Not quite viral: President Paxson’s online office hours

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Yesterday, The Brown Undergraduate Council of Students set up their own version of a Reddit-style AMA for President Christina Paxson. From 2:30-3:30pm they opened up a comment thread on their Facebook page and invited students to ask the president questions which she could respond to in real time.

There were 33 questions asked. Here are some things we learned:

Classes of ’16 and ’17 will not see a renovated Ratty.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 4.14.11 PMStill, the new Ratty may not feel all that new.

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Paxson will go anywhere with Margeurite.

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FlogDailyHerald: Chicken finger (no)Fri(es)day

Ah, chicken finger Friday: the long lines, the weekly arrival of honey mustard at the VDub, and, much to my chagrin, the consistent absence of fries. Why does the VDub, which seems to serve fries every other day and meal of the week, decide to forgo the crispy potatoes on chicken finger Friday, when it would be most obvious to include the oily side dish?

Chicken finger Friday is a staple of Brown dining, so much so that it caused a slight panic when cancelled, and uproar when moved, unannounced, to a different weekday. It’s marked by the noon and 1 p.m. rushes, the long line on the “ice cream machine” side of the VDub, and the forgotten, near-barren line on the “waffle maker” side.

Where's the fries?

Where are the fries??

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Calling people out on their shit: The Rackers

People generally fall into two categories after they finish their meals and leave the Ratty. There are “Sorters” and there are “Rackers.” The Sorters clear the leftover trash on their plates, separating paper waste from food waste, and place their dishes, cups, and silverware into the appropriate containers. The Rackers shove their miscellaneous plate-cup-food-trash stacks onto the tray towers adjacent to the sorting system.

During breakfast at the Ratty on Monday I sat near the sorting/racking station and kept track of who racked and who sorted. To my surprise, the split was dead even. As I sorted my own plates, I left the Ratty disappointed that half of Brown students were too lazy to take six seconds to make the jobs of the men and women at Dining Services a little easier.

When I brought up this phenomenon to a friend who happened to be a Racker, he defended himself: If sorting really made life that much easier for kitchen staff, why do they even have racks out in the first place? So after my next meal I went into lazy investigative journalism mode and asked the same question the first conveniently available BDS employee I saw, Arlindo.

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(Campus)Lifehacker: Orange creamsicle floats at the Ratty

For those who feel a little sick after their 100th consecutive delicious waffle cake for desert when dining at the Ratty, try a delightful, refreshing alternative: the Ratty orange creamsicle float. Here’s how you make it:

1. Grab a glass. Grumble to yourself about how ridiculously small the Ratty cups are compared to the V-Dub’s normal-sized ones.

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2. Go to the soda machine that dispenses Fanta, located to the back left of the Ratty. Fill it up halfway.

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3. Get some vanilla soft serve, located in the Bistro section. Grumble to yourself how the ice cream is so inconveniently located from the Fanta machine, and how walking/exercise is the worst.

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4. Put the vanilla ice cream in the orange soda. Grab a spoon, stir it up, and enjoy!

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Ratty-floorplan

Avec Meal Plan: The Ratty

Ratty floorplan

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.


Bistro/Chef’s Corner:

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.

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Chow Down Brown: Chicken Roundup

Because of the sheer amount of forgetfulness laziness investigative journalism that has gone into this piece, getting this post up on Blog has been a semester-long process. But it’s finally here: a comprehensive study of the Ratty and Vdub’s grilled chicken selection. At times Canadian, once in a while European, and sometimes Southern, Brown Dining Services has provided us with an extensive and culturally-inclusive poultry menu. We look into what makes Italian Marinated so Italian, what distinguishes Sante Fe from the Caribbean Jerk, and examine the dressing of Cajun Style (punny).

Keep reading, because as a member of the Brown community, you should know about the various flavors that contribute to our campus’ daily chicken menu. We’re kind of kidding, and yet we do believe the sheer number of nationalities of the Ratty/V-dub chicken deserves recognition. Snapshots, profiles, and reviews follow…

Grilled Rotisserie

A little plain?

A little plain?

We have to begin somewhere, so it’s probably best to start simple. Grilled Rotisserie is your basic Ratty chicken: as far as we know, it boasts no dressing or ‘spices’ but is literally just grilled—on the rotisserie, of course. Inoffensive, this is your primary chicken style that all our other chicken is the same as works off of. Definitely a crowd pleaser, but also not going to be causing a traffic jam line at the Ratty.

Montreal Grilled

Mmm, Canadian.

We were skeptical as to whether or not Montreal Grilled Chicken is actually a thing, but lo and behold the spice-masters at McCormick have confirmed its legitimacy with a popular seasoning that includes garlic, salt, onion, black pepper, parsley, red pepper, orange peel, paprika, and green bell peppers. Moreover, our friends at Wikipedia claim that the Montreal deli Schwartz’s first created the seasoning in the 1940s and 1950s when broiler man named Morris “The Shadow” Sherman began adding their signature smoked meat pickling spices to his own rib and liver steaks.  Due to its popularity, it eventually became a norm in Montreal delis and steakhouses. And somewhere along the way, we suppose, the seasoning found its way… to the Vdub. Still, let’s put history aside and recognize that Montreal Grilled is empirically a funny thing to see on a menu.

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