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Revisiting SMC dining

Andrew Thagard | Thursday, February 5, 2004

Well, it’s been one year since my last visit to the Saint Mary’s dining hall. Some of you may remember that my previous experience with food at our friendly sister college was less than stellar. But, barring food poisoning, I and my gut are not ones to carry a grudge.

I also figured that things may have changed for the better now that the old Noble Family Dining facility has been reduced to a gaping hole in the ground and replaced by a gleaming new building, also called Noble Family.

Indeed, I’m pleased to report that my experience at the new Saint Mary’s dining hall was significantly better than my last. The food as it stands isn’t great (certainly not worth the trek in subzero temperatures, if you choose to walk over as I did), but it’s not bad, either. This is good news for me and also my friends at SMC, considering the College has placed a daily cap of 50 on the number of meals that can be exchanged and used at Notre Dame’s dining halls.

On my visit, I had a pita stuffed with meat that I could clearly identify as chicken. The pita came unstuffed – unfortunate for me, but typically not a problem for more competent individuals. I’m convinced that my pita was defective because I could not get it open. Instead, I piled the chicken on top of it and found that it tasted pretty good.

My only disappointment over last year was with the desserts. Previously, the Saint Mary’s dining hall featured gourmet cookies and brownies. Those desserts may still be there, but they’ve now been condensed into pudding form.

This “pudding” looks like vomit, but tasted surprisingly better. It contained bits of cake and a lot of what I like to call “mystery prizes.” One of my friends found a cherry in hers, and I tasted what I think was part of a chocolate bar and some other things I couldn’t identify. Barring the shady factor, it was pretty good.

They also had a banana split bar that every girl at that College was in line for, so I didn’t bother sampling it (I should’ve brought a press pass with me so I could cut in line).

Friends at Saint Mary’s tell me the food hasn’t gotten any better than last year. Maybe I just came on the right day, but I thought everything was pretty good overall.

Finally, I was impressed with the attempt to provide some entertainment during the meal. When I went, you could kick a field goal and win a prize. After my prize-filled pudding I opted out, but I appreciated the creative thinking.