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The Pros and Cons of Every UConn Dining Hall

Anyone living on the UConn campus has bitched and moaned about the dining hall experience at some point. We can call it a love-hate relationship; and while everyone has their own favorite, each hall has its own unique set of pros and cons, and The Black Sheep is here to lay them all out on the table.

 Whitney

Pros:
If you like eating healthy and knowing that your food is from a local, organic source, Whitney is for you. Their salad bar features grains that most people have never even heard of and will apparently make your shit so clean it can be used to grow a kale garden. 

Cons:
We are human beings, not rabbits. For those who like steak and chicken tenders over quinoa-crusted protein clusters, AKA most people, Whitney is not for you. This is America, where the only natural thing at the dinner table should be the silent but deadly fart you let out after loosening your belt. 

North 

Pros:
North can boast UConn’s best selection of cereal. All the essentials, from Cinnamon Toast Crunch to Frosted Flakes are covered. Even some more obscure goodies like Cookie Crisp manage to make the list. Of course, North’s real redeeming quality is Stir Fry Friday, the one day a week they decide to serve something other than chicken-flavored laxatives.

Cons:
North’s food is terrible. It really is that simple. Usually you find yourself having to choose between cold, shriveled hot dogs or limp-dick pasta in a diarrhea sauce. The North dorms are primarily occupied by freshmen, and they come into the dining hall doing freshman things. That includes but is not limited to: taking selfies, refusing to leave for several hours, and traveling in packs to get ice cream.

 Northwest

Pros:
Northwest is the dining hall that never sleeps. From the butt-crack of dawn breakfast to that guilty fourth meal at 10 p.m., Northwest has all your bases covered. While the food options generally range from barely edible to surprisingly good, the grill station’s wraps and paninis get it right almost every time.  

Cons:
Oftentimes, Northwest is simply too full. This lends itself to a number of problems. The lines sometimes stretch out to near the front entrance, and they often can’t make food fast enough for the ravenous patrons inside. You will at some point be right behind the person who grabs the last chicken parm cutlet and wonder why God hates you.

McMahon

Pros:
Every basic UConn girl’s favorite location, McMahon features shiny marble finishes and otherwise bougie décor. The food itself might just taste the best out of them all, seasoned well and with a clear emphasis on aesthetic value.

Cons:
McMahon’s flaw is the flaw of many upscale dining establishments. The food is good, but the portions are ridiculously small. Since every portion is on a separate plate or bowl, you’ll often end up carrying five or six and looking like you have a serious problem with controlling yourself around tiny pieces of sausage.

South

Pros:
Pound for pound, South might be the best in all the land. Its superior selection includes everything that a dining hall should have and a little bit extra, like a vanilla-flavored cream dispenser for your coffee.

Cons:
The first thing that sticks out is the trays. Why the hell is using a tray in South socially acceptable, but using one anywhere else an instant invitation for ridicule? More importantly, the place closes down between lunch and dinner. You read that right; South is not fat-ass friendly, and forces people to eat when society tells them to. Fascists.

Towers

Pros:
The actual name of Towers dining hall is Gelfenblen Commons, and that’s pretty awesome. Towers’ signature is their pizza, which is inexplicably (and significantly) better than the pizza anywhere else. Also, if you’re Jewish, Towers is kosher central.

Cons:
Towers might be the most stripped-down dining hall of them all. All you get is the bare essentials, which is probably enough for college kids mindlessly shoveling unlimited free food in their mouths. Their big feature is the “pasta bar” where you watch someone drizzle sauce over your spaghetti in a cult-like ritual for absolutely no reason. 

Buckley

Pros:
Buckley is one of the smaller dining halls in the area, and it’s a nice change of pace from gargantuan mess halls like Northwest or South. They also often play music in there for a little bit of extra dining hall charm. 

Cons:
The place looks fucking ugly; it looks basically like a high school cafeteria with its long table and bench seating. Mostly, though, Buckley’s biggest flaw is being so close to South dining hall, which is always worth the extra hike. Also, it may kill you.

Putnam  

Pros:
Putnam rocks a pretty solid collection of fruit, going way beyond the basket of bananas that most dining halls offer. They also have a quesadilla bar with all the fixins, captained by a poor, delusional man who thinks he’s a chef because he put a hat on.

Cons:
This place is in the middle of nowhere. If you don’t live in Garrigus or Hilltop, going to Putnam feels like you’re a hunter-gatherer in Ethiopia traversing the jungle for a bite to eat. The place is solid, if unspectacular — just enough to keep the people close by shrugging their shoulders and stuffing their faces.

 It can often be tricky to find the perfect dining hall for you at UConn. But with eight different options on campus, there’s something out there for everybody – whether that something be kosher gefilte fish or laxative chicken. 

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