Recently, an anonymous group of food-loving students from all four classes surveyed the five cafeterias on campus. Their identities have been protected to avoid reprisals from Dining Services employees. Here are the results and comments.
Fifth Place: Dodd.
While the decor is excellent, the food is only average and sometimes lacking in variety. The bagel selection is a healthy treat, but it takes more than bagels to win the hearts of these grizzled culinary warriors. One consensus suggestion was serving steak without the gristle. Also, mashed potatoes shouldn’t be crunchy. A great place to take mom and dad if they want to eat in a cafeteria, but not worth the walk for most students. High Point: One can take enough bagels in one meal to avoid breakfast the rest of the week.
Fourth Place: Driscoll.
The location and lack of variety hurts this Odd-Quad eating establishment the most. According to regulars, “they never change the salad dressing or frozen yogurt. And the fruit juice always runs out.” The food was good, but the chicken adobo was lacking in mojo, and the pasta was never al dente. Service can be surly, especially later in the evening. And what’s with the small glasses? Excessively far to walk for most students. High Point: Daily menu additions include buffalo wings, nachos, baked potato bar, and make your own frost (milkshake).
Second Place (tie): Greylock. Brunch Night is fantastic, and most other meals are above average. The variety is good, and the pasta is the best on campus. Regulars grumble about the trek to Mission or Baxter for breakfast, “we’re mostly juniors here. We should get some privileges. Those of us sober enough to make it to breakfast shouldn’t have to put on hiking boots to do so.” The salad bar received high marks, as did the friendliness of Dining Services employees. High Point: Brunch Night, without a doubt.
Second Place (tie): Baxter.
The culinary mecca of the Williams world. A broad range of people from all across campus feast on sumptuous cuisine here. The salad bar is gargantuan, and even if the entrees are below par, there is always something else to eat. The consensus objection to Baxter was the draconian Dining Services policy forbidding food servers to give us extra large portions. We’ll just come back for more, so why not just give it out now? It makes no sense to give out measured portions in one dining hall, and have self-service unlimited portions at others. The employees are friendly, and we don’t fault them for a policy that they have no choice but to enforce. Baxter also tends to be overcrowded during peak times, but you never know who’ll be eating at the next table. High Point: Many diverse people, never leave hungry.
First Place: Mission.
The food is excellent, plus pizza at every dinner. The Dining Services employees are fantastic! Custom orders taken without objection or grumbling. All you can eat dining in an aesthetically pleasing location almost makes up for all those tiny rooms upstairs. Meat entrees are cooked well, and pasta is tasty. Unlimited quantities!! Well-stocked salad bar and an additional hot bar full of goodies add to the dining pleasure. With constantly rotating salad bar contents and salad dressings, vegetarians rave. “I live in Garfield, but I come here to eat because the selection is so good,” comments one diner. Mission also has many other toppings and spreads on the south wall. Ice cream flavors change often, with soft-serve cookies and cream being the big hit. Location is good for residents, Frosh Quad, and Dodd. Not much of a variety of people, primarily residents. Better diversity in the Fall when athletic teams from Cole Field eat there. High Point: Self-service dining on a variety of well-prepared food, surrounded by employees who genuinely care.