A look at Dave’s Boathouse, Rollins College’s halal- and kosher-certified restaurant

Versie Dortch
Dave's Boathouse

Menu options include avocado toast, falafel, gyros and a chipotle chicken baguette. / Photo courtesy of Rollins College.

Last year, Rollins College shut down its nautical-themed, full-service restaurant, Dave’s Boathouse, to embark on a halal and kosher certification process for the space.

The process took three weeks and included thorough cleaning and sanitation. During this time, the team also completed renovations and developed a new menu. The newly updated Dave’s Boathouse has been open to students and the public for almost a year.

Here’s a look at the revamped concept.

Mixing up the menu

Dave’s Boathouse is the only full-service restaurant on the Winter Park, Fla., campus. It’s also the only kosher and halal location within a 15-mile radius of the school.

While the primary purpose of the updates was to accommodate those with religious dietary restrictions, Adena Muskin, Dave’s Boathouse restaurant manager and Sodexo kosher and halal supervisor, said the team took the opportunity to accommodate for other dietary restrictions as well.

In addition to halal and kosher options, the concept offers vegan and vegetarian cuisine and allergen-friendly choices. The facility is also completely dairy free.

“Our menu is quite diverse. We offer an international fusion focus, with many dishes featuring healthy Mediterranean specialties,” said Muskin. “We also offer some student favorites, such as the all-time classic, Dave’s Burger, the Beyond Burger for the vegans. We also offer several dessert options, smoothie options, salad options.”

In addition to the a la carte menu, Dave’s Boathouse has a rotating menu of daily and seasonal specials.

Right now, options include avocado toast, falafel, gyros and a chipotle chicken baguette.

Serving up ‘a taste of home’

Student feedback has been an important resource in the menu development process, according to Muskin.

Students dining at Dave's Boathouse The facility is completely dairy free. Photo courtesy of Rollins College. 

“Our students here on campus are very vocal. We are constantly adjusting to their food likes and dislikes. We offer and encourage student feedback on a regular basis,” she said. “We have an LTO limited time offer program, where we offer a fresh entree, dessert and drink option, and these are on a biweekly basis, so there’s constant changes to the menu so the students have a dynamic culinary experience.”

Muskin said the motivation behind the certification process was to provide an inclusive dining experience to students.

“We have students from a very wide diverse background. Sixty countries are represented here at Rollins. We have students from a number of different religious backgrounds as well,” she said. “And while they’re here at college, it is our job to make sure that they have food—this is their dining room, this is their living room, this is their kitchen. And we take pride in offering them a taste of home, no matter where that home may be.”

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