Friday, March 24, 2006

Discussion Question!

What were your favorite meals served in the dining halls of the college we all went to?

14 Comments:

Blogger SC said...

Popcorn chicken was good. I would get a big plate of it and pick out the edible pieces (about 65%). A personal "quirk" is that I really liked the clam chowder they served. Very creamy the way I like it!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

What college, Harvard?

Before I went "veg," I did like the popcorn chicken. I also liked baked potato night, because I used it as an excuse to eat as much sour cream and bacon as possible. A couple of times on baked potato night, I just filled one of the small saucers with crumbled bacon and ate it with a fork.

I was actually always fairly content with a chikwich served with both barbecue sauce and honey mustard.

On pie night, even though I knew that the pies were just mass-produced Sysco food service pies, I still loved the banana cream.

Of the many, omnipresent potato dishes, I particularly liked the triettes, the oven-roasted new potatoes, and certain though by no means all of the french fries.

The pesto served in the University Dining services was, I felt, kept up to a reasonable standard.

Throughout sophomore year, I drank tea heavily.

Freshman year, as a slightly OCD ritual that I was powerless to stop, I always, always, always got one last sip of water from the water fountain by the exit of Memorial Hall.

Oregon Bean Medley was not bad.

Left to my own devices at the salad bar, I usually wound up with a mixed greens salad with a lot of cheese and some cherry tomatoes. Maybe some "cukes," maybe some other odds and ends.

After going vegetarian, the pesto came up a lot more frequently... I found the grill (grille?) options for vegetarians and vegans not too enticing. The produce was always serviceable, though.

The selection of soy milks at the dining halls was erratic.

For cereals, there was a certain amount of raisin bran, more granola - the granola seemed to vary from hall to hall.

Freshman year, one of the theme nights was the Middle East, and they served an actually quite wonderful crème brûlée, for which I watched disappointed throughout the following years.

Looking back, the meats were often not the most exciting thing in town except for the junk foodiest options. The fried chicken - can someone younger or sharper than I remember the trade name under which it was presented? - was pretty enjoyable.

A lot of meals were consumed more for function than love of food, to be honest.

Of course, the blandest meal or the best were nothing compared to the fun and fellowship I had with my college chums, the warmth of whose company etc etc chill of winter Cambridge long into the night hot chocolate etc.

11:14 AM  
Blogger SC said...

I loved those chocolate cream pies, and would be enraged if they ran out of that particular pie, but which was only rarely a problem in later years, when I ate dinner at exactly 5pm every day, until I developed the condition known as "Lampy stomach" where one's stomach started to hurt at 4:45 as you sat in the blot and waited for Adams to open.

Most of the potato dishes, I agree, were good, especially the wedges.

I had a hot dog from the Adams grill at least twice a week. They had some good techniques for making good hot dogs.

11:19 AM  
Blogger zachkay said...

I liked the turkey dinner provided they had A1 sauce and I know Dubs also liked the turkey dinner a lot.

Quincy ran out of A1 sauce at some point into my junior year and I was forced to come up with an alternative sauce to put on all of my food. By mixing the right amounts of bbq sauce, honey mustard sauce, soy sauce, and ketchup (not in that order) I was able to consistently create a sauce that was not only palatable, but as Strach can attest, so addictive that it made one get more and more food/bread/crackers until all of the sauce was consumed.

My favorite dessert was chocolate chip cookies smashed up and mixed with vanilla frozen yogurt. My second favorite dessert was mixing sugar cookies with vanilla frozen yogurt and a little bit of chocolate frozen yogurt. My third favorite dessert was mixing carnival cookies with vanilla and chocolate frozen yogurt.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Junior said...

I'll tell you what I didn't like: Savory Baked Tofu, am I right??

Thank you, I've been every other publication at Harvard.

On a rather different note, who here experienced a similar Lampy stomach to the one SC described, but at 2 or 3 in the morning, since you last ate a meal at 5 sharp in Adams?

This was occasionally resolved by SC and I cooking chicken-flavored ramen in a filthy kitchen.

11:55 AM  
Blogger mattpod said...

One thing I noticed is that often times good meals would be only temporary. What I mean is that the dining hall would sometimes have brief windows of time when they would offer a dish and it would be great and then they would start making it terrible and then it was the worst.

In general, Leverett house had great food our sophomore year, prior to them firing their cooks. This was when they first introduced the idea of grilled chicken at the grill and made them each to order and they were very good. They also had things like wasabe and sesame oil and soy sauce and ginger for some reason, so you could have a great chicken dish.

At that time, they also served baked salmon with a dill sauce which was extremely good. After awhile, they dumbed-down the recipe, and it wasn't as good but it was still pretty decent.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Junior - my solution (similar to yours and SC's) was a meal I called "Dinner Two." I also just received a dispatch from every other publication at Harvard. It reads, "Also, Domna, right?"

I gotta say one thing, and that's the authors of this communal food blog are not and will never be afraid to speak our minds about other student publications at Harvard, and also the Signet and the Pudding!

12:22 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

It has been WAY too long since I visited The HUDS Page.

2:24 PM  
Blogger mattpod said...

Here is weird one:

HUDS introduced a noodle kugel dish our senior year. There are about a million kugel recipes (http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F30610FE39540C7B8EDDA00894DD404482, sorry Times Select required), and HUDS did a surprisingly serviceable job. This is especially remarkable since many noodle puddings are pretty not good.

In the interest of following up on my recent Jewish food posts, my family makes two kids of kugel: (1) a plain kugel which is essential egg noodles, egg, salt, and that mostly it; (2) a butterscotch kugel with egg noodles, cream cheese, butterscotch, corn flake crumbs, some other ingredients. The former is tasty but simple, the latter (despite how it may sound) is delicious but filling and deserty. Sorry for the off-topic content.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

HUDS's take on the pizza was NOT one of my favorite meals.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Oh, I ate a LOT of the hummus, depending on which dining hall I was in. K House was almost always pretty good about keeping their hummus in good shape, but go to the wrong house *cough*cough*Eliot-you're-so-close-and-yet-so-much-worse*cough*ahem* and you got that nast crusted over mealy bullshit.

2:42 PM  
Blogger MMW said...

I loved the cornbread. I would slather it in butter and drizzle honey all over it.

The meatloaf was also pretty dekent. I also liked the clam chowder, which I would improve with tabasco sauce.

This is dating me, but wasn't cornbread usually served with some particular meal? I definitely remember crumbling it up in chili, maybe?

I also loved the potato triettes. As well as the good old plain home fries.

2:43 PM  
Blogger SC said...

Yes, the cornbread was excellent. Did people usually make a waffle on Sunday, or was that too much trouble? Sundays I would usually make a club sandwich with bacon.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I usually passed the waffle option over; Sunday had too many other pleasures. I was always a bit chagrined if excesses of sleep kept me from the Sunday brunch. Bacon, obvs, figured prominently into my meat-friendly brunches, and the oiliest potato dish available was chosen at all times.

Tangential to the waffle bar, sometimes when strawberry shortcake (delish) was offered as dessert at dinner, I would (as I did with crumbled bacon) fill a small saucer with just the strawberries and eat that. This was because I was totally awesome.

10:51 AM  

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