Dining at Bates is kind of like a rainbow party. The unlimited food and drinks are enticing enough to get you in the door, but then you quickly realize that everything’s a little weird, like when you and your girlfriends are in a circle, putting on some lipstick in front of the unattractive high school quarterback. But, unfortunately, unlike the faux media sensation that was rainbow parties when we were in middle school, Bates is actually real. The shriveled up lettuce, crusty pizza, and rock hard cookies are a reality that most of us have to face on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
Let’s start from the beginning: I’m either greeted by an overly friendly student worker, an angry “manager,” or a genuinely nice older employee who I can’t understand. As I mosey to ﬁnd a table in the back I glance over the food islands I pass. The pasta looks the same as usual (thankfully edible), the salad bar is missing key ingredients such as cheese and carrots, and the desserts deserve a closer look. If the cookies or cake look luxurious and soft, I will scoop all of them up immediately, creating a stockpile of four pieces of cake at my seat before even getting an entrée.
I go back into the increasingly hectic dining room and grab a grilled cheese, some pasta, and probably a bowl of carrots. Why a bowl of carrots? Well, I feel like they’re good for my skin and they’re better than choking down some wilted lettuce in order to get a healthy portion of my meal.
I try to avoid the pizza station at all costs, unless, of course, the rest of the food available is absolutely horrendous, which is the case most nights.
I completely forget that the ethnic and vegan sections even exist–they’re just too removed from the main path. So I’m usually surprised when one of my friends sits down with fried cauliﬂower and tofu salad. Even though it looks funky, I wish I had given myself the opportunity to ogle at the option.
I spend a lot of the time staring at the food in Bates, hoping that it will actually taste okay. I usually end my meal with a bowl of Special K cereal as any middle-aged and overweight mother of four would do.
Basically, Bates is a shit show and I don’t really feel bad for saying that. Like the Pub, Bates is dressed up and as tasty as can be on Parents Weekend and Prospective Students Days (a claim that the head chef on campus and AVI Regional Manager disagree with) and is a mess the other 360 days of the year.
If only Bates were as committed to providing decent food as much as they’re committed to providing odd and geriatric friendly ice cream flavors.
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Featured Image: Google Images (Little known fact: the creepy motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was named after Sarah Lawrence’s own dining hall.)