Friday, February 10, 2012

Museum of Art Café

Since this site is called Eat BYU, I figured that it would only be appropriate if I reviewed all of the places to eat that are actually on BYU campus! We started with one of my favorites from freshman year -- back when I had a good old meal plan and ate at this place probably once a week.

Where: MOA Café, 452 Museum of Art, BYU Campus, Provo (just north of the HFAC and east of the ASB)

Who Went: Chelsey & Devynne

Number of Visits: A ton throughout my BYU career, but 1 in this past year

What We Ordered: Fontina Cheese Panini, Turkey Harvest Croissant, Pumpkin Soup, Truly Berry (1/2 salad) Salad, Carrot Cake, Red Velvet Cake -- they were having a 2 for 1 deal on desserts since it was close to Valentine's Day. Awesome!

What It Cost: $12.91 (me - I got the cakes) + $8.71 (Devynne)

What We Thought: 

I think that the main reason I loved the MOA café so much as a freshman was because it seems like an escape from campus. When you feel like you spend your entire life at school but you don't have a car (like me freshman year), sometimes you just need a break. The MOA café is on the corner of campus, kind of tucked away in some trees and reflection pools, and you get to walk through the museum entrance to head upstairs to this little lunch sanctuary.

Despite the convenience of it being right on campus, there are of course some drawbacks. The service is notoriously slow, it's way overpriced, and since it is run by students, and not restaurant professionals, the presentation and meal assembly is not always perfect. My Turkey Harvest Croissant was as yummy as I remembered from freshman year -- I love the combination of the tart, crisp apples against the light shredded turkey, all put together with a sweet cinnamon sauce and buttery croissant. It's no wonder I ate this at least every other week my first year here.

The Fontina Cheese Panini was a little different than I remembered. First off, the presentation was just abysmal. The bread looked pathetic, and the sandwich itself looked so puny on the huge plate it was served on. Plus the green basil of the filling matched the green plate, so it was just kind of sad. I am pretty sure that this sandwich normally comes with some sundried tomato spread which was obviously lacking on the smooshed lunch we received -- luckily the girl who sat next to us got some of the red filling on the same sandwich, so we must have just missed out somehow...

We both went with the combo option ($7.99), so I got a soup with mine, and Devynne got a half salad. My pumpkin soup originally came without the apple relish on top, but when I went back and asked about it, they apologized and happily gave me a nice large dollop of the sweet topping. I'm a huge sweet & salty fan, so I really like this comforting fall-ish soup, but Devynne thinks it's kind of gross, so I guess it depends on your taste preferences.

The berry salad was crisp, refreshing and delicious. They didn't skimp on the berries, which was awesome, and it was a great mix overall. One thing that drives me crazy about the MOA café is their stupid salad bowls. They are slanted on one edge, which makes it impossible to mix in your salad dressing without spilling salad everywhere. There are a couple of options to alleviate this issue that I've discovered -- 1) Get your salad to go. They will put it in a styrofoam box and it will be much easier to mix it in the box than in that bowl. Plus (at least in my past experiences) they make the to-go salads bigger than regular ones! 2) Ask them to mix the dressing in for you. 3) If you forgot these options like we did yesterday, just dump your salad out on a plate and mix it there! Less pretty, but better tasting :)

Oh, the desserts. This is the best part of the MOA café to me. Insanely overpriced, but very pretty and very delicious. This is the best thing to congratulate yourself on campus after kicking butt on that organic chemistry exam.

I love carrot cake. Not as divine as Magleby's, but still amazing.

What You Should Do: Go. Of all the places to eat on campus, this one has my favorite atmosphere and you don't have to make reservations or anything. Plan on spending an exorbitant amount for lunch, but you've earned it. They don't really change their menu that often anymore, so probably once a month would be a reasonable maximum number of visits if you eat on campus often. Unless you love the Turkey Harvest Croissant as much as I do!


  1. I love the MOA! The turkey croissant is delicious. They used to have an oreo cheesecake that was my absolute favorite of their desserts, but sometime during my freshman year it disappeared, and I haven't seen it since. Oh well, the sandwich alone is worth the trip.

  2. I totally agree. They also used to have a peanut butter cheesecake that I haven't seen in a while, probably better for my health!



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