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Campus Cafes by Claire

Claire Stephens | Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Once you pass through the grand, expansive entrance of O’Shaughnessy Hall, you find yourself in the long white hallways, constantly colored with hundreds of posters advertising Arts and Letters events, inviting you to take Latin or go to an art exhibit. Across from the small walk-in art gallery you’ll find the ’50s style cafe Waddick’s, a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of classes and a place to just sit and soak in the thoughtful, scholarly vibe of the liberal arts.

What they’re famous for: Waddick’s most popular choices are its breakfast egg sandwiches and multitude of coffee flavors. Breakfast sandwiches are popular all day long, with egg and your choice of ham, bacon or sausage on a croissant or bagel. Over 500 egg sandwiches are made weekly. It is also set apart from other cafes on campus by its wide variety of free trade coffee flavors. In addition to house, espresso or breakfast blends, coffee flavors include unique choices like island coconut, mocha nut fudge and pumpkin spice (there are also over a dozen different flavors of tea to choose from).

What else is in stock: While there’s only a moderate amount of sides, such as chips, energy bars, cereal, fruit and Grab ‘n Go sandwiches, there’s a good amount of drinks and pastries to choose from – soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks and flavored waters. While the wrapped pastries you see in the dining hall and Grab ‘n Go are okay choices, Waddick’s sets itself apart with its fresh baked goods. Warm muffins and cinnamon rolls are available alongside cookies, danishes, donuts, bagels, pecan rolls, scones, soda bread and coffee cake.

The muffins, coming in flavors like chocolate chip, blueberry and pistachio, smell and taste heavenly when they are still warm from the oven. The chocolate chip muffin had a dark, crunchy exterior, but stayed spongy and fluffy inside, even after being out of the oven for a while, and the cake options looked just as promising.

Who goes there: Waddick’s serves some faculty and staff, but is mostly patronized by students who have classes in O’Shaughnessy. The busiest times – when the café has a line out the door – are around 9:30 a.m. and any time between classes.

What you didn’t know they had: Waddick’s has great lunch specials and soups. The middle of the week offers some diverse flavors, like mostaccioli with garlic bread, chicken mesquite and taco wraps, while Mondays and Fridays are reserved for childhood classics like chicken tenders with macaroni and cheese and pizza, respectively.

I checked out the mostaccioli, which is the Tuesday special. The special is surprisingly good Italian food, and is offered hot with plenty of meaty sauce and soft, fresh bread to complement. The soup of the day, tomato, was just as good – hot, creamy and smooth with small chunks of tomatoes to give it a little extra substance.

Why people go: Although Waddick’s isn’t one of the newer spots for students to eat on campus, it’s certainly one of the most popular. Waddick’s has a welcoming atmosphere and is a good place to run into people you know – who are either there as customers or student workers. A popular spot for office hours, Waddick’s is a great location to lounge and go over a paper, read literature, chat with friends or just sit and think, wallowing in the intellectual, collegiate feel that only an Arts and Letters building can offer.

Contact Claire Stephens at cstephe4@nd.edu