Dinning Hall Dilemma at URI

June 19, 2015 in Campus Life, Colleges, Health, Reviews

The University of Rhode Island offers more than just traditional dining halls. Although you’ll find yourself going to Hope Commons and Butterfield for most of your meals, it’s still important to change things up. Don’t fear the Freshmen 15 and enjoy some good eats on-campus!

At the top of campus, you’ll find the Emporium…you’ll grow to love it because of the diversity of foods, but you’ll also hate it because it’s not a far walk from your dorm. Which means, you’ll probably find yourself there at least once or twice a week.

Albie's Steak and Cheese Sandwich

Albie’s Steak and Cheese Sandwich

Albie’s Place offers some great greasy sandwiches a long with your traditional burgers, french fries and breakfast foods. My personal favorites have got to be the Phat Sandwiches. These are Albie’s signature sandwiches that you won’t find anywhere else. Like the Phat Albie, which includes chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, steak fries, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard on a sub or wrap. My freshmen year was changed the day I order a Phat Grenade. At 11PM on a Friday night I devoured a sub filled with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and marinara sauce. Not to mention the steak fries that are absolutely to die for.

Peking Tokyo General Tso's

Peking Tokyo General Tso’s

Are you in the mood for some Chinese or Japanese food? Peking Tokyo is the place for you! From traditional sushi to fried chicken and rice, this restaurant definitely switches things up for the students at URI. Sometimes you’re just in the mood for some sesame chicken, especially during finals week when nothing seems to satisfy your craving unless its greasy, unhealthy, and extremely filling. You won’t leave this place unhappy. Your greatest fortune has got to be trying some of this Chinese and Japanese food while attending URI.

Who doesn’t love burritos and some chips? At the University of Rhode Island Emporium ,you can find well known eatery, Caliente Mexican Grill. From traditional burritos to burritos that have steak, fried beans, and rice with some barbecue sauce on the side, your taste buds will be singing once you step foot inside. Don’t be shy, their friendly staff is always open to suggestions and will add just about anything to your burrito, including chips, guac and some tasteful salsa. Freshmen fifteen here we come!

Falafel Salad from I-Pocket

Falafel Salad from I-Pocket

Last, but certainly not least International Pocket brings a little bit of Greek culture to URI. Offering salads, gyro sandwiches and falafels, I-Pocket is exploding with taste! Their taziki is freshly made, which adds even more taste to the sandwiches and salads. If you’re ever looking for a little bit more taste than your average meal, this is the place for you.

Make your time at the University of Rhode Island a memorable one and try out some of these places! Although the dining hall food is digestible, sometimes you’re in a bit of a dinning hall dilemma and must make some decisions. Forget the freshmen fifteen and enjoy yourself…this is the time to do it!

A Seminole’s Guide to On-Campus Eating

February 9, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

Packing a lunch for the day easily slips our mind when we’re rushing around in the morning, doing everything in our power to make it to our 8 AM on time. Luckily, there are plenty of food options on the FSU campus, from coffee shops, to restaurants, to grab-and-go food. Here are some descriptions to assist in narrowing down your search when you only have 20 minutes to spare until your next class.

Oglesby Union: The Union is home to several affordable food joints. For students trying to eat healthier, Salad Creations offers delicious wraps, hearty soups, and full-sized salads, all priced under 10 dollars each. Subway, of course, is perfect for grabbing a footlong sandwich and chips, but the line is extremely long between 12 and 2. If you’re in the mood for pizza, Papa John’s is located in the indoor food court of the Union, alongside Miso, a Sushi and Chinese fast food joint. Another great choice is Freshen’s, which sells a variety of smoothies, crepes, and even frozen yogurt. Next to Freshen’s is Pollo Tropical, a very popular quick food joint that sells delicious chicken. There are multiple tables inside the food court, but make sure to take advantage of the beautiful outdoor seating in the Union on sunny days.

