An extension of dorm life. This one is self-explanatory. Read on!
Dining halls, while notorious for their subpar food, are actually kind of great. At least here, they are. I have a bland palette to begin with, so maybe I have an affinity toward plain foods that other people might not. Plus, they’re “all you care to eat”! What’s better than an endless supply of nourishment?!
Here at Cornell specifically, there are tons of options. Whether you’re kosher, vegan, or gluten-free, they have something for you OR offer to accommodate your specific dietary needs. But more importantly, there are tons of locations to choose from. There are two meal-swipe halls on North campus, several on West, and one on Central. Add all of the smaller cafes and food trucks and you’ve got happy campers. Right now, I’m on the 14 meals-per-week plan and it’s pretty reasonable. Most of the time, I’ll end up with two or so extra swipes on the last day, but the next smallest plan being 10 meals, I think using 12 is at least somewhat economical. In addition to these swipes, I have $400 Big Red Bucks to be spent at those pesky (but usually more delicious) places that don’t give you cafeteria style buffet options and while I thought I’d burn through these quickly, I haven’t been using an exorbitant amount. I usually use them to buy coffee here and there, or a snack between classes.
But let’s talk a little more about the actual food. You’ve got your standard American options: burgers, grilled cheese, chicken, etc. There’s also a permanent installation at most dining halls that serves really great Asian food, including Dim-sum at RPCC brunch every Sunday (sticky rice and sesame balls? YES PLEASE). The hot entrees vary widely from Mexican food to Southern “home” cooking, and pizza, salad, and soup are also available on a nightly basis. Whatever you want, you can probably find, given you use the Cornell dining site to look up the menus beforehand. And don’t even get me started on the desserts. Cornell’s heavenly (made on-site!) ice cream is available all day every day along with soft serve and an assortment of cakes, cookies, brownies–you name it. It’s safe to say that dessert constitutes half (or maybe 75%) of my daily caloric intake. Oh, and the chocolate milk. Which is fantastic.
All in all, I don’t think dining halls are that bad. And that’s based on prior experience, not just on my time here at Cornell. Everything’s ready to eat and yours for the taking–who cares if it’s sometimes on the bland side? Although, I will say that I tire of eating dining hall food in one sitting, making it almost impossible to totally stuff myself. But hey, that just means the Freshman 15 will be slower to come, right? (Not if ice cream and chocolate milk have a say in it.)