Northern exposure — New dining location caters to Mizzou North

Cafe115Columbia’s vibrant menu of dining locations—options ranging from international to super local—has seen a new and innovative addition, thanks to the culinary contributions of University of Missouri Club & Catering. Their new diner du jour, Café 115, is located in the basement of Mizzou North, the former Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and the current home of university museums and offices displaced by the Renew Mizzou initiative along with the renovation of Jesse Hall.

Café 115 caters to a diverse clientele composed of Mizzou North staff members, students and the general public. Open for breakfast and lunch, the eatery presents tasteful creations and daily dining specials. Some of the café’s breakfast selections have included sausage and bacon quiche, eggs Florentine, stuffed French toast and hearty breakfast burritos; lunch guests might enjoy options ranging from maple glazed pork chops or smoked chicken, spinach and fontina lasagna to Greek-style baked chicken with lemon, oregano, olives and feta cheese. In addition, Café 115 offers grab-and-go options, a salad bar and decadent bakery items, including raspberry white chocolate bars and chocolate bourbon pecan tarts.

Café 115’s primary goal is to provide customers with fresh, wholesome and accessible meal options in a relaxed and inviting environment.

“Up and down the Business Loop, there are not a whole lot of healthier options, so I really wanted to do a nice salad bar and a lot of fresh items,” said John LaRocca, general manager of University Catering & Event Services. “We make just about everything here from scratch.”

Capitalizing on local culinary partnerships has allowed Café 115 to expand its menu offerings and satisfy customers’ demands for fresh, interesting fare. Diners at Café 115 will recognize several locally sourced delicacies among the menu items, including sushi from Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro, Goatsbeard Farm cheeses, Pierpont Farms produce and ice cream from Buck’s.

“We’ve tried to make some smart decisions,” LaRocca said. “We try to use local products where we can.”

After several weeks of operation, Café 115 is discovering the recipe for restaurant success. Diners are embracing the healthier meals and welcoming environment offered by the eatery.

“Every day, we see a few more,” said Johnny Andolino, sous chef at Café 115.

Andolino cited the restaurant’s made-from-scratch specials and convenient, yet healthy options as key ingredients of Café 115’s appeal.

The café also offers private conference rooms—which Andolino describes as “professional, yet intimate and confidential”—for meetings, parties, or special gatherings.

Whether you are in search of a light lunch or a Tiger-sized feast, Café 115 can satisfy the appetite of any Columbia diner whose true north points to Mizzou North.

Café 115’s daily specials can be viewed on the restaurant’s Facebook page, and a menu of regularly offered dishes is also available online. (Great news for students—in addition to cash and credit, the café also accepts student charge.)

Nora Faris

About the Author Nora Faris

From the cornfields to Capitol Hill, from the white farmhouses of mid-Missouri to the White House, I am an ardent advocate for American agriculture. President Dwight D. Eisenhower once remarked, “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the cornfield.” As an agricultural communicator and CAFNR Corner Post staff writer, I look forward to using my pencil (or computer, smartphone, camera and other tools of the journalistic trade) to reveal the challenges and opportunities of the agriculture industry in meaningful ways and bring the cornfield closer to the average consumer.