Oglesby Union Outdoor Seating

Oglesby Union Outdoor Seating

Coffee Shops: The FSU campus has 5 different Starbucks locations. The double-sided Starbucks in Strozier Library is open 24/7 for students who need that extra boost when cramming to study for a test the next day. Dunkin Donuts/ Baskin Robbins is across the street from Westcott Fountain, open till 10 at night, and the Sweet Shop is nearby for those who want to study in a peaceful environment with friends while enjoying specialty coffee and sweets. Einstein’s is another very popular spot for breakfast sandwiches and coffee, but the line is usually out the door until at least noon on class days. If you have time, it’s well worth the wait- it’s absolutely delicious!

Dining Halls: The two dining halls on campus are Fresh Foods and the Suwannee Room, located on different ends of campus near the dorms. The best part about Suwannee: it looks like a scene from a Harry Potter film! My recommendation is to only eat at the dining halls if you are a freshman living on campus with a meal plan. Unfortunately, making your own food while living in a dorm is difficult, so eating at the dining hall is the best option for the convenience factor. There are generally plenty of meal options throughout the day. A salad and sandwich bar is always open for those trying to eat healthier. Since the dining hall is buffet style, students can go up multiple times for food, which is another upside of eating at the dining hall. If your meal plan has been purchased in advance, all you need to do is swipe your ID before you enter for it to process each time you go. Unfortunately, the food is never extravagant, so make sure to treat yourself to plenty of the other restaurants on and off-campus every now and then. If you do not live on campus, save yourself both the trip and the 8 dollars in your wallet by eating elsewhere.

The Suwannee Room

The Suwannee Room

Landis Food Court: Recently, a new food court opened on Landis Green. It houses the wonderful Chick-fil-A, home of the best chicken sandwiches! Alongside Chick-Fil-A is the Rising Roll, a sandwich and soup joint. While both places are delicious, the smell of Chick-fil-A almost makes it impossible to purchase anything else inside this food court. Most students agree that Chick-fil-A is the best food option on the FSU campus- for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! This dining area offers both tables inside and outside, but I would recommend sitting outside due to the commotion in the food court during lunch hours. Also, the tables outside overlook the beautiful Landis Green!

Restaurants: There are only two sit-down restaurants on campus: Denny’s and Chili’s. Denny’s is open 24/7 for students who may have late night cravings after coming home on a Friday night. Chili’s is perfect for when you want to kill time in between classes with friends or treat yourself from the monotony of the dining hall. The chips and salsa are amazing!

Grab-and-Go Food: There are two Mom and Pop’s food stands on campus for students to grab a quick hot dog or snack when in a hurry. This may sound strange, but they’re actually extremely popular and the perfect go-to when you want something small and quick. The Trading Post and Garnet and Gold are two different convenience stores where students can quickly purchase a granola bar and juice on the go.

Mom and Pop's Food Stand

Mom and Pop’s Food Stand

Having so many different food choices on the campus is extremely convenient when you’re running around from class to class. We’re all too familiar with the embarrassing moment of our stomachs growling when the class is silent, so it’s important to avoid that at all costs. Just remember, you will never go hungry at FSU, but make sure to also explore all of the amazing sit-down restaurants the city of Tallahassee has to offer!

Cynical Cornellian: A+ Smartphone Apps

January 16, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Love, Tech

As I often state, “College is the time to be an adult!” By that, I don’t mean that college is the time to make long-term decisions or even mature ones. Rather, college is the time to learn how to live like a starving artist in a low-rent apartment, in which your dinners consist of ramen noodles and saltine crackers and your daily routines consist of perusing your Tumblr dashboard and posting ironic Facebook statuses to hide the fact that you truly despise where your life has headed. All cynical college student jokes aside, being an adult in college means being broke and bored (still cynical, but hey, I’m a college kid).  So here’s a list of wonderful, life-improving/life-altering phone apps and websites that might make you just a tad bit less cynical about your slowly degrading adult life.

"Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up."

“Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up.”

Seamless/Grubhub: This is the pinnacle of foodie heaven (I’m a foodie, so you can trust me on this one). Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up. The application has the added function of dividing restaurants into food categories/genres (Pizza, Chinese, Sushi, Indian, etc.). Personally, I love the app because it categorizes restaurants based on distance and customer ratings. Moreover, I love having access to the menus in an organized fashion—I have a legitimate phobia to entering a dining establishment only to be bombarded with a huge menu and an impatient waiter/cashier. Seamless gives me the options with an unlimited supply of time to think about, and research/find pictures of, the food that I’m about to use my limited supply of money to purchase (as a cynical, broke college kid, you have to be economical). Use the app for any meal of the day—or late night, if you’re about that all-nighter life.

