Pros and cons to the new dining halls

James Farmer

I’ve been lukewarm at best about eating at the dining halls under this new meal plan system. The fact that you have to pay more just to enter the building and can’t just stop in and buy an apple or something kind of irked me. I was pretty set on boycotting the new Lakeside and the dining hall formerly known as Landrum, and their Skynet eye-scanners (Ok, technically cameras). But as fate would have it, I’ve tried out the Main Dining Commons (formerly Landrum) twice now, and I have to admit, it is more than I expected.

Last Monday, some coworkers convinced me to spend $8.50 of my EAGLEXPRESS money on the Main Dining Commons. I walked in and went to the pizza station, because I love fulfilling college student stereotypes. The pizza was ok – a little on the small side – but you can get unlimited slices, so it’s not all bad. But as I go to the other side of the circle that the pizza station is housed, an unusual sight greeted my eyes. There was steak and shrimp.

Whoever thought of serving surf ‘n turf on a college campus is possibly a genius. That combination is something that costs you like $20 at a fancy restaurant, or even Applebee’s, but here it is, minding its own business at $8.50 for unlimited servings. I’m not even going to complain that my steak was cooked well done and sort of tasted like a hamburger. Making unlimited steaks to order is probably beyond the abilities of the limited staff, and besides, undercooked steak, while delicious, is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

The only issue I had with the whole trip was the dessert. Not that it was bad or anything. Rather that in an unlimited all-you-can-eat cafeteria, they only give out one cookie at a time. I mean seriously, I’m 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, and you think that one cookie is going to make me a happy camper?

Despite the “dessert Nazi” policy of the Commons, I was really impressed. I’m still not going to pay $8.50 for two meals a day with my EAGLEXPRESS, but I’m definitely recommending everyone to try it at least once.