Tips for your trip to the new dining hall
MANAGING MOSAIC EDITOR
Dining halls aren’t normally the place to be, but everyone seems to want to check out Caesar Rodney. The new dining hall on Academy Street is roughly twice the size of Pencader Dining Hall on North Campus, according to the university website. If you want to take in the décor or watch your food being cooked right in front of you, but haven’t visited our campus’ newest dining hall yet, here are three important things you need to know before you go.
1. It looks great.
Or maybe it just looks like Chipotle, as a fellow Mosaic writer pointed out. The beauty of Caesar Rodney, like so many other things, is in the eye of the beholder. From its metallic columns and new cooking stations to its wooden booths and dark color scheme, the dining hall’s look is decidedly modern. A bonus: in my experience, it’s not too difficult to find a table or booth.
2. … But you might have trouble getting around.
The sentiment I hear most often in regards to the new dining hall is this: “The food is good, but it’s confusing in there.” On your first trip to Caesar Rodney, the number of options and the set-up can be overwhelming. Food stations abound, none clearly marked, in spite of entryway displays showing food that is being served at “the grill” or what the night’s Mongolian dish will be.
In time, you’ll get your bearings and start navigating like an old pro. Until then, I present two solutions to this problem:
Some diners, in hopes of surviving—or maybe just of finding the tater tots—have adapted by approaching strangers to ask where they have found a particular food. Like asking locals for directions in New York, asking directions from hungry college students sounds scary, but will actually earn you a smile and helpful instructions. (Also like New York: there is rarely a shortage of people to ask for help. Unlike waiting to go to the top of the Empire State Building, the dining hall lines move fast.)
If you aren’t so bold, there are maps at the entrances. I only noticed them as I exited the building after my most recent trip to the dining hall, and I admit that using those might have cut down on time spent wandering from option to option …
3. The food is better.
You’ll never have to cross your fingers for pasta night or the “Blue Hen chicken bowl” again. This dining hall serves a wider variety of meals at one time than neighbors Russell or the now-closed Kent (R.I.P. Kent). You can choose from dining hall standards like pasta or pizza, or go for new offerings like crab cakes or lettuce wraps…or you could just get all four (some people do).
If you’re keeping kosher, eating gluten-free, subscribing to a vegan lifestyle or are just a huge fan of Mongolian food, there are new stations for you as well.
With its myriad options, the new dining hall seems guaranteed to satisfy. It’s still dining hall food, but now it is dining hall food with a little something for everyone.