When Williams College students received that infamous e-mail marking the closure of two beloved eating establishments, the general uproar was explosive. Greylock and Dodd, you have stuck by our sides so long with your unique menu items. How can we possibly let you go?
Many of us have flocked to Kids’ Night at Greylock to enjoy the crispy chicken tenders and piping hot French fries that bring back childhood memories of picnics and barbecues. Who could forget Brunch Night, where people snarl viciously at anyone who dares to sneak to the front of the waffle line? What will we do now that we can no longer cram as many toppings into our omelet ramekins as possible, balancing those last few tomato chunks precariously on top? As Sarah Freymiller ’13 pointed out, “No entries be able to write ‘Dinner, Glock, 6’ on their white boards, unless they plan to hold a picnic outside and admire the shell of a once-majestic dining hall.”
Don’t forget Dodd’s dreamy smorgasbord that ranges from delicacies to home-style food. No longer will its compelling promise of hash browns and eggs drag us out of our beds as we struggle to recover from Saturday night. We won’t be able to feast on scrambled eggs with lobster, beef-a-roni, muffin tops, Pez and black-and-white cookies a la Seinfeld. With a few juicy chicken tenders on your plate, a side of crinkle fries and a dangerously chocolatey dessert to finish it off, you were sure to start off your week with a bang.
If you were planning on chatting with professors next semester while crowded around one of Dodd’s large wooden tables, you can think again. Dodd has long been a haven both for departments hosting a riveting discussion after dining and for gardeners hoping for a pancake feast before planting vegetables and herbs. Its cozy atmosphere and delicious food make one think of dining at home rather than at an institution serving countless students a day. Even if neighborhood dinners are reinstated somewhere else, we will all still feel Dodd’s missing presence.
With barely three weeks left, we decided to eat at each of these dining halls and ponder our food carefully in order to nail down the way in which food is unique at each hall.
Wrap Night at Greylock may be the king of themed dinners. Yesterday, I (Heath) went without scruples, loading my green spinach wrap with every topping available on the hot line except the tofu, which I took as a side. The first bite, as wrap connoisseurs know, was a pure jaw-working heaven of two different kinds of spiced chicken, juicy ground beef, black beans, refried beans and probably 15 other add-on vegetables and sauces. As I satiated my hunger by working through the bursting pocket, I slowed down my initially furious eating pace and thought about the food more closely. Admittedly, the wrap was very heavy on the protein; the refried beans added a nice smooth texture but tasted as though they came straight from a can. The spicy orange rice and sautéed peppers and onions added a nice hint of Mexican zest, while the crisp shredded lettuce, sour cream and mango salsa nicely counterbalanced the other heavy ingredients. All in all, the wrap was sinfully delicious and filling, but rather exhausting to eat – I could not put it down or talk to my neighbors in fear that I would accidentally dump its insides all over the place.
After all that could be seen of the wrap were a few tortilla remnants, I cleared my palette with a few spoonfuls of cold melon soup. It was definitely refreshing, but rather mealy in texture. However, the pizza sticks were truly finger-licking: warm, golden brown and flaky, they combined cheese and dough in perfect proportions. Although I barely had room for dessert, I nibbled on a classic M&M cookie, and spiced things up with a cup of chai tea from the oft-forgotten machine by the soup station. It is not an exaggeration to say that I smiled with my whole being as I sipped the warm, frothy drink, savoring its creamy autumn-spiced flavor.
Dodd pulled out all the stops for dinner when I (Kitty) went last night. Its pasta was the heavenly Tortellini Andrea. The plump, cheesy tortellini melted on my tongue as it swirled in a creamy sauce accented with garlic and mushrooms. The roasted spinach worked perfectly as a side, balancing the intensity of the tortellini with a mild, garlicky flavor. No vegetarian could complain about the selections tonight.
Dodd also served a supreme chicken breast cooked in a delicately balanced seasoning. Chicken faces the danger of being overcooked and drying out, but Dodd’s was perfectly moist. An unusual dish of apples and sweet potatoes sat next to the chicken, and though I had never tried this combination before, it turned out to be one of the highlights of the meal. The cinnamon-spiced apples mixed with the creamy texture and natural sweetness of the potatoes fooled me into thinking I was enjoying a delicious apple pie right out of the oven. To top off a fantastic meal, I dug in to a slice of black forest cake. The rich chocolate frosting mixed with just the right amount of cherry filling to create a wonderful balance. Feeling indulgent, I topped off the cake with vanilla ice cream and felt as though I were dining in a fine restaurant rather than a college dining hall.
As meals at Greylock and Dodd, respectively, were scrumptious – almost utterly satisfying – our sorrow to see these two dining halls go was understandably intensified. I guess we’ll just have to say good-bye to bursting wraps and Dodd delicacies and take one step closer towards being those nostalgic alums who croak, “Back when we were at Williams, there were five dining halls. Can you believe it?” We’ll simply have to relegate these memories to the past. Dodd and Greylock, we’ll miss you.