Undergraduate gives in-depth critiques of pasta, tacos, quesadillas, brownies available at dining hall
EACH STUDENT has a unique and distinct experience at Lewis & Clark, but we are united by a few things: the longing for a nearer grocery store, a fast-dying desire to explore the mysterious tunnels and, most notably, limited dining options.
Whether to socialize, to satiate the hunger that gnaws or to find something to complain about, most of us find ourselves inevitably drawn to Fields Dining Room (henceforth “the Bon”) like so many defunct satellites crashing into the atmosphere. Many opinions have flown regarding Bon food, most negative, some positive and a few outright bizarre. I have spent the past two weeks analyzing the Bon’s cuisine to form The Mossy Log’s first-ever Bon food column. As a vegetarian, I was somewhat limited in the foods I could review, so I will leave the chicken and rockfish opinions to you, the reader.
Without further ado, I present my assessment of the Bon’s most prominent meals.
Let us begin with a tried and true classic inside the Bon and out: pasta. Pasta is simple to cook and simple in flavor, making it a delightfully customizable staple. To eat a good bowl of pasta is to experience primal, deeply-ingrained pleasure for minimal effort. So how did the Bon fare with the task of fulfilling this pleasure? When I filled my plate with farfalle, I was struck by the veritable sogginess. Upon trying it, I confirmed that it was beyond tender, and that the sauce was runny and otherwise unremarkable. As a pasta fanatic, I was a bit disappointed but was able to finish the dish and even go back for seconds. I give it 5/10.
Chili Verde Tacos
Every so often, the Bon advertises what they call the “Eat Local Challenge.” In this challenge, one of the main courses they serve consists exclusively of food from nearby farms. For the most recent “Eat Local Challenge,” they served locally-sourced chili verde tacos.
The flavors of the tacos were simple, with tofu and beans complemented by a subtle tomatillo sauce. Seasoning was minimal, which I found unproblematic and perhaps even preferable, as it allowed me to enjoy the fresh flavors of the ingredients unimpeded. I was particularly impressed with the corn tortillas, whose tender texture and robust flavor rounded out the whole experience. This is a typical example of food made for special events being consistently better than the daily Bon food. I give the chili verde tacos 8/10.
For all the flak they give the Bon, students have been known to get inordinately excited about certain meals. One of these is quesadillas. The first thing I noticed when I acquired my quesadilla for this review was that the tortilla was translucent with grease. Delving into my first bite, the rich saltiness filled me with satisfaction and made my fat-craving American spirit soar. With every swallow, I felt a new pimple crop up. While the experience was gratifying, the unhealthy feeling will continue to deter me from joining the monstrous quesadilla line in the future. I give them 6/10.
On the topic of unhealthy foods, let us move on to one of the simplest and most classic desserts: the brownie. Thin, flaky and dark, the Bon’s brownies are remarkably unremarkable in appearance. Their flavor is also incredibly on par for brownies. More cakey than fudgy, they are easy to stomach and easy to eat in bulk. Furthermore, if you do not want to get high, but you do want to get brownies, the Bon is by far the most reliable locale on campus. I give them a 7.5/10.