Hunger is a powerful factor, probably one of our most basic instincts. I know when I forget to eat, my concentration starts to break and I snap at anyone who comes near me. In the immortal words of Snickers, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” So, what options are there to get something to eat as we go about our days and nights on campus?
The obvious solution to any student’s hunger is stopping by a dining hall and with three halls to choose from, there’s plenty of options for a tasty meal. Even though the dining service is looking very different from years past, they’re still offering the favorites that returning students have grown to love. The debate is still ongoing as to which one is the absolute best dining hall. Alternating the spot you go to can help freshen up your palate if you’ve grown tired of the same menu from any one location. Besides, if you live on campus, you probably paid for a meal plan, so might as well use it as much as you can, right?
The alternative to dining halls is the various cafes around campus. Though a few are closed for the semester and have been merged into the Cafe Central in the Whittemore Center, both the Wildcatessen and Philbrook Cafe are open for take-out orders if you order through Grubhub. This is especially good if you are hungry after the dining halls have closed. During late night study sessions, it is important to be able to grab something warm to eat when you can’t make that final push.
Durham is home to a variety of restaurants and eateries. Though we lost a few favorites over the summer such as Young’s, other restaurants have moved in as well, such as Ciao Italia, which promises authentic Italian food. The Works is great for all day breakfast and has great mac and cheese dishes as well. Mei Wei is there for all your Chinese, Japanese and Thai food needs. Hop & Grind is another campus favorite as well. There’s quite a few other hidden gems around town.
But what options are there for the tired or lazy? Well, the great news is there are still plenty of options for food without leaving your dorm or begging a friend to grab you something on their way home.
The fundamental aspect of food delivery nowadays is the phone app. Takeout Guys is a delivery service made specifically for the New Hampshire and southern Maine seacoast. Durham deliveries are open between 11 am and 10 pm. Then you have the most well-known apps; DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats, which don’t have set hours of operation. It is recommended to check out all of the apps at least once, as not all restaurants are listed on all of them. These apps have the added bonus of being able to order from a select few restaurants in Dover. For the delivery address, I have only ever used my dorm’s name. If there is a problem with accessing your building, the drivers will usually contact you if you have provided your phone number.
A select few restaurants have their own delivery cars, but most of the time you will be ordering off of the apps above. I personally ordered Dominos so many times last year that the staff were able to recognize me based entirely off of my order. I just really like their chicken.
Make a meal in your dorm!
Even while community kitchens are closed on campus, you can still make something tasty within the safety of your dorm. I started trying mug recipes last semester and it has been one of the greatest decisions I’ve made regarding my eating habits. Most of the mug recipes I’ve been able to find online have been desserts, so cakes and brownies, but there are still plenty of actual dishes as well. The one I’ve made the most is easily a pizza in a mug. You can find mug recipes on many websites, including Food Network’s recipe section, but my personal favorite place to get them is Bigger Bolder Baking, as there are recipes for specific diets, such as keto.
Even better, once you learn how to make one dish, you can keep experimenting with it. So, if it wasn’t to your tastes the first time around, adjusting the amounts of ingredients can completely rework a dish. There are still problems with mug recipes, such as getting the timing exact to your microwave (no one wants a soupy cake, after all) or worrying about the smell bothering your roommate who simply did not consent to the smell of heated onions permeating the room but on the whole, the benefits of having a freshly made mug of food outweigh the cons.