Obviously, academics are important when choosing which college to attend. School atmosphere, culture, and location are significant, as well. But if you are what you eat, then you’re gonna be the college’s dining hall food. As I write this from Carmichael Dining Hall (universally referred to as “Carm”), the dining halls are an integral part of my college experience. I socialize, study, and eat in the dining halls for an average of (by my own estimate) five hours per day.
Tufts dining is very good. There are options for everyone, from gluten-free to vegetarian, from vegan to full-on carnivore. But, what is the very best food that the dining halls (Dewick of downhill, and Carm of uphill) have to offer? Or, at least, what are my favorites? I’m no food critic, and my palate isn’t exactly refined, but I know what I like in the dining halls.
On the breakfast side, I find Carm to be superior to Dewick, although they offer the same food, on a whole. Carm gets the edge because they periodically put cheese in the eggs--an obvious winner. I prefer the scrambled eggs to the fried eggs. I find the bacon to be particularly good, and I don’t love the sausage days. Carm’s shredded hashbrowns are probably my favorite breakfast side. The tater tots (which are listed as “potato puffs”) are likewise incredible. For both dining halls, though, my favorite choice is the sweet potato pancakes. They don’t show up too often, but when they do, it’s an underrated treat.
For lunch, it’s no secret that the Carm salad bar is superior to Dewick’s. They always have fresh baby spinach and cherry tomatoes, which is basically all I need to be satisfied. That’s usually my go-to for lunch, so I’m not exactly the authority on dining hall lunches, as I usually go for a more boring option. Often, when there are fish options (such as the tortilla-crusted tilapia), I find them pretty tasty.
For dinner, there are plenty of great Dewick nights. For entrees, I’m a big fan of the steak in Dewick, however it’s prepared. Those are exciting evenings. I’m also a big fan of the “vegan chicken cutlet,” whatever that’s made out of (nobody knows). I love the jalapeno chicken sausage and tomato basil chicken sausage when they’re available. The vegetable options are also excellent; my favorites are the broccoli and the fresh spinach. I love the sweet potatoes (mashed or baked). Breaded zucchini sticks are always a hit, as well as the general gao’s chicken. The local fish options have also been great recently, which has been a nice surprise.
The desserts in Dewick are all pretty good, but two stand above the rest. “Ultimate chocolate cheesecake,” a chocolate-and-cream-cheese square, is truly excellent, and one that I always look forward to. The carrot cake is my other favorite, complete with cream cheese frosting (pictured above in all of its amateur-photography glory). These are always worth checking the menu for.
The dining halls at Tufts are truly outstanding. When/if you visit, definitely come grab some lunch at Carm or Dewick--there’s a good chance you’ll see me there.