*Please keep in mind this is supposed to be satirical and in no way bashes the dining hall system at the University of Michigan or at any other university.
When I came to Freshman Orientation in mid July, I spent two nights in the dorms. My fellow incoming freshman and I would spend our days learning about all of the academic resources to help us throughout the next four years, and three times a day, we would spend about an hour in what we call the dining hall.
There are five dining halls on the University of Michigan campus and fortunately for orientation we were in the dorm with one of the nicer dining halls on campus. When I sat down for lunch on the first day of orientation I was obsessed. I thought the food was amazing. They had this cheesy bread that closely resembled pizza from the best pizza place in my hometown. There was also a soda machine with cherry pepsi - my favorite - that I could get anytime I wanted, including for breakfast. And if that wasn’t enough there was a soft serve machine with cake cones and rainbow sprinkles. Ice cream and cereal for breakfast here I come!
After lunch I called my mom to tell her about my first meal in the dining hall. I was so excited. If having good food available to me 14 hours a day wasn’t enough, eating in the dining hall instead of spending all my money eating out as I had done at home meant that I had all of this disposable income to spend on clothes and shoes and what not.
Upon actually moving into the dorms and eating in the dining hall consecutively for more than three days, my obsession with the dining hall began to fade.
I came to the realization that I cannot eat pizza for every meal if I wanted to fit into the clothes I packed my tiny closet full of here. I also realized that salads from the salad bar are not up to par like the salads at home with fresh lettuce my mom would get at the farmer’s market every week. Don’t even get me started on the bread, no bread will ever slightly compare to Boudin sourdough bread. Period.
Luckily for me though, Ann Arbor is a huge food town. So although I was not eating in the dining hall, ever, I was still being fed well, just on my own budget instead of the universities.
So I figure why not share my alternative to the dining hall, for those of you who are curious how I am surviving here.
This is by far the most crowded restaurant on Parent’s Weekend. While a lot of people favor coming here for dinner and their mac and cheese, this is my favorite place to come for brunch. My friend Lauren and I come every Friday - since neither of us have classes on Fridays. The chicken and waffles here are a 10/10.
One of the most famous restaurants in town is this deli called Zingermans. What started out as a small deli opening in 1982 has now turned into a chain of ten businesses including a bakery, roadhouse, and many more restaurants. My favorite in the chain is called the roadhouse. I have probably been here ten times in the year and a half period that I have been visiting Ann Arbor, and I kid you not, every time I go I have gotten the same things, and those ten times I have been to this restaurant have been the ten best meals I have eaten in my entire life.
So please, do yourself a favor and get yourself some fried chicken mac and cheese instead of eating in the dining hall once, you will not regret it.
My go to restaurant for dinner is a recently new discovery of mine, thanks to my awesome lineage. My big, being a sophomore, and trying to figure out if she is going abroad next year has taken a recent interest in going to Spain. So we figured why not go out to Spanish food - tapas.
This restaurant serves food family style so whenever I go we just order a bunch of appetizers and share them all. I have never liked brussel sprouts in my life, but will eat them here. They also have patatas bravas which are french fries with sauce and eggs on top that will make you never desire anything else to eat ever again.
If you had all these good options walking distance from you would you go to the dining hall?