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Rest in peace Star Ginger (2018-2021)

| Thursday, September 30, 2021

Claire Kirner | The Observer

The beloved Star Ginger Asian Grill and Noodle Bar has been a part of our campus since the opening of Duncan Student Center in 2018, sitting next to Modern Market and close to Hagerty Family Cafe. After over three years of serving students, faculty and staff delicious meals, the grill was forced to close her doors at the beginning of this semester.

Nestled in the center of the student center, Star Ginger served as a tasty alternative to the many campus dining locations that all served similar food items. While you can order a sandwich or a salad at many restaurants on campus, or even in the dining hall, there was only one restaurant where you could get a bowl of poke or orange chicken and rice. Now that Star Ginger has passed, there are none.

Star Ginger is survived by her son, The Noodle Nook, which is no replacement for the delectable flavors that Star Ginger offered while she was here. An imposter, Cafe De Grasta, now serves poke too, but it will also never compare to Star Ginger’s exquisite version of the meal. Now, if one were to order poke on campus, there would be no choice of white rice or brown rice, less choices of add-ons and, most importantly, no seaweed salad. Frankly, it is an insult to Star Ginger’s impeccable legacy.

At her former location, eccentric orange furniture still sits near each table, waiting for a group of students to gather while they wait for their orders to be made. Grills are spotless, and lights remain off. The location no longer hears the beeps indicating that a GrubHub order has been received or students at the cash register asking for packs of soy sauce and chopsticks. Counters no longer need to be wiped off when pho broth or rice noodles fall on them, and floors don’t need to be swept after a long day of fulfilling orders. The location sits clean, empty and quiet, waiting for another retailer to occupy it.

Many students will forever mourn the restaurant, myself included. Often, I pass Duncan Student Center and ponder what it would be like to eat an order of lemongrass tofu and green beans in between my classes, only to remind myself that she is gone forever and I can’t place that order anywhere else on campus. Fortunately, I won’t have to worry about spending all of my Flex points before fall break anymore, but I would make any sacrifice to have Star Ginger back, even if it meant spending real money.

There is no way to substitute a hot bowl of pho on a cold winter afternoon or a midday roll of sushi. Star Ginger introduced me and many other members of the Notre Dame community to so many new foods that I wouldn’t have tried had the restaurant never been on campus. Star Ginger will forever be missed and will never be forgotten, at least by me and everyone who ate there on a regular basis.

Star Ginger memorial services will be held every night in my dreams for the rest of my life. I never stop thinking about the amazing cuisine she once served, and I’m not exaggerating in the slightest.

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About Veronica Navarro

Veronica Navarro is a junior at Notre Dame from South Bend, IN currently serving as The Observer's Social Media Editor. Navarro is also a member of the Notre Dame Mock Trial team and a resident of Flaherty Hall.

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