Ben Affleck Blue Room

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Brown Dining Services edition

Ben Affleck Blue Room

You’re just getting back in the full swing of things here at Brown, yet your usual dining routine seems a bit off. Case in point: You go to the Ratty and see a fried crispy ringlet. You think to yourself, Must be an onion ring, right? You attempt to confirm by reading the description on the glass barricade, but it just simply cannot be: the description reads “Calamari.” The Ratty has… real food? Though I’m sure you’ve been craving Ratty food all summer, you couldn’t have imagined the glory and satisfaction that awaited you during your first meal back at Brown. This example is just a mere taste of all of the changes already in effect around campus. Brown Dining Services has made some inspired—if not revolutionary—changes to its food offerings. A run-down of these culinary ch-ch-ch-ch-changes:

Ratty and V-Dub: The Ratty and V-Dub now have a rotating 13-week cycle with several new gastronomical options. You probably have already had a chance to experience some of them. In addition to providing these new options, BDS has developed nutrition facts for all of the food it will be serving and will make this information available in both dining halls. Word on the street is that it’s also developing an app so students can quickly access nutritional information on the go. We’ll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, be sure to check out the menus on the Brown Dining Services website.
Continue Reading


Frosh-cessities: Dining Calculus

As a freshman, the meal plans at Brown can be confusing. Like, really confusing. In the words of wisdom from my senior friend: “Get the Flex460 plan. I could explain it, but I won’t. Just do it.” Though I feel like I have come a long way since my pre-frosh days—I finally know how to stumble back to my dorm on Wednesday nights make it to my classes on time—I, for the life of me, cannot comprehend the multivariable calculus that is the meal plan system.

When I’m coming home in the wee hours of the morning (1 a.m.) and am looking for some pizza from the Gate, I can hardly tell the difference between left and right, let alone credit and points. After starving from studying all day in the Rock, how are you supposed to make a calculated decision about the best meal option? Screw it—say what comes to mind first, and hope for the best.

Once you overcome the first obstacle (or come to terms with never understanding the system), you will realize that you are just embarking on a journey full of choices. What type of food do you really want? You can go to the Ratty, V-Dub (can someone please confirm it’s going to start opening on weekends?!), the Gate, Jo’s, and many others. The possibilities truly are endless (like the lines in the Ratty). Be wary though, each location has different hours of operation and payment methods. Word of advice to fellow frosh: Check out the Brown Dining Services website, Brown Menu, or our sidebar (on left) for details. They’re a godsend.

But for those of you who are too lazy too busy to click on that extra link, fret not, for­­ I have compiled a list of my go to quick and easy ways to most effectively use your meal credits around campus: Continue Reading


Amuse-Bouche: Blount Clam Shack

It’s not often that dining forays off College Hill actually deepen my appreciation for the stuff available to us through good ol’ BuDS, but a recent jaunt did the near impossible. I wanted so badly for Blount Clam Shack, the quintessentially New England outpost of fried seafood and 1950s kitsch, to be great. Unfortunately, these expectations proved lofty. Blount’s not awful; it’s just not worth it.

You may recognize the name: Blount is, after all, the supplier of those soups they serve at Jo’s and The Gate. Each year the locally owned franchise goes through some 800,000 pounds of clams, harvested fresh from New England waters, which make for an abundance of hush puppy-esque clam cakes, old-school fried clam rolls and whole belly clam platters. In addition to creamy New England clam chowder and its red Manhattan counterpart, Blount makes a Rhode Island specialty called the clam bake, which tastes like a beachfront cookout poured into a giant stewpot: potatoes, corn, chorizo and clams in a clear, salty broth. Don’t be mistaken; there’s other seafood, too — haddock here and there, scallops and a guest appearance from the lobster roll. They’ve even got a burger section, which is incredibly bewildering since 1) you’re at a clam shack and 2) you’re across the street from Rick’s Roadhouse.

Continue Reading


We’ve been told

In response to our and others’ criticisms of Brown Menu last fall, the site’s owners have implemented a complete revamp. It now looks sleeker and, more importantly, lets you to sign up to receive text and/or email notifications when BuDS is serving your favorite items. Just register for the site and start favorite-ing menu options by clicking the mouse-over heart icon that appears next to each item. The site also now has a tight favicon.

With God as my witness, I will never again miss another Gnocchi alla Sorentina dinner. In this blogger’s eyes, BrownMenu.com has officially moved up from FlogDailyHerald to (Campus)Lifehacker status.


Mini canapé bar at the Ratty

Is the Ratty rolling out the big guns tonight in response to today’s presidential announcement? (Or is the opposite true?!) This all seems a little too coincidental.

In case you don’t know what canapés are.


Brown.edu/food gets a makeover!

minimalistyetbeautifulWhen was the last time you took a gander at the Brown Dining Services webpage? Most likely it was early freshman year when some kind-hearted upperclassman revealed to you that your 3 meal per-day plan was far inferior to Flex 460… it sounded like something halfway between Trimspa and P90X, so naturally you referred to the website to make sure it was real. If you remember the site, it resembled a cross between a GeoCities page and one of those random science-for-kids websites you would visit in grade school. Fortunately, BuDS has given itself an extreme makeover (web edition), which has improved both its aesthetics and functionality. Three reasons why the new site is better after the jump.

Continue Reading