I hate to break it to you, but no college campus is going to have food as good as Mom’s. No matter where you go, you’ll find something to hate about your college’s dining hall but I promise you there are plenty of people complaining about the same thing at universities across the nation. Now I am not here to scare you away, but I also won’t lie to you. I am here to tell you there are ways to enjoy the food you eat throughout your four years at Wagner. I have grown up as one of the pickiest eaters out there, so if I can do it, then you can too.
There is the Dining Hall (Dhall) and Hawks (the grab-and-go cafe). Today I’ll dissect the dining hall, because it's more of my specialty and lumping them together might be slightly overwhelming.
So to start off, you’ll walk in and it will resemble something far too similar to a stereotypical high school cafeteria. Theater students sit on the left side, athletes sit on the right, and people like me (a.k.a NARPs = Non-Athletic Regular People) sit anywhere we please, often occupying the center section. Don’t be frightened, no one bites so sit where you want and with whoever you want. I encourage you to be the class that breaks this trend.
You will see that there is the main food bar, it almost always has a form of meat, a vegetable, and a carb or two. Most nights there is a theme of the food, whether that is Italian, Asian, American, or anything else D-hall feels daring enough to try. In the center of this main bar will be flavored water and at lunch time, a smiling chef that’ll make you a personal dish of whatever he/she is serving today. On the other side of that is the vegetarian section. While I am not vegetarian, I don’t eat meat regularly so for me, it’s one of my more frequent choices. Next to that are the soups, which I promise are anything less than bland. Let’s just say you won’t need to add salt.
In the center of D-hall is the salad bar. This is my regular. They have different styles of lettuce, different veggies, grains, and toppings, so it really gives you the freedom to create whatever plate you so desire.
On the right side there is the Hot Bar. This serves pizza, pasta, cheesy breads, and other goodness. There is regularly a station where a chef will prepare the speciality of the day for you, whether that is pancakes, burgers, omelets, tacos, or smoothies.
Now onto the famous sandwich line. It is a lifesaver, I promise. You may take food from the other stations that you might want in your sandwich, quesadilla, or wrap, but they offer plenty of options to choose from at the sandwich bar. They have different lunch meats, chicken/egg salad, lots of cheeses, veggies, dressings, and styles of bread and wraps. While I rarely vary from my hummus wrap, I highly suggest throwing some variety on your tastebuds from day to day.
In the same area as the sandwich bar, there is a gluten free section (which has the best dessert Wagner offers, a.k.a the Snickerdoodles), the yogurt and fruit station, a cereal bar, an ice cream station, a ‘toast your bagel/bread’ station and a variety of drinks.
I know this might sound overwhelming, but I assure you by November you will be underwhelmed so breathe easy.
To help narrow it down, I’ll give you some of my favorites from Dhall:
@ the Salad Bar: spinach, topped with hard boiled egg, goat cheese, sunflower/pumpkin/flax seeds, other veggies like peppers, some cranberries, quinoa and then drizzle balsamic
@ the Sandwich Line: a spinach wrap with lettuce, hummus, all peppers, turkey, pepperjack, tomatoes, cucumbers, and then toasted with possible honey mustard on the side
@ the fruit & yogurt station: a bagel toasted with peanut butter and sliced bananas on top, or a bowl of vanilla yogurt with granola, peanut butter, and strawberries if you’re lucky
Now before I leave your imagination to wonder, don’t be afraid to sneak your avocados, or almond butter, or any other store bought item that might spice up your meals down.It is easily manageable and can help you bring things you're used to at home, to school.