Tinder: Dating is tough. Dating in college is tougher. It’s true that college is probably going to be the time of your life in which you have the largest supply of potential life partners. From that perspective, you would assume that finding a date and, eventually, a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner would be as easy as reading a children’s pop up book (sans the people who are illiterate or have a phobia to paper that unfolds and pops out at you when you turn the page). Unfortunately, dating in college is not that simple—for reasons unbeknownst to me. Tinder makes everything so much easier! You make an account by linking your Facebook to the Tinder app, your Facebook profile photos sync to the app and become your main photo stream, you write a witty and provocative description, and you swipe right to all of the cuties! If you get matched, you send an awkward and slightly inappropriate greeting and cross your fingers that you’ll get lucky tonight. I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!

"I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!"

“I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!”

Yik Yak: Imagine seeing Regina George’s burn book but with names kept out of the hateful messages and the pages being short, electronic posts. Once you can conceptualize this, you’ve conceptualized Yik Yak. An anonymous social media app, YY allows users to upload rude, comedic, or somewhere in-between posts that get disseminated to an audience in a 10-mile radius. So if you’re bored and absolutely hate that girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library, post a status about that girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library and hope that people in that incredibly silent library give you a thumbs up—also hope that the girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library reads the post and turns off that garbage that she calls music.

And there you have it: three apps that I consider to be A+ material for college kids struggling to be adults in a world where being an adult is a massively depressing ordeal that requires a trust fund or sugar daddy to truly be happy. Am I cynical? Yes. Are these apps A+? Absolutely.

Easier Said than Done: The College Truth

October 24, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

College is a time to prove that you can live on your own, balance responsibilities, and essentially be a functioning adult. All of those things, however, are much easier said than done (hey, that phrase is in the article title). You know that old phrase about the right decision and the hard decision usually being the same? Yeah, well you’re going to have a lot of decisions to make in college, and you’re typically going to choose the easier one. So here are just a few of the many instances where you will most likely take the low road when you know you should be taking the high one.

1. Staying in to save money
What is money in college? I’ll take Things I Don’t Have for 400, Alex. In all honesty, buying a bar pizza is risky business because you never know if its going to overdraw your account. But the pitchers are only $4 down the street, and all your friends are going, so what are you supposed to do? Miss out? Fuck that, you’re going and you’re buying 4 pitchers. Goodbye to your last $20 that you were saving to buy Nana something nice for her 80th birthday.

2. Staying in to study for that exam
Don’t make me laugh, you little bitch. Your favorite house is throwing down and that girl you’ve been trying to hook up with is going to be there. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity (it’s not actually, since you’re there every other weekend), papers and exams happen way too often. Put it off! Throw caution to the wind! …along with your GPA. You definitely WON’T regret it in the morning. *insert troll face*

3. Eating healthy to stay in shape
Okay, let’s get one thing straight: you are never going to eat healthy all the time at college, so stop fooling yourself and annoying everyone around you who has already figured out this monumental truth. I’m going to play out a scenario that will only happen in college in a weird opposite alternate universe: 35 cent wings? Sorry can’t, I had a killer workout earlier today and am feeling confident and satisfied with my body *end scenario* Just buy some god damn wings.

4. Leaving time for schoolwork
You have three big assignments due at the end of the week and a paper due on Thursday. But you had a whole 2 hours of class today, and worked 2 hours at your work-study job, so you’re stretched pretty thin. Why don’t you just sit on the couch, have a beer, and watch some Breaking Bad on Netflix. You’re still two seasons behind!

5. Leave your old hookup in the past
You are really going to put a lot of stress on yourself if you call her right now. You guys started hooking up with other people for a reason, after all. But it’s late, your roommate is gone, and you’ve been on a dry spell. Call her, its not going to be the most regrettable thing you’ve done all week. I mean, you spent $20 at a bar you didn’t even want to go to and now you can’t buy Nana her birthday gift. You asshole.

