At Sebastian’s Café, the Daily Dollar Deals are a hit

Dollar Deals_Richburg_Doherty
Executive chef Arlene Richburg, Sebastian's manager Paul Doherty, and a Daily Dollar Deal

November 10, 2021 – What can you can get for a buck at Sebastian’s Café at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health?

For breakfast, on any given day, you could get steel-cut oats with toppings, a hard-boiled egg with hash browns, or yogurt with fruit.

For lunch, there are options like chili with a roll or pita, tuna salad with chips, or a bagel pizza.

These are some of the inexpensive items available through the “Dean’s Daily Dollar Deals,” which the School began offering in January 2020.

According to Paul Doherty, general manager of Sebastian’s Café and Catering, the number of patrons opting for the Dollar Deals has been ticking up. “Soup, pizza, salads, and sushi—which we offer once a month—are very popular with the guests,” said Doherty. “And feedback from the students is very positive. A lot of gratitude has been expressed.”

“We have also seen and heard that the Dollar Deals are massively popular with students,” said Radha Bhatnagar, president of the Harvard Chan School Student Association (HCSA). “The entire HCSA board fully supports the Dean’s Daily Dollar Deals. They greatly increase access to healthier foods for students. A couple of years ago, HCSA found that some of our students were struggling with food insecurity, and this was one of the solutions that the administration and the student association worked together towards.”

Recently, to mark World Food Day, Sebastian’s chef Arlene Richburg served up some extra-special Dollar Deals with a nod to her native Trinidad: huevos habaneros with sofrito and warm tortilla for breakfast, and, for lunch, yellow split pea soup with cornmeal dumplings, salted cod buljol, and plantain chips.

On the day the soup was served, Doherty recalled, “the students were on their phones, calling other students, saying, ‘You gotta come get this soup, it’s the best we ever had.’ We had about 10 gallons and we ran out in about an hour and 15 minutes.”

Karen Feldscher

photo: Kent Dayton