Mangiare at the "Mons"

There is no better way to connect with anyone than to chat over a meal. There is something about food that just brings people together. It makes people happy and is such a large part of any culture that what we eat, how we eat it, and who we eat with can greatly impact our mood. 

 

That being said, every college dining hall is not a hip, five-star restaurant with both a menu that satisfies your tastebuds, and is only occupied by your family and friends. Dining halls can possess a sort of chaotic energy that can scare any seasoned dining hall pro away at peak grubbing hours. The Commons at Tulane, while infinitely better than Bruff, is no exception. Navigating the two floors of this glass giant can cause anyone stress and since food is essential to life, it’s important we try to make the best of what we have. So, what follows are a couple of tips and tricks in order to help you better navigate The Commons. 

 

  • Sick of settling for something because of too many options? 
    • On the Tulane App, after you log in, you can actually click on the box that says “ Dining” to get a menu for *any* of the Tulane sponsored dining options on campus! That way, you can have an idea of what is available so you don’t have to keep eating the same dinner five nights in a row because you’re too afraid/tired to look around. 
  • Can’t stand lunch rush hour? 
    • After classes let out around 12, there is a mass exodus from any academic building headed straight for the Commons. If you have ever tried to have lunch at a normal time, you know the crowds and lines on either floor at any food station can be brutal. The Thirteenth Parallel often offers lunch to go for a meal swipe! They do the same for dinner. Food trucks posted all around campus also offer meals for food swipes! This is a great way to use your meal swipes and to avoid large crowds. 
  • Trying to eat healthier? 
    • Using the Tulane app, under the dining box, you can build meals prior to going to the dining hall to figure out caloric information and nutritional information. After you’ve clicked on the dining option on the Tulane app, and you click on the commons as a dining option, if you scroll through their menu you’ll see a plus symbol next to every hot food item. After finding what you would want to eat and clicking the plus next to it, you can see at the bottom of the page what your meal consists of. 
  • Can’t find a buddy to eat with? 
    • If you have to eat in the commons by yourself, while it can seem scary, it is nothing to be afraid of! No one is judging you for eating by yourself because schedules didn’t line up! If you don’t want to claim a two-person, or four-person table for only one person though, I’d recommend sitting at a high top table, or a long row table so that if people sit near you, you could try and socialize! 
  • Tired of dining hall food in general? 
    • Like mentioned before, food trucks are an option that exist on campus that take meal swipes for certain menu items. However, if you’ve exhausted yourself of all Tulane dining options, and have some extra cash, then maybe take a trip to a local restaurant and ask if they give student discounts. Most places close to campus do! You just need to make sure you have a student ID. With any freshman dining plan, you’re also given a certain amount of Nola bucks that you can use at select locations off of campus. Visit Tulane Dining’s web page for a list of those locations. 

While most college students are not living or eating lavishly every day, it is important that all students understand what options are available to them on campus, especially when those options involve food! While it is easy for visiting the Commons to feel like a chore after a while, it is so important that meal time with friends or by yourself is a break in the day for you when you can unwind and relax even fro 20 minutes while you chow down. So, don’t let any dining hall stress you out, and if you have any questions about even more options, you can always ask someone for more information.