience that they will carry with them when their time being a Zip is up. You don’t even have to make a reservation, just walk in. You won’t be disappointed.

Their lunch hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and they also have dinner available on Thursday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. You can even call ahead for carry-out if you’re in a hurry.

Farriss’ tip for students who have never eaten at the restaurant is simple: “Come [and] get gourmet food for a good deal.”

As I left the Crystal Room Bistro, the staff said a sincere “thank you” to me. I can’t wait to go back and experience this five-star restaurant again.