I remember my first day at college, holding back tears as I said goodbye to mom and dad, meeting all these new and interesting people, and trying out the dorm cafeteria where I would be eating the majority of my meals for the next year. It was called “City Eats”, but we would soon learn to call it something slightly less appealing… something that rhymes with city…
On orientation day they barbequed us chicken, probably because there were still parents around. Mine still had a few feathers on it. Mmmm.
Now, that was over a decade ago, and I’m sure my alma mater is doing much better now! But I have a feeling it may not compare to UC Davis.
I toured the Cuarto dining commons on campus today, and was surprised to find myself actually wishing I was back in college!
When you walk in you’re greeted by trays holding assembled meals along with a list of the ingredients, so vegans can see exactly what they can eat, and meat eaters can see what’s on the menu for them.
This is just one of the reasons that UC Davis boasts one of the top ranked college menus across the country. Out of the 52 schools on the list, which was compiled by TheDailyMeal.com, Davis comes in 18th.
Between bites of the delicious looking lamb and fruit pizza, Andy Burtis, executive chef, told me he’d worked for the dining program at Davis for 12 years.
”I’ve seen it transition from sort of park and serve food to freshly-made state of the art stuff that’s very cutting edge, something you’d find at a restaurant,” he said.
It’s true too, I had to Google basa fish, after seeing that it was featured on the menu.
Another cool element – the students can taste the foods, and then send them back for tweaking if they want something spicier, or saltier. This also cuts down waste because they don’t take something they’re just going to throw out later.
Then there’s the theme nights – Harry Potter’s birthday party, and even a taste from the Seven Wonders of the World.
And to think… we used to get SO excited about decorate your own cookies night at City Eats.