I know many people hate on the dining hall for many different reasons, but I know I’m going to miss it after I graduate next year. For me, it’s all about the many, many options Blanch has. Even if I don’t want/can’t eat everything on the menu, there’s always at least something that appeals to me, whether that be making something from the wok, omelet, or sandwich stations. Before COVID I used to spend endless hours in the dining hall, doing homework, procrastinating doing homework, hanging out, and obviously eating meals with friends. I have so many fun memories of spending all day in Blanch and I’ll definitely miss that when I’m gone. So, I wanted to share some hacks I’ve picked up on the way, to share my love for Blanch.
- If you drink the coffee, please dress it up!
I don’t consider myself a coffee connoisseur, but the coffee at Blanch isn’t that great. However, I don’t always have the time (or dining dollars) to go to the pub or the Frances Perk Cafe, so I have to make do with Blanch. I suggest putting chocolate milk or chocolate soy milk along with half and half in it to make your own mocha. You could also add the hot chocolate powder to it for the same effect. I’ve found myself greatly enjoying the taste of the coffee after I started doing this. You could also make iced coffee by adding more milk to your mug than usual and in another (regular) cup filled with ice and milk.
- Take Full Advantage of All the Stations
I feel that even though there sometimes seems to be a line at the wok station, not everyone takes advantage of it. I definitely don’t eat there as much as I would like, sometimes I honestly forget that it’s an option. With the sandwich and omelet stations closed, this hack is a little harder to implement, but maybe try out a vegetarian/vegan option if you’ve never tried it before. You might surprise yourself with a new favorite dish! I also suggest taking a look at all the stations before you get food. There might be something not listed on the menu or something you would rather eat.
- Don’t Always Sit in the Same Room/Spot
Every room in Blanch has a very distinct vibe, and I know it’s very easy to get comfortable with sitting at the same few tables every day. I’m guilty of this. But it is good to switch it up every once in a while. Sometimes I sit in the different rooms so often that I forget that Blanch plays music (even if the radio station plays a weird collection of songs), I always have a fun time commenting on the music or just noticing new things about the dining hall because I sit somewhere different than usual.
- Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Cereal Wall
I never realized how much I love the cereal wall until I got sent home because of COVID. There are so many different options, much more than the two my family gets at home. I think cereal is perfect during any meal and is also a great dessert.
Blanch is the best place to people-watch on campus, whether that’s just watching people outside or catching snippets of others’ conversations. I find Blanch great to just pass the time by seeing other people go about their day. It’s fun seeing how different people all utilize the same space, and nice to see the vast differences in conversations surrounding you in Blanch.
Hopefully, some of these tips help make Blanch a little more bearable during those crowded lunch rushes. Happy eating!
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