03 February 2015

Eating in College

Hello, everyone!

Because I'm still hanging out at home, waiting for February 18th to arrive (when I can finally go to Chile), I'm going to continue to write posts regarding specific topics relating to college. I asked my younger sister (who will be a college first-year this fall) what she, as an incoming first-year, wants to know about college. She said she wants to know more about food, and how eating stuff works, so that will be my topic this week.

Lewis & Clark's food and dining services are provided by Bon Appetit. The food is really very good, and I've had friends visit from other schools tell me how great our food it compared to theirs. LC has four main places to get food: Fields Dining Hall (known as the Bon around campus), the Trail Room, the Dovecote, and Maggie's. I'll go through each one below:

The Bon is the go-to place for meals. They generally 3-4 different options for each meal, as well as a salad bar, dessert area, cereal, and peanut butter and jelly fixings. They almost always have a vegetarian or vegan equivalent for each main dish, and there are usually gluten free options as well. It's set up as an all-you-can-eat type thing, so once you pay to get in, you can eat all you want. It's in Templeton, the student center, located between the residential and academic sides of campus.

The Trail Room is the other place people will generally go for lunch or dinner. The options are more stationary here: there's always pizza, soup, sandwiches, burgers, and a variety of sides (like fries, vegetables, and pasta). While you can pay using a meal swipe, the Trail Room is more a-la-carte than the Bon. You don't need to pay to get into the seating area, so it's also a good area to do homework in or meet with classmates or professors. It is also in Templeton, right underneath the Bon.

The Dovecote is one of two cafes on campus. I personally think they have the best coffee on campus. They mainly do drinks like coffee and tea, but you can also buy pastries, sandwiches, soups, and prepackaged things like soda and candy. There's usually a big rush between classes, but other than that it's pretty quiet and a good place to get work done. It's over on the academic side of campus.

Finally, there's Maggie's. This is also a cafe, and also kind of a convenience-store-type-thing. Besides the type of food you can get at the Dovecote, you can also buy things like milk, chips, butter, a variety of drinks, flour, and crackers. It's good if you spontaneously decide to bake something, or if you just want something to snack on. Maggie's is over on the residential side of campus.

As a student who lives on campus, you will get a meal plan (different types and prices shown here).  I had the 14-flex plan both years I lived on campus. In the Bon and in the Trail Room, you can pay for your food using a meal. You pay using your student ID, which makes it very easy. Flex points are great because they act as cash in each of the dining places. If you'd rather pay with flex points or cash, you can get a meal in the Bon for $7 (or $4 for breakfast!), or pay for whatever you want in the Trail Room, the Dovecote, or Maggie's. It's a really convenient system.

So, there are your on-campus food options. The school realizes that their dining facilities may not cover all of your food needs, though, and for that they provide a shuttle to a nearby Fred Meyer (a grocery store). I used this when I lived on campus to get the occasional snack, or to get food to cook in the dorm kitchens (each dorm has a kitchen, and a common refrigerator. You can also get a mini-fridge for your room, and a microwave). Now that I live off campus, I use it to get to school as well as to go to the grocery store. It also stops near Market of Choice, a smaller grocery store closer to campus.

Beyond all of those dining options, you can also eat downtown! Portland is known for its culinary scene, and for good reason. There are a ton of great restaurants, ranging from cheap places to go with your friends to fancier places to go on special occasions. Maybe my favorite thing about eating in Portland are the food carts downtown- they're very easy, fun, and unlike anything I'd experienced before coming to college.

I'll leave you with a series of photos documenting my food experience in college.

the Tillamook cheese factory is just about two hours away from Portland- easy to visit, and get free cheese samples!
Annabel at a restaurant in Portland!
Annabel in the Bon!
Sometimes you get to eat plants! This was on a college outdoors trip where I learned about edible plants. It was fun, I promise. 
a fancy brunch I got downtown- brunch is big here
my first year I participated in the multi-cultural fair by making hotdish with my fellow Minnesotan (and now housemate) Tess
dorm cooking! Emma and Tess baking in Tess (and Annabel)'s first year dorm (Copeland)
a menorah made by Voodoo donuts (a famous and popular donut shop) by Hillel to celebrate Chanukka during my first year 
Annabel carrying a bucket of Voodoo donuts (that we got for $8!) our first year
Please email me if you have any questions! My email is rekidder@lclark.edu.