By Christian Bueche
We all know not all dining halls were created equal. Some are simply bigger, better, and tastier than others (*cough* SQuad). But what would happen if we were able to take the #1 attribute from each dining hall to create some sort of ultimate dining hall experience? We may never know. But here's a glimpse of what it would look like:
This is the key feature to SQuad's success. Obviously there are going to be detractors who will argue it's the taco bar. Simply put, these people are wrong. You can choose your type of meat, the vegetables you want, the sauce, and whether you'd like rice or noodles. Then the SQuad chefs work their magic. After a forkful of the deliciously seared concoction, you'll realize it's a crime you've been coming to SQuad all this time and not ordering the stir-fry.
Pro tip: Right across from the make-your-own stir-fry bar, you can find bowls that are double the size of the ones at the bar. If you're feeling courageous, grab one and hand it to the chef when you place your order. You won't regret it.
This choice is a no-brainer. North Quad is the only dining hall that serves an uber-thin crust pizza, and they're in such high demand that NQ pumps them out. For reasons unknown to experts around the globe, NQ is the only dining hall that serves pizza that doesn't qualify as a "hot circle of garbage" (-Kevin Malone). This isn't because the pizza NQ serves is rectangular, it's because it's actually quite good. Load it up with the parmesan and red pepper they have available right at the station if it tickles your fancy.
Pro tip: One slice of pizza couldn't even satisfy a small child. The same could be said about two. Take three to four plates, slide all the slices onto one, and stack the emptied plates below. You just saved yourself a trip back from your table.
Once the grandest dining hall in all the land, Mojo has taken a hit in recent years with the renovation of East Quad and, as of this year, SQuad. But, one thing at Mojo requires a spot on the Dining Hall Dream Team, and that lucky winner is the orange chicken. Choose it over Panda Express's orange chicken any day, if not only for the fact that you don't feel like garbage the instant it hits your stomach. EQ has tried to replicate the success of Mojo's orange chicken time and time again, and failed. You'll have to layer up and make the trek to the Hill if you want the best orange chicken on campus, but it's definitely worth it.
Pro tip: Do not leave the dining hall through the same set of doors you used to enter. The person swiping mcards will not fail to yell at you.
Shocked to see Bursley on the list? Hopefully that shock subsided as soon as you read the word "trays". The trays at Bursley change the game. With the ability to carry 3 or 4 plates and a drink at a time, no longer must you waste precious time traversing from station to table to station to table. Being the hands-down most clutch attribute to Bursley, it's a wonder no dining hall has caught on. Perhaps this is the main reason that people still trickle into one of the saddest dining halls on campus.
Pro tip: Borrow a tray. Come nightfall, bring it to the grassy incline connecting Bursley to Baits. You are now in possession of one of the sleekest, most powerful sledding apparatuses dining halls have to offer. Or, for the more daring, a semi-functional snowboard.
I know I'm not the first to have experienced the trauma of arriving at SQuad to see the make-your-own stir-fry station closed, or worse, replaced for the day with make-your-own ramen. And, few have gone through darker tragedies than that of entering Bursely to find that all the trays were in the process of being washed. Although EQ doesn't have a specific food/item for the Dining Hall Dream Team, it does have the invaluable quality of consistency. Whether you're a vegan, health-nut, or just plain-hungry individual, EQ will not fail to please.
Pro tip: Get there before the lunch rush. Please. It's for your own good.
So there you have it, the Dining Hall Dream Team: SQuad's make-your-own stir-fry, NQ's pizza, Mojo's orange chicken, Bursley's trays, and EQ's consistency. Feel free to cite this document when petitioning Pres. Schlissel to construct the greatest dining hall the world has ever seen.