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Exposing NDH

Adam Llorens | Thursday, March 22, 2012

Let’s just cut to the chase: North Dining Hall is inferior to its counterpart in the South.

I mean, let’s be frank, fellow Northsiders: We’ve been living a lie. Since 1957, we’ve been told equality exists between Notre Dame’s two fine dining establishments.

Countless times have we heard, “It doesn’t matter where you go eat. You’ll get the exact same thing at either place. Oh, except for wheat rolls, soup spoons, fresher vegetables, apple slices, calzones, diversity of wings during wing night, thicker fro-yo, four waffle irons, pre-made wraps, sushi, five soups, religious murals, a portrait of Fr. Sorin, a Jesus table, music, peppermints, fresh tortilla chips, fresher fruit, lima beans, pre-made pizza, right-out-the-oven cookies, romaine lettuce, malt vinegar and we’re just getting started.”


That sounds like a big asterisk to me.

I don’t understand why this University just doesn’t come out and say, “Listen, if you like older food and a fun house-like layout, go to North. If you want fresher food with more variety and a classic university dining hall experience, come enjoy the bounties we have to offer you here on the Southside.”

Now, I’ll admit something.

I am the biggest fan of the North Dining Hall’s salad line during the weekday lunch period. My day is made when the Shanghai Chicken, Vietnamese Chicken or Southwest Salads are on the menu for the day. I am ecstatic when “Salad Guy” (and if you wait in the line, you know who I’m referring to) is there to strike up a conversation with you while he asks if you want more dressing.

I am an even bigger fan of North’s Saturday-night Burrito Bar. A fantastic idea created (I’m sure) by the fine people in the front office at Notre Dame Food Services.

But please, for weekday breakfast or dinner? Even the most ardent of Northsiders has to admit that there’s no comparison.

Countless times have I come across students from the North that make the extra 10 minute roundtrip trek to South, even in the bitter cold that hits northern Indiana from time to time.

And countless times have I heard Northsiders say that they prefer South to North, even if it means eating at North because of a time crunch in a busy schedule.

These are the reasonable people that can recognize good, wholesome food when it hits their tastes buds.

But those who swear by North, those that claim the food is better on the Northside – these are the folks that must have strained tastes buds.

I’ll give you eating environment. That’s give or take. But the food? Absolutely not.

All I’m asking is for those people that care about this pressing issue to come to a reasonable conclusion.

For those of you whose allegiances are yet to be made, consider this as a fair proposal to switch over from the dark side.

Your tastes buds will thank you.

Contact Adam Llorens at allorens@nd.edu

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.