Steve the hasher was serving our table in the college dorm dining hall.”Hey, Steve,” said one of my table mates. “You’ve got your thumb in the mashed potatoes.”
Steve said, loudly, “I’m the only guy here who will admit he masturbates.” Then he plopped the bowl on the table.
I skipped the mashed potatoes that evening.
Dining at Stanford has gone upscale, according to How Students Eat Now in Stanford Magazine.
During the past decade, Stanford has built one dining commons and renovated older ones, replacing “cook and park” steam tables with stations where items are made to order. They’ve recruited chefs with a flair for vegetarian and ethnic cuisines, as well as experts in food safety, nutrition and allergen-free cooking.
At one dining area, students can watch their meals being prepared through a glass wall, then go upstairs to browse “an expansive salad bar topped with white ceramic bowls of organic oranges.”
On the back wall, a pizza oven blazes. Whole chickens, rubbed with pungent fresh oregano, twirl slowly on the rotisserie.
The executive chef, David Iott, worked at Ritz-Carlton hotels before coming to Stanford.
There are no plastic cafeteria trays, except upon request. Instead, diners stroll around holding china plates, as they would at a hotel buffet. Hormone-free skim milk, fair-trade Starbucks coffee and Crysalli Artisan Water are on tap. A Pepsi machine is tucked away in a corner. “We have to have that,” Iott says, a bit sadly. Then he brightens as he points out roasted organic carrots and an array of miniature decorated cheesecakes.
An elite university needs high-quality food service, says Eric Montell, executive director of Stanford Dining. The magazine adds, “From New Haven to Berkeley, American universities are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into environmentally sustainable residences and dining facilities.”
I thought universities were trying to control costs so college will be financially sustainable for students and their parents. All that overpriced organic food and Artisan Water will turn into student debt.
Stanford undergrads pay $1,700 to $2,000 per quarter — up to $6,000 a year — for their miniature cheesecakes and Starbucks coffee. That doesn’t cover the full cost. Of course, most students receive financial aid to defray the cost of tuition, room and board, but fancy eats means the aid won’t go quite as far.
The greatest food in human history is the McDouble cheeseburger, writes Kyle Smith in the New York Post, quoting a Freakonomics commenter. McDonald’s McDouble is nutritious (390 calories, half a daily serving of protein) and usually sells for $1.