Having worked in the food service industry for several years and participated in much gustation throughout my life, it’s probably not a shock to hear that I enjoy a good bite to eat. Let me preface by saying that I do not pride myself on eating ability. I lack the athletic prowess of Kobayashi, cultural knowledge of Bourdain, and charismatic flavor of Fieri. I am no sensory analyst nor food scientist. Cooking a meal might as well be brain surgery. I can throw together a mean sandwich, but that’s about it (the key is ham). In this critique I will be focusing on the overall dining experience rather than limiting myself to just the food’s quality. This way I can offer a comprehensive review of Denison’s dining halls.
Curtis dining hall provides top-notch food options for anyone who happens to be puttering around West quad. I often find myself going back to Curtis in spite of the fact that I’ve lived on the other side of campus for the past two years. The recently renovated dining hall has large windows that let in plenty of natural light and provide a 180 degree view of the outside foliage and walkway happenings. The feng shui inside allows for a smooth flow of traffic during the busy mealtime hours. Booths, high tops, bar seating or tables, Curtis will always have a place for you. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to the kind staff who work hard to prepare your plate. Catherine or Bruce will always appreciate a hello and might give you an extra breadstick. Lynne may not let you eat for free, but she’ll certainly check in to see how your day is going. It’s all about connections.
Huffman dining hall is rumored to have the superior quality of food, but it’s not a fair comparison. It’s all the same company, guys. Huffman closes at 9pm so it’s probably not too late to get your third meal in. The seating may not be as comfortable and the views may not be as good as Curtis’, but Huffman has got a salad bar (if that’s your thing). Personally, I’ll stick with the chicken tikka masala. Covid has taken away the chess boards, but you should probably learn to talk to people anyway. Be sure to speak up and project your voice over the plexiglass so that everyone next to you can overhear your strange conversation. Don’t even try to use an old wellness badge or save a swipe by sneaking in, Linda and Connie have eyes like a hawk and will make you atone for your sins. Shout out to Mukesh, Megan and the rest of the Huffman staff for cooking with mad flavor and feeding the masses every single day.
Food is an experience. It’s not about picking apart and judging the particular smoky undertones of a filet mignon. Don’t be pretentious. Appreciate the fact that an endless buffet of delicious food has been prepared with care at your leisure. Don’t for granted sitting down with your closest friends and indulging in a hot meal together. Lunch and dinner are opportunities to enjoy some time away from the stress that comes with college. Don’t ruin a pleasant meal by complaining about the chicken wings. I really don’t want to hear your whining. If you can’t stand the food here, then go buy your own groceries and have fun cleaning the dishes.