Welcome to the Chatham sisterhood, future Cougar! Every week this summer, look for new advice from Chatham women who can't wait to see you on campus.
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Our experts give you the dish on college dining!
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Whether you start your day with a sit-down meal or need a bite on the run, you’ll find plenty of good options on campus. “On days when I have more time—or a bigger appetite—I prefer to go to Anderson and take advantage of the buffet-style all-you-can-eat breakfast,” says Shannon. "Days when they serve bacon, tater tots, and oatmeal are definitely the best, but the fruit and cereal provide a reliable, healthy option as well.” Onastasia is a huge fan of Anderson's scrambled eggs. "It's so often the highlight of my morning that I could not start class without it!" she says. Breakfast in Anderson is easy to purchase with your ID, but students who aren’t on a meal plan can still pay cash at the door.
When you need food fast or just want to get in a few extra hours of sleep, Café Rachel is ideal. “I’m a late sleeper, so for me, a bagel and coffee from Café Rachel on the way to class is the only way to go,” says Gretchen. Shannon agrees; when she’s in a hurry, her “go-to breakfast of choice is something with caffeine (hot tea or iced tea, depending on the time of year), a raisin or cinnamon bagel, a blueberry muffin, and maybe some fruit.” Even if you spent half the day in bed, Café Rachel tends to have plenty of breakfast treats (from fresh fruit to hot coffee) all day long. Shannon notes that it’s easy to get in and out quickly, especially because everything is packaged in to-go containers. “But be warned: at peak times between classes (and at 9:59am, right before the meal plan ends), the line can be considerably long,” she says. “If you don’t get there in a timely manner, sometimes you have to choose to either be late for class or go hungry until lunch.”
If you’re worried about hitting Café Rachel when it's crowded, you may want to stock your dorm room mini fridge and cabinet with a few staples. “I don’t really eat breakfast,” says Amy. “When I do, I eat yogurt that I purchased at [a] local market.” You can pick up other small items during Thursday grocery runs on the campus shuttle.
“Anderson is usually the place to go for lunch,” says Shannon. “Because so many people are between classes, it is a great place to socialize with friends.” Though Anderson is often packed in the middle of the day, there’s still plenty of incredible food for everyone. Because Chatham is committed to offering variety, you’ll find awesome specials such as stir-fry (“General Tso's chicken is the best,” says Shannon). She also mentions the deliciousness of buffet spreads, including “the noodle bar, the pretzel bar, and the burger bar.” Even when there isn’t a DIY meal option, you can count on a variety of choices. At both lunch and dinner, the dining hall has a fully-stocked sandwich bar. You’ll find two types of pasta along with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese both in the afternoon and evening, and you’ll always have a few incredible pizza options on dough made right there in the Anderson kitchen.
No matter what, you’ll have access to a few homestyle entrees each day (including vegetarian options). “Consistently,” says Shannon, “they always have great side options like mac-and-cheese, French fries, mashed potatoes, and some kind of soup (the wedding soup and tomato soup are wonderful). Bonus? The soups are all made from scratch!
Parkhurst Dining Services (owned by the same company that runs Eat'n Park restaurants) is dedicated to providing some seriously delicious and healthy meals every day. Their FarmSource program works to include local food options (including fresh fruits and vegetables). “The salad bar is always well-stocked,” says Shannon, “and in warm weather, there are even fresh strawberries (if you’re fast enough to get them before they’re gone!).”
