New campus dining option, Smooth Sailing sets sail
On average, about 80 to 90 pizzas are sold per day at Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Smooth Sailing eatery. The highest selling item? It’s Oakley’s Pepperoni named after Oakley, the University Police Department’s victim assistance dog.
Open since Jan. 29, Chartwell’s new on-campus dining option can be found in the Student Lounge of the Central Academic Building and offers a menu specifically tailored for the A&M-San Antonio campus.
Students can purchase 10” personal sized-pizzas, smoothies and juices.
Scott Almy, Chartwells’ director of dining services, said Smooth Sailing opened during the Spring semester of 2018. And, Jaguar Java was relocated in a larger space to the new SciTech building. However, there were complications in getting certain equipment such as a micro cash register and gelato refrigerator, which caused the shop to close down.
As Smooth Sailing was in the planning stages, Bill Spindle, vice president of student affairs, asked if the shop could offer additional menu items, Almy said. Although Smooth Sailing also operates in other Texas A&M campuses like Galveston and Texarkana, the menu offers items students won’t find in the campus’ cafeteria.
Tailored items like specialty pizzas were created for the A&M-San Antonio community. Esperanza Pizza is made with red sauce, mozzarella, pepper jack and chorizo sausage.
Their secret to making fresh, quick pizzas is a TurboChef FIRE pizza oven that cooks individual pizzas an average of three minutes per pizza, depending on the toppings you choose.
Along with pizza, Smooth Sailing offers smoothies and juices including Jag Love, Jag Embrace and Jag Heart, with the option of adding one ounce of Whey Protein Boost for a minimal extra charge.
Smooth Sailing employee Tamika Cruz said students enjoy the juices and one of the most requested is Jag Embrace, a drink made of passion orange guava and lemonade.
“We have a lot of students that come in and order Weed Eater protein smoothie,” Cruz said.
Kinesiology sophomore Israel Delarna’s go-to smoothie is Bananarama, which is made of bananas, blueberries, strawberries, honey and whey protein.
“It’s really good,” Delarna said. “I use it to get my daily protein intake.”
Communications junior Daniella Aldaco purchased her first smoothie, Mango Colada. She said she first found out about Smooth Sailing by sitting in the student lounge area.
“At first, I didn’t know it was smoothies. I thought it was a little snack section,” Aldaco said. “Then I saw students walking around with smoothies and I finally figured out it was from this place.”
Initially, Aldaco planned to purchase a beverage at Jaguar Java, but once she saw the long lines in SciTech, she opted for purchasing a smoothie at Smooth Sailing.
English sophomore Mia Avalos works in Rec Sports and saw Smooth Sailing preparing to open for business. Avalos recalls an employee going into their office and asking Rec Sports employees if they wanted a smoothie sample.
“I think it was strawberry banana,” Avalos said.
Since then she has returned to purchase BOMS, a smoothie made of banana, orange juice, mango and strawberries with frozen yogurt.
Smooth Sailing is shaking things up by offering students new alternatives from Chartwell locations.
Cruz said it’s a change for students who go to the cafeteria. With Chartwell’s options of tacos, burgers and sandwiches, the community now has the option of purchasing pizza.
“We have a lot of regulars that come in every day, they get the same pizzas,” Cruz said. “We know the clients’ names. We know what drink they like, how they want it. I would like to see more people, new faces coming in.”
However, Smooth Sailing is working on bringing new items as limited time offers to the menu in the future such as the Taco pizza; a take on Pizza Hut’s taco pizza from the 80s.The pizza consists of refried beans and ground beef, topped with onions, shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese and tomatoes. Students have suggestions for smoothies too.
Delarna said he would like to see an option to customize a smoothie. Some smoothies offered include honey and he would like to add a smaller amount than what is used. Aldaco said she wanted to see a pomegranate option as well as a mangonada smoothie. As for improvements, issues that came up were the prices and how some smoothies seemed to water down quickly.
For students looking to dine on campus and avoid parking lot headaches after getting lunch off campus, prices might be worth it.
“It’s a great alternative to the cafeteria,” Delarna said. “It’s a great place to go if you’re a pizza fan.”
Smooth Sailing hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday.