The On- and Off-Campus Food Desert: The Story of a D3 Dining Hall and Only Adequate Off-Campus Food

Georgia Cantrell ‘26 

Contributing Writer 

The meme of the D3 dining hall is becoming too real. Running into people you don’t want to see and them not being as cute as they were the night before, waiting in lines for what seems like eternity, and only having one free option. It’s a legend coming into fruition. 

I understand it must be a difficult task to serve roughly 2,500 students three times a day, but we do have a 783 million dollar endowment. Mather’s meat looks like something from out of a dissection lab. Cave is mediocre but the options are limited, and they never seem to get your order right. Bistro is the best option, but it costs money, and the lines are almost always long. And for someone who lives in Jones, it’s a long way for a ham sandwich. Although, I will say. the BEC (bacon egg and cheese) at Bistro is the closest you can get to a classic bodega BEC on a roll. 

Another logistical problem is seating. Not only do we have limited options for food but limited options for sitting. There are never any tables open by the time you get your food, so you’re left wondering around aimlessly like a chicken with your head cut off. Lunchtime is like a stampede that you’ve never seen before, and if you don’t get to dinner right at 5:30, then you’re stuck waiting in the quesadilla line for up to 15 minutes. 

Yes, we’re a small liberal arts school, but I do believe there is room for one more dining option on campus. Seriously, as a college student with little to no cash flow coming in, I shouldn’t be having to buy groceries for a small family on Instacart every 2 weeks. 

Now enough of me complaining about the food on campus and allow me to switch to complaining about the food off campus.  It’s even worse—Angelina’s and Frenk Pepe’s not included. Last weekend my friends and I ordered $100 worth of Chinese food from Fung Chinese: orange chicken, General Tso’s chicken, pork egg rolls, beef lo mein, spring rolls, pork dumplings, and sesame chicken. Anything you could imagine we got and, of course, with some fried rice on the side. I had never been so excited to eat something in my life, but I was so quickly disappointed. A few bites into my chicken, and I notice that it doesn’t look so much like chicken anymore: it’s grey. 

At this moment, I knew I had made a mistake of ordering Chinese food in Hartford, CT. Don’t get me wrong, everything tasted great, but within 10 minutes of that first bite, I was popping Tums like there was no tomorrow. As I lay in my friend’s bed, I truly believed I had food poisoning. It was one of those things where you’re hot but you’re cold and slowly your face is turning paler by the minute. The small stomachache after eating at Mather could never compare to the ones we had after Fung Chinese.  

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