After being home for a month from Syracuse, I have just come to realize how under-appreciated home food is. Whether that be home-cooked meals, or just the local pizza or other restaurants and take-outs. Dining hall food sucks. Plain and Simple. Here at home I know where to order pizza from, where to go to get the best wings, best diner for breakfast, and so the list goes on and on. Also, being from right outside of Philly, we have cheesesteaks, not the excuse that is a “steak and cheese sandwich”, and hoagies, not subs.
Recently Niche.com posted a ranking of the “Best Campus Food“, in which they rank universities all over the nation. Syracuse didn’t even crack the top half with a ranking of 617 out of 1,175… so the struggle is real. This is how they ranked the schools:
“Best Campus Food ranks 1,175 colleges based on meal plan cost and more than 470,000 opinions from 64,000 students. A high ranking indicates the college offers a variety of healthy, quality food options that accommodate various dietary preferences and that the students are happy with the quality of campus food.”
To put it into perspective, the amount of money that I paid for my freshman year meal plan of 19 meals a week was still more than if I were to get a Chipotle burrito and chips AND guac for each of those 19 meals. You’d think that the dining hall would be able to serve something of quality each night if that’s the way that it lines up, but not even close. By the second semester of my Freshman year I almost knew exactly what I was going to get each night: chicken, rice, and a salad. How exciting, oh I know, but unless I wanted to gain the infamous freshman-fifteen through a diet of just pizza and fries, I had to do a little give and take.
I must say that outside of the dining hall, the campus does have some quality options. Marshall street: the savior for all food on campus. Starbucks, a place I have yet to step into, but don’t worry all you “basic” you-know-whats, it’s there. Acropolis Pizza, if you need a pizza at 1 in the morning, this is the place, and it has some surprisingly good “subs”… hoagies. Blue Monkey Cafe, a place that looked too fancy for my lack of a bank account, but I’m sure it’s good since it always seems to have people in it. Chipotle, yes, we are blessed with Chipotle on our campus, but then again communal bathrooms and Chipotle aren’t necessarily a good pairing. Varsity, a great place if you have no idea what you are hungry for. Although there are a few more places, I’ll stop at God’s gift to the campus, the place that pretty much all my summer income went, Insomnia Cookies. By the end of the semester, my friends and I just had to text each other “Cookies.” and within 30 minutes, the deed was done and the cookies cravings were satisfied.
So basically my take on dining hall food after a year at campus would have to be, deal with it as much as you can, but look for the little secrets around campus. After all, if you don’t have a go to food at 2 or 3 in the morning, then you need to do some research, and by research I mean cut into the “emergency” money you have saved in your bank account and just order pizza.