Snack Bar Battle: Whitmans’ vs. Lee After Dark

With treats like fried green beans, mozzarella sticks and honey buns, Whitmans’ Late Night, has become a part of many students’ nightly routine. Thanks to College Council, joining the lineup of burgers, shawarma, pizzas and hotdogs will be Lee After Dark’s omelets, pancakes and Belgian waffles. Lee After Dark had its grand opening this Friday, Feb. 1, offering a lavish assortment of breakfast meals.

Lee After Dark will be open Wednesday through Sunday, from 8:30 p.m. to 02:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 8:30 p.m. to 12 p.m. on every other night. The dining hours at Whitmans’ Late Night and the ’82 Grill will remain the same.

The new breakfast menu offers a wide range of choices, including four combination meal deals, which include pancakes with choices toppings (of which the chocolate seems to be the most popular so far), Belgian waffles, vegan blueberry banana French toast, a “Rise and Shine” meal with eggs, hash browns, and toasts or English muffins, and an omelet with three choice fillings. Hash browns, breakfast meat, fruit cups and beverages are also included in the combination meal deals, depending on which meal you order. If you are not hungry enough for a whole meal, you can also get Egg N’ Bagels, burritos, ice cream and other hot beverages, including tea, hot chocolate, latte, cappuccino and espresso.

So is Lee After Dark a successful addition to the existing Whitmans’ Late Night and the ’82 Grill? In such a small college campus, where Whitmans’ and the ’82 Grill are some of the only places to get food at night, many students agree that Lee Snack Bar adds an extra dimension to their late night snack. Many students were also pleased that Lee After Dark will stay open until 2 a.m. on the weekends, whereas the other food stations close at 1 a.m. “Waiting in line for well over 20 minutes for food only to be turned down is the worst experience ever,” Rick Gentry ’16 said . Thanks to Lee After Dark, many other students like Gentry will not have to go to bed hungry on the weekends.

While some people are dissatisfied by the amount of time Lee After Dark is open, most people agree with the schedule. “I really like the Lee [After Dark] schedule the way it is,” Harrison Gatlin ’16 said. “After a long week of hard work, I would like to reward myself with some pancakes, but I will also be going down to the ’82 Grill for a pizza just as often. So it is alright that we have Lee [After Dark] only towards the weekends.”

Student Chair of the Dining Services Committee Tyler Sparks ’15 agreed that he would be splitting meals between both late night options. “I am a huge fan of the PB&J fries at Whitmans’ Snack Bar, and I always will be. However, the omelet at Lee After Dark is also mouthwatering. I will still get Whitmans’ because of the PB&J fries, but I think Dining Services has really broke-through with the breakfast items at Lee [After Dark]. They’ve come up with something very special. It’s been the hope from the beginning that this initiative will positively affect the lives of many on campus, and I think the response so far has shown that it will,” Sparks said.

Though it’s true that most believe Lee Snack Bar is a positive addition to the campus’s food scene, several complaints and suggestions for improvements have come up. There were obviously a lot of complaints about the long and relentless queue in front of Lee’s Snack Bar. Many students were able to exploit the resulting short wait for their usual late night snack at Whitman’s. However, in the upcoming weeks, as the breakfast menu gradually loses its novelty, it is expected that Lee After Dark will share some of the queue in front of Whitman’s, reducing Whitman’s long waits, especially on weekends. Some concerns were raised about the sugary and fattening nature of the menu at Lee After Dark, but other students countered that the new omelets are a healthier alternative to their usual hot dogs and fries at Whitman’s.

Suggestions for making Lee After Dark a better breakfast experience altogether  included adding a cereal bar and toaster corner to the existing Lee After Dark. Suggestions to improve the breakfast menu also came up, including adding cinnamon buns, maple syrup and other condiments to the menu.

Overall, Lee After Dark seems to be a great new addition to our life on campus. These small details in our small college make a big difference for quality of life. This new snack bar option promises to be  popular in the long run.