by Maddie Keane
People say they get sick of dining hall food by the end of their dorm dwelling days, but I found ways to keep things interesting. Here are 10 tips to keep it interesting while eating on campus.
- Check the menu. If it says Convos has crepes, go there. Fast. Run if you must, but do not miss crepe day. Pick the dining hall serving something you like. Can’t find anything you like? Try to imagine what usually goes with the meal. If the menu option is quesadilla, there will also be taco toppings. You can make a salad with black beans, salsa, cheese and jalapeños instead!
- Never miss the specialty days. If they change up the food for you, you have no reason to be bored. Look for posters on the walls of the dining hall or in the information cards of the napkin holders.
- Caramel + Apple: put 2 pumps of caramel from the ice cream station in a bowl. Add apple slices from the salad bar. Dip apple slices in caramel. If there are no slices available, carefully use a butter knife to cut up a whole apple. You could also bite into the apple and spoon caramel into your mouth directly afterward.
- Find the waffle maker at UDCC! Top with peanut butter, chocolate chips, nuts, strawberries and whipped cream from the ice cream and other condiment stations.
- Ice cream floats: add soft serve to root beer, Coke, Pepsi, or any of the various drinks offered for the perfect touch at the end of the meal. Add chocolate milk for a milkshake, candy pieces or real fruit from the salad bar for a blizzard effect, or cereal for a delicious dessert with a big crunch.
- Do not let time of day limit your choice of cuisine. Eat cereal for dinner. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast! Get creative, and go after whatever your taste buds are screaming for.
- Mix it up! Eat several side dishes from different stations. Ask for the chicken breast from the grill, chop it up and eat it on a salad. Pour strawberry sauce on the plain cheesecake to make it even more delicious and even less nutritious.
- Get a smoothie with a meal swipe! Froots, located in State Gym, has a variety of smoothies from the Berry Bopper to the Oreo Madness. A swipe includes any smoothie in any size and a side. Sides include granola bars, cheese sticks, and fruit.
- Meal bundles are always a good option, especially if you have lab until 10pm or you forgot to eat dinner. Convos has smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and a bunch of fun sides from 7-11pm (try the macaroni and cheese!). You can grab a breakfast bundle too! You can eat at Convos or take your bundle to go. You can choose an extra side instead of the main dish if you’d like. Take some of your sides with you for a snack later or another meal. Pro tip: order online to avoid the line!
- Buy a smaller meal plan. This is an easy way to save money and assure you won’t get tired of the food offered at the dining hall. This is not a good option for everyone, but if you do not have time for breakfast or lunch anyway, go for the silver or bronze plan. Use dining dollars to buy a breakfast at a campus café or a vending machine. Save up lots of room in your belly, and eat one, satisfying meal in the dining hall. The bronze plan includes lots of dining dollars that you can use at Froots, Subway, Panda, campus cafés and many of the vending machines around campus.
So dorm dwellers: Do not get bored of the dining hall. Use these tips and come up with more of your own ways to mix it up. If you gain the freshman 15, at least you will have enjoyed the process!
P.S. If you have a bunch of left over meals, find upperclassman (like me) to help you use them at the end of the semester. We are happy to help out!