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Staff Picks: Dining Hall Food We Miss The Most

The coronavirus pandemic has brought on a lot of changes to campus this semester, and the dining halls’ menus are no exception.

By streamlining dining hall buffets to keep students and employees safe amid the pandemic, Penn State reduced self-serve and a la carte options, many of which were fan-favorites. As a result, the dining halls’ menus are smaller than ever.

Now that they’re sorely tired of dining hall grub, our staffers reminisced on the food they miss the most these days.

Gabe Angieri: In A Pickle

With Redifer adding an extra buffet line to limit crowding, In A Pickle hasn’t been open so far this semester. It was my favorite food place on campus to go to when I was looking to grab a bite to eat. Besides it being just a five-minute walk from my dorm, it used to offer quality wraps and subs that the buffet line can’t match.

The fact that I can’t order my grilled chicken, lettuce, and provolone whole wheat wrap makes me extremely upset, folks. Until In A Pickle is back, I guess it’s just a mix of penne pasta, cheeseburgers, and fries at the buffet.

Matt DiSanto: Cereal

As a self-proclaimed cereal connoisseur, I was heartbroken when I heard Pollock’s self-serve cereal station would be out of commission this fall. It typically offered nearly every variety under the sun, including healthier favorites like Cracklin’ Oat Bran and Total and sweeter varieties such as Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. No matter what you were into, Pollock had it.

However, my 9 a.m. breakfast buffet trips just don’t hit the same without that Godsend of a cereal spread. “But Matt,” you say, “Can’t you just eat cereal in your room?” Well, yes. I do! I’ve got a box of Honey Bunches of Oats and Life cereal in my room. However, no dorm room could ever match the power of a dining hall cereal station. The beauty is in mixing and matching, eating as much as you’d like, and filling a bowl with chocolate milk if you wake up feeling dangerous. Without it, I feel lost.

Michael Tauriello: West Wing Paninis

The biggest loss across campus was easily the loss of the made-to-order paninis from Waring Commons’ West Wing. What can I say? I miss my patented roast beef panini order. Not only was the option taken off the menu, but the panini presses have been removed altogether, somewhat convincing me that they’ll never return again. You will be missed, my toasted sandwich friend.

Owen Abbey: Findlay Commons Chicken Wings

If you lived in East during your freshman year, you know how special Friday’s at Findlay were. That’s because it was Chicken Wing Friday, baby!

Whether you were a fan of boneless or traditional wings, there was always something to love there. My personal favorite was their traditional BBQ wings. The sauce was great, and they had a nice little kick that made it a nice meal. I would give anything to have those wings right about now.

Ryan Parsons: Redifer Omelet

Although Redifer’s new buffet system is fast, tasty, and safe, I can’t help but miss some of its other options. Although I crave the paninis and Chinese takeout very much, what hurts the most is the Redifer omelets.

Eating a Redifer omelet was more than just a delicious dining experience; it was a lifestyle and beacon of social life. From the friends you’d run into while sprinkling the omelet with hot sauce to the memories you made sitting in the commons enjoying a bustling breakfast atmosphere, I miss it all. I hope that before I graduate, I can taste the sweet, sweet bacon, salsa, and pepper goodness once more.

Frankie Marzano: Redifer Breakfast Sandwiches

Everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Sadly, many people won’t be allowed to sit down for breakfast, which forces us to take to-go options.

Redifer’s breakfast sandwiches were the best way to start your day and very convenient. Being able to wake up and make a five-minute pit stop at Redifer and head to class with a delicious egg sandwich just made my mornings better. Out of everything that was taken away, we need to bring back the breakfast sandwich station.

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