The return of familiar Paces

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

A dark night. A smattering of stars. A deserted Magill Walk and an empty stomach. Where to? Paces Café, of course! Swarthmore’s first student run eatery. Hosting a season opening last night, the staff was certainly fit to begin. With a new director and some fresh employees, most patrons agree that Paces could prove to be better than ever.

In an interview, Chef Marilyn Batonga ’08 gushed over some novel offerings, “one thing we have this year are four specials per week—-two different specials on Sunday and Monday, and again on Tuesday and Wednesday. Also, we have many more vegan and vegetarian options.” She added “it’s a blast!”

One special served last night, a traditionally Cameroonian dish of beignets, slightly spicy beans and baguette, served by Chef Batonga, was unequivocally delicious. A tour of the spacious kitchen revealed a clean atmosphere smelling almost of cinnamon. According to the menu and talks with the chef, some old favorites remain on the menu, such as pasta, dirty sundaes, and quesadillas, along with some newer items, such as more soup options.

Just after opening, Paces looked busy as ever, filled with jovial students. Alexa Bensimhon ’09 mentioned she was “enjoying it thoroughly. It’s great.” “It’s a fun and cute environment,” added her tablemate Jennie Park ’09.

Kinei Braithwaite ’08, a Paces baker also mentioned that it is a “nice environment. We’re all friends, we hang out. Of course, today’s my first day.”

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