Patriot Pantry vs. L’Cafe

Kelly Jinguji and Mary Russell

Patriot Panty

It’s 12:05. You’re standing in the cafeteria with a grumbling stomach, glancing between the two primary options for today’s lunch: DECA’s Patriot Pantry or the L’Café. So? What’s the best option? Clearly, it’s none other than the noteworthy Patriot Pantry.
Now, it would be foolish of me to state I’m an unbiased source. As a second year DECA student, I’ve had first-hand experience working in the Patriot Pantry, making the Chicken Bacon Ranch sandwiches, sweet and spicy Alegretes, and buttered grilled cheeses we all know and love. However, take my word for it. For the price and quality of the food offered, the Patriot Pantry offers great options without breaking your wallet.
When noting the differences between prices at both stores, it’s obvious that the DECA store offers cheaper food. From fresh-off-the-grill sandwiches to the best smoothies at Liberty, the Patriot Pantry offers simple, filling foods for $4 or less. Compare this to the tiny Kalbi wrap you can get for $3.50 at the L’Café, you’re definitely getting more bang for your buck at the Patriot Pantry.
The store is known for its Chicken Alegrete, a tangy and spicy sandwich with pepper jack cheese, created by senior DECA legend Anthony Alegrete. Yes, it is true that the L’Café preps the chicken we use in our sandwiches, but as we add our own sauces and mixes to the chicken, we rework the products the L’Café gives us. In the same sense a restaurant food supplier gives ingredients for a restaurant to turn into its own products, the Patriot Pantry-L’Café relationship works the same way. We are very thankful for the L’Café ‘s support of the DECA store, but it doesn’t mean we are incompetent.
Students say the Patriot Pantry is obnoxiously slow, especially compared to the L’Café. While speed of service to our consumers is held at a high priority in the store, it’s important to remember that the workers inside the store are students. We are all bound to make mistakes, slip up, and get overwhelmed. However, this is no excuse for slow service. It is truly a problem when service is irritatingly time-consuming, but I ask for your patience. The workers in the store are striving to improve for the sake of self-improvement and for our consumers. Plus, when it comes down to it, the food is definitely worth the wait.


Decisions, decisions…Students considering where to get a bite to eat at Liberty should no longer contemplate their choices because the L’Cafe is undoubtedly the best option. The students of the L’Cafe put in a real sense of culinary expertise into the food. Sure, DECA can make an adequate sandwich, but do they deserve the credit? The hard working, culinary-seeking students of the L’Cafe make food from scratch, and yes, provide DECA with the cooked chicken that goes into its sandwiches. Likewise, the recipe that they use for ranch was created by the executive chef herself, Zarah Matsuda.
Although the students of DECA are utilizing the L’Cafe’s work, the Patriot Pantry should not be belittled solely because it does not possess the appropriate restaurant equipment. Determining the better restaurant comes down to the actual food being sold along with satisfactory customer service.
It is a fact that the L’Cafe provides more options and healthy alternatives for the students of Liberty. A student might think to himself, “Would I prefer a smoothie from the L’Cafe or one from the Patriot Pantry?” If that student wants a smoothie made with “fruit product,” then he should certainly purchase from the Patriot Pantry. Those seeking a real fruit smoothie will surely find it at the L’Cafe along with many other healthy salads and soups.
But truthfully, all students will occasionally find themselves longing for something comforting and sweet. That student could purchase an average cookie or rice crispie treat at the Patriot Pantry, or they could explore their taste buds by trying the diverse array of desserts at the L’Cafe.
The L’Cafe does have a long line, but only from how popular it is! And though the line may be lengthy, once the cashier destination is reached, Students will be able to experience the quick service and friendly faces that greet them while receiving countless tasty eats.
Let’s face it, the Patriot Pantry is a business that demonstrates marketing while the L’Cafe is a real, functioning restaurant that teaches students culinary skills. When it comes to flavor and quality, students seeking lunch will consistently be fulfilled with the L’Cafe’s delectable cuisine.