Dorm Dinners: Sub-par, but better than expected

Disappointed, unimpressed and let down could all be words used to describe the Halloween dinner at the dorms this year.

Disappointed, unimpressed and let down could all be words used to describe the Halloween dinner at the dorms this year.  There was nothing special that separated this dinner from any other dinner at the dorms except for the decorations.
Eating at the Fresh Food Company was always a treat because it seemed like they had better food than any other dorm on campus. This year they dropped the ball for the Halloween dinner.  Upon walking into the cafeteria the only place that seemed to have visible decorations was around the salad bar area.  Some of the workers were dressed up in costumes, but not enough of them to make it look like they were dressing up for a holiday.

Food in the dorms is usually hit or miss because everybody always wants the food to be just like their mom’s and it can never live up to their standards.  It’s hard to know what to expect at the first holiday dinner of the year, especially if you are a freshman.

Going over to the display table and seeing what is for dinner is the best part of eating at the dorms because everything is laid out and there is so much food to choose from.  Once seeing what was going to be served at the Halloween dinner, it was hard to choose what looked the best because nothing really looked better than anything else.

New Baltimore senior and Robinson Residential Restaurant Student Manager April O'Leary jokes with Haslett senior Dom O. as she gets a special Halloween dinner, Thursday, October 28. (Kelly Matloka | Grand Central Magazine)

The food that was being served on this particular night was a ham sandwhich served on a sub roll covered in a cheese sauce and served with waffle fries.  Ribs were also a choice and students had a choice of getting green beans and potatoes.

Pizza as usual was available and so were bread sticks.  Spaghetti was another entree that people had the choice of, along with cheese sticks, onion rings, soup and something that looked like a dumpling that was covered in gravy with vegetables were also choices.

Another aspect of the dinner that was lacking was the dessert.  Students look forward to dessert because there is usually such a variety.  Cream puffs were the only visible dessert and a punch drink that had sherbet in it was also an option.

The ribs didn’t live up to their appearance.  The sauce that they were smothered in was good but that’s about it.  Pizza is pizza so nothing too fancy was expected, especially when eating in the dorms.  Despite that, the pizza that was served was actually quite good  and so were the bread sticks.  The onion rings were good but they barely serve enough and they were a little chewy.

The ham sandwich was found good at first bite but after a few more wasn’t as good.  The low point of the night was the dumpling, which was absolutely disgusting.

For dessert, the cream puffs were the way to go.  They were delicious.

“It wasn’t bad, I wasn’t impressed with the dinner especially since it was a holiday and all the kids and all the money that we pay,” Katherine Clark, a secondary education major, said.

Working in the cafeteria during one of the holiday dinners seems like it could be stressful because of all the people that need to be served and all of the clean up that needs to be done afterwards.  Cutting up vegetables and defrosting meats are done a day or two before the holiday dinner is going to take place, and decorations are also hung the night before.

“Being a student worker in the cafeteria, I enjoy the holiday dinners, but there is more cleaning up after because we have to take down the decorations,” Brittney Hengesbach, a public health promotion and health education major, said.

Halloween may not have lived up to standards, but Thanksgiving was a different story. Real Food on Campus, known as RFoC to many CMU students, put on a great dinner for students.  The turkey dinner itself was very good for being dorm food, but by normal standards it was only average.  Stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and green bean casserole were also and all were very good.

Ham and corn was another option along with dinner rolls and fish.  A variety of desserts were also served including pumpkin pie, apple crisp and a pumpkin roll.  The harvest dinner was much better than the Halloween dinner, which makes the upcoming Winter Dinner promising as well.