So, I’m a senior. It’s still a bit of a shock, actually. I mean, I’m waiting for this big, huge, transformation where I’m going to suddenly look like a grown-up, not a little kid (I mean, surely there’s an indicator other than height? I’ve given up on breaking 5 feet…). When I was a
Senior Reflections: The Regrets and the “OMG AWESOME”
One of the most important aspects of campus life is
definitely food. Where to eat, what to
eat, and most importantly (but totally overlooked): When to eat-all of these are essential questions
you have to ask yourself. So, here it
goes: an impromptu guide to What’s Cookin’ at W&M:
Where: This depends
on if you have a meal plan, or if you’ve decided to rough it for a
semester. If you do have a meal plan,
what type of meal plan is also important, as well as what type of dietary
restrictions you have. If you don’t eat
meat, if you’re a strict vegan, or even if you have some religious temporary
restriction (like say, Passover), you need to take into account what’s
available at each dining hall.
If you have a Block plan, chances are, you’ve got an excess
of flex points at the end of the semester.
This is great, because it means you can buy a LOT of food for what my
friends like to call “free money.” The
exchange rate is $1 to 1 flex point, so it’s pretty easy to manage things. There’s lots of choices on and off campus-in
the Marketplace, there’s Chick-Fil-A (a personal favorite of just about
everyone who eats fried chicken), and a decent sushi bar. At the SC, there’s Quiznos, and at the Caf,
there’s that cool Java place right next to the entrance. Additionally, there’s Dominos, so you can
order a late night pizza or cheesey bread.
And if you just want a normal meal with your friends, every single place
takes flex in exchange for a meal (but that’s also really expensive-it’s $9.50
for each meal).
If you have a Gold plan, you should probably try to eat at
least one meal in a dining hall a day, or else it’s a waste of money. The Caf and the Marketplace are generally
accepted as the reliable places to eat on campus-the SC has a tendency to be
hit or miss (especially in terms of seafood and Asian food-never, under ANY
circumstances, attempt to eat the grilled tofu at the SC. Such is the pathway to strained jaw
muscles). Vegetarian food is found at
all three places, but since the Marketplace is the same stuff, every day, more
variety is found at the Caf and the SC.
This means if you want to be sure you’re getting good vegetarian, you go
to the Marketplace, but if you just want something different, take a chance at
the SC or the Caf. The SC tends to have
a ton of fried/grilled vegetarian food, the Caf has a lot of “home-style”
cooking. I prefer the Caf, but then
again, I’m not a vegetarian, and I’m definitely not a strict vegan. Being a strict vegan can be hard, because
occasionally, there are some misunderstandings about what counts as an animal
by-product (for example, I had a friend who was served “vegan” pasta, but it
was served in clam sauce).
What to Eat: Each
place has special meals that are absolutely delicious and reliable. The Marketplace has Chick-Fil-A, where you
can get the best fries in town, and it has Zocas, which has decent
Mexican. The Marketplace is also home to
Homezone, where you can get an overstuffed sandwich (chicken, stuffing,
cranberry sauce, lettuce, and tomato) anytime from lunch to dinner. The SC has pretty good sautéed veggies, and
they almost always have toppings for the soft serve ice cream. The Caf has the best meatloaf, and when the
visiting chefs come by, or when there’s a celebration, the food is definitely
the best. I’ve had poached salmon in
parchment and molten chocolate cake that would make the snootiest gourmet food
critic weep in pleasure…and it’s been served at the Caf. Keep in mind, though, that’s not all the
time. There are occasional bad days when
the only reliable food to get is a burger and fries, or the pizza.
When to Eat: This is
something most people overlook, which means sometimes you’ll be waiting in line
for food that’s run out by the time you get to the front. The trick is to avoid peak times, especially
when visiting chefs are serving food at the Caf. Getting there earlier than six is generally
pretty good, because it means you’ve avoided lines AND the food is still
fresh. If you get there later than six,
there’s a chance that the best stuff is already gone, and there probably isn’t
any new stuff cooking. The SC is open
till late, but they stop serving hot food at around 7:30. After that, it’s just cold sandwiches-you
might as well go to Quiznos. Sure,
you’ll have to pay a little extra, but it’s probably better than wrestling with
the Panini machine and some wilted lettuce.
Of course, this is only the food on campus. Williamsburg is a veritable cornucopia of
delicious food within walking distance-and honestly, if most students gotta
have a choice, they’ve gotta have a WaWa.