A Taste of North Campus
Being a South Halls resident all of my short college career, North Halls seem like a far off land full of mystery and legend. The reality of it is I’ve walked past the sacred grounds numerous occasions while on a journey home from the Far East. Even more troubling to me: how can these students live without the divine entity I like to call Simmons Dining Hall? As a side note, I’d appreciate it if everyone stopped coming to Simmons exactly when I have lunch and dinner – but I digress. This evening I decided to study the habitat of the “Girls (and guys) from the North Country” and dine at North Commons.
Here was my first mistake. Being a rookie, it never dawned on our small group of foreigners that the dining hall may not be open after 7:00pm on Monday night. We were forced to head to the Bluespoon Deli – a great accident. Upon arriving, I was bombarded with beverage machines, numerous restaurants, and a convenience store stocked to completion. Southies – think Redifer crammed into a third of the space. Needless to say, there’s quite a plethora of options to choose from. By default, we went with the Mojo Grill, seeing as it was the only one open. I must say that the Mediterranean-esque menu of World Beat has me fascinated enough to make a second trip for lunch.
My cheeseburger was prepared right in front of me, totally customizable. I couldn’t have been happier. This is a grill that knows how to impress. Likewise, the grilled chicken and Philly cheese steaks (I’m from Pittsburgh and thus, no expert in the field) looked very well done, too. The service was fast and friendly – although I did miss Brenda of Simmons’ lunch fame. My only skepticism arises in the ability to move a large number of people during the lunch rush. Beware a visit on a short time schedule – it may end in agony.
The only other complaint I had (as a North rookie) was I had an impossibly hard time figuring out the drink protocol (there are no refills) and where the cash register was (hidden behind a wall of convenience items). Other than this, it was a consumer-friendly experience.
The meal itself was great. As much as my heart lies in South, it does not lie in the Veggie burgers. Sometimes beef is non-negotiable, and this was the perfect way to get my fix. Once everyone gives up on their New Years’ resolutions, this would be a great choice if you’re in the neighborhood.
The decor was also great. From the tacky hanging beads to the pictures of jazz giants plastered all over the walls, it made for a unique experience that made me pull out a few old records once I got home. They even have a massive television for those of you who can’t wait to see NCAA Men’s basketball’s next big match up. The inability to get a table (dinner at Redifer, anyone?) is also non-existent – another huge plus.
To cap off the night, I discovered that the convenience store sells chipwiches – the greatest of all frozen desserts. This was the perfect way to end my North experience.
Although I did not get to experience most of North Commons, I feel this is for the best. I enjoyed my first time overall and can’t wait to further explore the hidden treasures it has to offer. I’d recommend this fine eatery to anyone in the neighborhood looking to mix up their daily routine, especially for lunch. It is slightly more expensive than similar dining options though, so try and budget it in before you’re out of meal points this semester.
North Commons, I salute you.
(The most ironic and unappealing marketing campaign yet.)