Iron Chef WSU: Best Dining Hall

Casie Moe | Evergreen reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It is a requirement to have a Resident Dining Account, or RDA, as a first year student living in the residence halls at WSU. This opens up the option for purchasing meals and snacks from one of the three dining centers on campus: Northside, Hillside or Southside.

After the vote went out to see which the students chose as their favorite, Northside was named as the Best Dining Hall.

“Northside is really fun because it is really dynamic and we have a huge group of college kids who are like friends with each up and super chill,” Christina Alexander, a student manager at Northside said. “I think that’s my favorite part of working especially at Northside because we just have a huge mix of people from all over like most of us don’t even live on campus and we all like hanging out like a senior could be talking to a freshman and not even wonder what each other’s ages are.”

Besides coworkers being friends, the employees are offered flexible hours as more than a thousand of them are students taking classes at WSU. In addition, there is a more than 60 professional staff such as chefs that add to the working environment.

When comparing all three dining facilities, this staff adds to the cohesion of the menu, but creativeness for each location.

“One thing that we all strive in dining is to create menus and the products and the food items that we have with consistency throughout the dining halls,” general manager of Northside Eddie Aguilar said. “We have a centralized menu system where we all have the same menu so if you get lasagna at Northside, it tastes the same, it looks the same, as it does over at Southside and at Hillside. However, there is some room for creativity, for artistic license so to speak, in each unit and that is a direct result and reflection of the culinary staff that’s involved in that particular unit.”

So even as there is a Big Cat Grill, Stonewall Pizza and Natural platform which offers an allergen friendly option at each place, the staff makes it their own.

In addition, there are layout differences that make each dining experience unique.

“The thing that is unique is the seating design is different so it has a different atmosphere, feeling,” director of Dining Services Gary Coyle said.

Southside features a larger, circular and more open seating area. Hillside is smaller and a little more intimate with its home-style feel for seating. Northside is a mix of the two with options to be seen or not, depending on if you are in a group with its split space to sit and eat.

The wall designs highlight the differences in each, as Southside resembles the Palouse with drawings of rolling hills to highlight that theme and Hillside keeps with the light wood paneling to make it homier. Northside sports the crimson and gray colors which add to its winning nature by being the most like a Coug.

All dining halls are open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday with hours starting at 8:30 a.m., while Northside also has the all-you-can-eat option in The Den in the evenings from Monday to Thursday.