College prepares you for life. And life is full of tough decisions. And you’re going to choose the easiest route in college. So by the transitive property, life is full of easy decisions? Yes, let’s go with that.

Food Insights From an Emersonian

September 26, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Reviews

From the days on the playground to completing college applications, students endured the typical cafeteria food consisting of greasy pizza, brown lettuce, moist burritos, and the occasional “Jamba Juice” or sugary smoothie. When college neared, I set my expectations high for the dining hall, assuming that a wide variety of quality meals specific to each students needs would be delivered. Thankfully, my expectations were at least somewhat met.

The Little Building

Although Emerson College lies in the heart of downtown Boston surrounded by coffee shops, Chinese restaurants and pizza joints, the dining hall in The Little Building, the largest residence hall, offers a large selection of meals, leaving some students satisfied and others disappointed.

Like every school cafeteria, there are mixed reviews on the food, some complains being that the pizza is too greasy, the desserts are too bland, and the meat options are too salty. Though many people, including myself, are impressed by the food and hardly complain. There are omelet, cereal, waffle, and fruit stations in the morning, deli-style sandwiches, salads, and meat-options for lunch, and alternating entrees and desserts for dinner. The chocolate milk is thick and delicious, perfect to go with your pancakes or dessert.

Being an herbivore, I was thrilled to discover a vegetarian/vegan food station, which I believe to be the most flavorful and spice-enriched station in the dining hall. Stirred fried rice, asian noodles, steamed vegetables, colorful salads, and the right amount of spices are my usual go-to meals, and the vegan chocolate cake and cookies never fail to disappoint. This station does go unrecognized, as some students are indifferent to vegan food and prefer the meat and dairy route, though it’s good to experiment with all food options and test your taste buds.

Students crowd the spacious dining hall in the evening.

Paramount Cafe

The other residence building, The Paramount, provides a small cafe for all students, though it only offers a limited amount of meals and isn’t an “all you can eat” style. The veggie burgers and fries are the most popular orders, as are the quesidilas and occasional bean burritos. The meals are quick, easy, and prepared right in front you, which is good when you’re racing to class or on-the-go. Although the food may not be the best quality and quantity, it’s helpful to test all of the colleges dining options to get a feel for what satisfies you.

Max Cafe in Piano Row

In the suite-style residence building called Piano Row, the Max Cafe, similar to the Paramount Cafe, offers a bit larger selection of meals. For vegans, there aren’t many options besides the veggie burger and salads, but for meat lovers, chicken burritos and burgers are offered.

Originally from San Diego, California, I can easily distinguish the difference between a good and a bad burrito, and sadly, Max’s burritos are close to bad. Save yourself the trouble and eat at the Little Building, as buffet-style options are much preferred over spending money at a limited cafe, or venture off-campus and create your own burritos at Bolocco, located steps away from Emerson on Boylston Street.

Surrounding Eats

Like I said previously, Bolocco is a popular spot that predominately feeds hungry Emersonians, offering a variety of burritos, salads, and bowl options, and even caters to gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan students. The tiki masala and Mexican burritos are must-tries, though creating your own meals makes the food more personal and unique. Students have called Bolocco a lower quality Chipoltle, but faults are to be found at any eatery, regardless.

Pizza places like New York Pizza and Sal’s Pizza are packed with students and locals, especially during the weekend after a long night of partying. The pizza slices are huge, inexpensive, and quickly made. FYI, drunks and partiers are expected some nights, making the experience more entertaining.

This pizza joint is a popular eatery among college students.

Chinatown is literally blocks away from Emerson, featuring Dumpling Cafe (the best late night dumplings and hot tea), My Thai Vegan Cafe (perfect for vegetarians/vegans), bubble tea shops, and other Asian restaurant hot-spots. If tired of dining hall options or just looking for a new food experience, I recommend exploring this part of town… my friends and I do at least once a week and are rarely disappointed!

To wrap it up, Emerson’s dining options are a few steps up from the traditional middle school and high school cafeterias, featuring a variety of foods that are specific to students’ needs. If ever tired of college meals, step outside, wander, and take advantage of your college town or city! I’m certain that wherever you’re attending, there’s something out there with your name and order on it.