Dorm Foodie: Making the most of your meal plan

By Hannah Long '15 Food Columnist

We’re almost a month into the first semester and this means that the workload is starting to pick up. It’s becoming harder to get enough sleep and I’m sure that many of you are already starting to get tired of dining hall food.  I, too, miss meals home-cooked by my mom, organic fruits and vegetables from my local farmer’s market and my favorite local restaurants.  Foods from the dining hall do, however, offer an abundance of choice, especially here at the 5Cs.  This week, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite foods from across the five campuses.  I hope that this is a helpful guide for any first-years overwhelmed by all of the choices and that it may even offer inspiration for some upperclassmen that are stuck in a dining hall rut.

First, of course, is our very own Malott, where the most popular item has got to be the infamous 6PM chocolate chip cookies.  Warm, gooey and melty, these cookies disappear fast, so be sure to time your dinner so you’re ready for dessert at 6.  My other Scripps favorites are the freshly baked bread, grilled chicken, and smoothie bar at brunch.  However, I think that Malott’s fruit options – pretty much just melon, apples and bananas - can get tiring.  While other fruits may make an occasional (and celebrated) appearance, if you’re craving some truly seasonal treats I suggest checking out the Claremont Farmer’s Market.

My favorite area of Collins at CMC is the appetizer and snack table, which has a great selection of hummus, grilled vegetables, sliced meats and freshly prepared salads, perfect for a light meal.  The salad bar is also well stocked with lots of freshly sliced veggies.  If you’re looking for a delicious and substantial main course, however, I suggest heading over to Mudd’s Expo line.  Every night you’ll find an interesting made-to-order option.  My favorites are Wednesday’s Pasta Bar and the outrageously popular Muddgolian Wok on Thursday.  Dessert is also a treat at Mudd, which has a great selection of ice cream and the best soft serve at the 5Cs.

I’ll admit that I rarely eat at Frank, because it’s so far away, but Pomona’s closer dining hall Frary is a great place for brunch.  I especially love the wide selection of pancakes, with options such as banana, chocolate chip and blueberry.  Also keep an eye out for Frary’s unexpected and often one-time treats, such as delicious caramel apples.

Finally, Pitzer’s McConnell is my favorite of the dining halls.  I absolutely love the salad bar, which has the freshest veggies at the 5Cs and a great variety of toppings (including feta, nuts, beans and dried fruit).  Pitzer’s Grill is also a great choice if you’re looking for a burger, sandwich or quesadilla.  Everything is made to order and you can specify toppings such as special sauce, grilled onions or your choice of cheese.  Finally, be sure to try Pitzer’s must-have Taco Tuesday and AM in the PM on Thursdays, because who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?

I hope that these suggestions help you navigate the Claremont food scene and even encourage you to eat at a dining hall you’ve never tried before.  And as the year progresses, my biggest advice to avoid dining hall boredom is to try new items whenever you can and to experiment with interesting and creative food combinations.