Extra, extra: Meal plan is a scam. (If meal plan is a part of your financial aid package, please read until the end.)
Here’s the meal plan situation by the numbers:
When examining these numbers, take into consideration that millennials spend an average of $237 dollars on groceries per month, which comes to about $2.67 per meal (assuming three meals a day). If you’re still not shocked, take into account that these numbers assume that you have no points or credits left at the end of the semester (which, I’ve never personally witnessed), and that you never spend a penny eating out.
Here’s the deal. If you think the Ratty sucks, you’re just high maintenance. No, it’s not three catered meals given to you on a silver tray by Wolfgang Puck, but if you thought it would be, that’s on you. It’s a college dining hall, and when a single kitchen has to serve three square meals a day in a (theoretically) unlimited quantity to thousands of hungry students, I think it deserves to be cut some slack.
The Ratty is not delicious, but that is as much your fault as the Ratty’s. You clearly just aren’t aware of the options available to you. You are making your Ratty experience sucky when it could be distinctly just alright.
The lunch rush happens around 11:50am and lasts till around 12:45pm since, you know, that’s lunch time. Hate lines? Guess what? Not the Ratty’s fault. Eat a nice breakfast and you’ll be able to hold out until 1. Eat an early lunch and you’ll just have a nice afternoon pre-dinner snack. If you can spend time in the Ratty, you have time to make a perfectly tasty and respectable meal.
These are perhaps the two busiest lines of any eatery on Brown’s campus during the lunch rush, but it also serves the main food options, which can be satisfying or mediocre depending on the day. The Bistro station serves breakfast items through the afternoon, and then it switches to hot entrees and sides. Breakfast for lunch is always a good look, and one frequently unconsidered past noon. You are not better than 1p.m. french toast, and don’t you forget it. Chef’s Corner usually serves alternative entrees, but if Bistro is serving something popular (i.e. chicken fingers), then Chef’s Corner will serve it as well. In any case, checking out both sides is usually a good idea.
Apricot noodles with beef is weird, but damn, snaps for bravery.
I am off meal plan, which means I go to grocery stores not for the novelty of avocados, but for the necessity of buying edible things to consume so I don’t disappear. There is only one grocery store that does not make this experience unbearable, and that is Trader Joe’s. But before I wax poetic on the glory that is Trader Joe’s, I have a few things to say to its walking distance competitors.
Really, Whole Foods? It’s gonna be like that? Whole Foods is the girl next door. In terms of proximity, it’s doing all the right things. I look at it and see things I know I want. Like chocolate covered espresso beans. I look over and see things I totally could see myself wanting. Like goji berries. I have never seen a goji berry in my daily life, which puts them on the same plain of existence as blue raspberries and unicorns.
My favorite totally real fruit
But damn. Goji. What a fun name for a berry I want inside of me. Unfortunately, I cannot spend $12 on a bag of magic berries which, all told, contains two hundred calories. In my fight to stay alive, I cannot spend $120 on two-thousand calories.
Nuts! Those can sustain me. Just kidding. Almonds are also $12. I recently saw a paper bag from Whole Foods that said ‘collards are the new kale’. What does that even mean, Whole Foods?! Collard greens have been around forever. The Ratty has them on soul food night. That’s how not-new they are. Guess what, Whole Foods. I’m going to do three laps around your free sample circuit and call it a meal.
Another year brings the return of Soul Food night to the Ratty. Organized by the Black Heritage Series and Third World Center, its goal is to”celebrate African-American culture through food.” Essentially, it is an edible version of Soul Train, and it’s available to you for one meal credit.
For those of you who were with us on meal plan last year, you may recall a night in spring semester when the Ratty was filled with fantastic fried chicken and mashed potatoes galore. To everybody else, we think that the promise of fried chicken speaks for itself. Rest assured that the Ratty is going to be packed tonight. The food is served from 4:30 – 7:30, but we suggest getting there early to avoid the 6:30 rush. The decision to go is a simple one: Do you like soul? Do you like food? Of course you do.
Did we mention that the food is really, really good? See you tonight for the first special Ratty dinner of the year!
As Americans, we are convinced that the best things in life are free. MasterCard believes everything but four to five select items are priceless. Jenny from the Block has informed us that her “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” And just by being a U.S. citizen, you, too, can have several enumerated rights at your disposal. Unfortunately, Hallmark, Zales and almost every American restaurant (yes, even White Castle) have crafted their first quarter marketing campaigns to suggest otherwise.
Forget true love, a successful Valentine’s Day is contingent on one thing: your wallet. For the broke college student, however, this poses a problem. Despite all our cleverness and ‘potential,’ our bank accounts have little…or nothing…or overdraft notices to show for it. Luckily, we do have one critical advantage over the average adult: Bear Bucks, points and meal credits. Our principles for impromptu, edible Valentine’s Day gifts on Meal Plan after the jump.
Tao — “the way.” The notion’s metaphysical vastness is alarming. “The way” to what? Taoism, an Eastern belief system, would contend that it is “the way” to best interact with and understand nature in order to lead a happy life. But college students consider “the way” pretty often, too. “The way” to get “the right” level of intoxicated. “The way” to check BlogDailyHerald in a 10-person seminar. “The way” to get a
high-paying good job after senior year. Someone’s probably even pondered “the way” to avoid yielding to cars at Brown and Waterman. There is one question, however, that almost every Brown student contemplates at some point in his/her undergraduate education: what is “the way” to best utilize the meal plan? Everybody has his/her own answer to this all important question, but BlogDailyHerald will offer some insight on the pros and cons of meal plan taos after the jump.