Opinions On Campus Dining Options. Which ones are worth it?

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Opinions On Campus Dining Options. Which ones are worth it?

Written By Amara Phillips, Copy Editor

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The Lawrence Hall dining hall is a Point Park staple for those who have been here since freshman year. The dining hall offers a plethora of food choices, yet their food options are seemingly restrictive. Those who suffer with food allergies have limited options at the dining hall as they do not offer much to those with restrictive diets. They also offer little vegetarian options. I have been a vegetarian for 8 years and eating out is something that I have become accustomed to, but the dining hall has made it very difficult. They seem to almost always be out of cheese pizza and due to my extremely busy schedule I can only get to the dining hall a couple hours before they close, which leaves me with one food choice, rice. The only rice available at that time is the rice that is left over at the bottom of the rice cooker. I am becoming tired of eating hard rice when I stop in.

The dining hall does not offer many options of sauce for your rice and the General Tso’s sauce is way too spicy for my taste, so I usually just end up eating a bowl of plain rice. I am a soy sauce connoisseur and it is upsetting that there is no soy sauce to add to my rice. The salad bar at the dining hall is pretty nice, except for the occasional mislabeling of the dressing bottles. I had a salad bar mishap awhile back when I topped off my salad with some ranch dressing, but soon came to the realization that the dressing on my salad was indeed not ranch dressing. I hate blue cheese dressing with my entire being and unfortunately the dressing hiding in the supposed ranch bottle was blue cheese. That is an incident I would never like to repeat.

The dining hall always has a parfait bar with yogurt, granola, shredded coconut and dried cranberries. I personally love these options and they are great for a quick breakfast during the morning. The drink options at the dining hall are not my favorite; I feel like every time I go to fill my glass with lemonade it is always out, and I end up with lemon flavored water. The to go coffee cups that they offer are unconventional as they are small and not ideal for sleep deprived students like myself. I know there is always the option of Point Perk, but sometimes I am not in the mood for Starbucks.

The dining hall also has an ice cream bar which is really nice. The desserts are usually good as well, and my personal favorite is the lemon meringue pie. They also offer to go boxes if you don’t have time to sit down and eat. The dining hall does offer some decent food, but it is never my go-to choice. One major downfall happens to be inconvenient hours of operation. Taking 18 credits is not ideal, and many of my classes are back to back so the dining hall is not an option for me on most days.

My go to choice is usually Point Cafe, but they are pricey. I would describe their food options as typical gas station food choices. They have a lot of packaged foods such as wraps, parfaits, sushi, Pop-Tarts, granola bars, etc. They have a salad bar, which is one of my favorites, and they have a menu full of hot food such as burgers, fries, mozzarella sticks, etc. They offer a garden burger which I love because of my vegetarian diet. I would much rather take a veggie burger from Point Cafe compared to hard rice and cheese pizza from the dining hall. The veggie burger is definitely more filling. The Point Cafe is also open from 7am to 12am every day except Fridays so this is a great dining option for a late-night snack on campus.

Point Perk is another on campus option for food. Point Perk is a cute coffee house located in Village Park. If you are a Dunkin coffee stan, I am not sure how much you’ll enjoy the Starbucks coffee that is served at Point Cafe. All of the dining options accept flex dollars, which is really convenient if you do not currently have any money in your bank account. Point Cafe offers a ton of non-Starbucks drink options such as Bubbly, Kombucha, etc. and some prepackaged food such as sushi. They offer a lot of pastries such as muffins, scones, danishes and they also offer bagels. This is a nice stop for your early mornings when you have a morning class and need a pick me up to keep you caffeinated and awake for a while.

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