Bite of the Palouse: The Dining Halls Strike Back

As the days of summer flitter away the dining halls have kept quality a priority



I went up and got seconds after this delicious meal.

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

If you have been following this series you may have caught that we have already reviewed the dining halls. But as the school year is approaching and the number of orientation groups on campus continues to skyrocket, I figured it would be a great time to revisit them.

After all, most underclassmen will find themselves in the comforting luminescent glow of Southside, Hillside or Northside dining for most of their meals this upcoming school year.

I was among them just a little bit ago, with four years of dining on-campus under my belt. Over those long years, I have found there are some foods you need to avoid and food you need to get seconds of immediately. Overall, I had generally set the dining halls as an average experience depending on what you were getting.

But they have stepped up their game recently.

This summer I have shared meals with the orientation groups and there has not been a single meal I have disliked. From the bulgogi bowls, chicken or pork cutlets or the easy to-go meals like burgers and chicken strips, it has all been enjoyable. Even the deli sandwiches have been a go-to on a hot summer day.

Even beyond the quality of food, the dining halls offer enough choices you should find something you like.

People like to complain about the dining halls for offering similar meals throughout the week, but the amount of choices is something that is taken for granted. Catering to many diets, allergies and tastes, they still manage to put out a quality product almost every time.

Of course, there are days that what is being served is not for me but the same thing goes for a restaurant.

If you are going to the dining halls this upcoming year make sure to look for their special celebration days. Usually matching a holiday or highlighting a specific region, the food they serve those days is not only a break from the usual fare but also usually the best food they serve.

Korean short ribs, jambalaya and Thanksgiving dinner are just some examples of these special days. You can trust that all of them are going to be delicious, though my favorite tends to be the ones from Hillside dining. 

While the actual taste of the food rises and falls like someone’s grades right before finals, the price consistently is affordable. If you are using RDA you get an amazing 40% discount off whatever the listed price is, which means you get more bang for your buck!

The dining halls’ prices are usually pretty reasonable as is, getting a meal will never break the bank but on the level two plan,  I was able to eat comfortably without worrying about having to refill my RDA.

If for whatever reason you are running out of RDA at the beginning of the year or just do not want to spend your real money, the dining hall will have affordable options that still fill you up. Miscellaneous fruit, oatmeal and chicken strips all together are less than $10 and should be enough to quell anyone’s hunger.

Each dining hall offers something unique that you should try. Northside has one of the better pizza stations,Hillside’s chef’s creation section is always good, and Southside has a natural section that always tastes fresh and is highly customizable.

If you are living on campus this upcoming year and have signed up for an RDA plan, I urge you to take it advantage of it. The dining halls have some delicious options and for the most part you should be able to find something that suits you, make sure to try out all three and find your favorite.

As school is starting, get your appetites ready for the dining halls!