Though you’ll get a reusable box for takeout from Anderson at the beginning of the year, sometimes you might want something less formal. The Weathervane, located in the same building, is full of made-to-order delights in addition to prepackaged treats. Both Amy and Shannon love the chicken fingers, while Gretchen opts for the veggie wrap. “It’s quick and easy and pretty good for you, too!” she says. There’s a rotating list of daily specials, but you’ll also find student favorites on the menu every day. “For me,” says Shannon, “a lunch at Weathervane means a Philly with French fries, Gatorade, and occasionally to-go soup if the soup-of-the-day is still available.” When you stop in, you’ll also find pre-made salads (with your choice of dressing), ready-to-go wraps and a nice selection of chips, pretzels and sandwich crackers. The coolers along the wall are stocked with everything from yogurt to heat-and-eat meals (perfect to stock up on when you’re headed back to the dorm). As in Anderson, you’ll find a full fountain soda machine featuring Pepsi products; unlike in Anderson, you can also pick up cold, bottled beverages.
Though the Weathervane is often a great option when you need to grab a quick meal, Shannon warns that it can also suffer from long lines at certain times of the day: “Weathervane is a snack bar, not a cafeteria, so sometimes it gets full enough to be standing room only.”
If that's the case, Café Rachel can be a quick option. "I tend to hit Café Rachel for some hummus and a chicken wrap," says Onastasia. "Their frozen hot chocolates and banana smoothies are the bomb! I recommend those two drinks to everyone on campus."
When you’re looking for dinner on campus, “either Weathervane or Anderson” are your best bets, says Amy. Though the Weathervane’s menu stays almost the same from meal to meal, Shannon advises that dinner at Anderson does bring some changes as students often scatter. “It is the point of the day when most commuters and faculty have gone home and many residential students are buckling down to work on projects, accompanied only by a few cups of Café Rachel smoothies and chips,” she says. Anderson still has plenty of dinner regulars, though, including Onastasia: "There's nothing I enjoy more after a long day of classes and studying than chilling with my girls for an hour or two at a table, listening to the music coming from the speakers, giggling about whatever, and snacking on delicious fresh foods!"
You can still count on pasta, made-to-order sandwiches, pizza and entrees. “Though they are rare dinner treats, Anderson’s baked potato bar, steak night, and wing night cannot be rivaled by any other food the campus has to offer,” says Shannon. Onastasia has some favorites of her own: "Everything from stuffed chicken to hot dogs to falafel to tomato soup. And the desserts? Just be sure to try their M&M chocolate pudding, and you are set."
if you’re not in the mood for Anderson, Shannon adds that “a turkey club or chicken tenders at the Weathervane will certainly do the job!”
Her Campus Chatham often highlights good off-campus dining picks throughout the year, but our experts have a few to start you off.
Recommended By: Shannon
1816 Murray Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
What to Get: “Eat’n Park has lots of good stuff on the menu, but my favorite is probably the pot roast sandwich and mashed potato,” says Shannon.
Recommended By: Amy and Shannon
3600/3602 Forbes Avenue?
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
What to Get: “It has the best chicken wings!” says Amy. Adds Shannon, “The wings are great and so is the Potato Lovers' Soup.”
Recommended By: Amy and Shannon
Closest Location: There are 8 Subways within 2 miles of campus (all of which you can find here), but the closest restaurant?
418 South Craig Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
What to Get: “I always get a chicken-bacon-ranch on an Italian footlong (with pickles, lettuce, and ranch),” says Shannon.
Recommended By: Onastasia
The Andy Warhol Museum
117 Sandusky Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
What to Get: "If you're a fan of the King of Pop Art himself," says Onastasia, "you'll want to stop by The Warhol Café, if only to try their Warhol cookies! You can buy a quick meal for under $10, and museum entry is free with your Chatham ID!"
Of course, no collegiette's week is complete without a little bit of indulgence. What do our experts look forward to? “Coffee, smoothies, or a frozencino at the Café,” says Amy. “I love surfing the web or reading while drinking coffee.” Onastasia's favorite treat also comes from Café Rachel: "Those outstanding banana smoothies, no doubt!" she says.
Shannon mentions the no-bake cookies in Anderson, but she and Gretchen both can’t get enough of the ice cream bar. “The ice cream in Anderson is irresistible,” says Gretchen. “It’s my biggest weakness.”
Note: all photos are stock photos; no actual Chatham food items are featured.