Posts tagged Food

Food! Food! Food!

The tumblr queue is filling up with questions about food. So I figured it was high time for a big post about food at Bennington. 

First, we have one meal plan and if you live on campus you’re on it. You get 3 meals a day except on Saturday and Sunday when you get two - brunch and dinner. 

Those meals are on a use it or lose it system. You won’t run out of meals and you can’t stockpile them. You can use that meal plan at one of two places. 

The two options are: The dining hall and the student center

The dining hall, often lovingly referred to as the dhall, is your classic buffet style college dining hall. There is a rotating menu of hot food as well as salad bar, yogurt bar, sandwich fixings, several panini presses, and several woks where you can make your own creation. There are also things like oils and spices too - don’t fret! the essentials are all there. 

The dhall is only open during meal times. (Meal times are at reasonable times)

The other option is the student center (or studz). The student center is a short order kitchen with grill type food - salads, hamburgers, sandwiches etc.  In addition to that there is a convenience section with things like eggs, yogurt, nuts, candy bars, bottled drinks etc. which you can also purchase. 

The student center gives you a certain amount of money towards lunch and dinner. (it’s not open for breakfast or brunch). The amount is somewhere in the neighborhood of $7.50 for lunch and $9.50 for dinner. You can only use your meal plan money during the meal hours which are the same reasonable ones as the dhall. The student center is also open before and after those hours if you need to grab a snack or whatever but you have to use your own $$$. 

The food is…it depends on who you ask. Most say its fine, the dhall has its ups and its downs.

I’m mostly content. Around the 10th week of term I get a little bored with the choices, but then again due to being a dietary complex individual* I can only eat in the dining hall. And even then my choices are limited. 

But you can always cook your own food - both in the dhall but also in the kitchens in the houses. 

Fridays are usually themed dinners

We have a cool napkin note board where diners can leave comments or suggestions or encouragement and the dhall will respond. 

The dhall does offer vegan and vegetarian options and does a decent job with gluten-free and dairy-free*

-Glennis

*Your author is a Celiac, so very very strict GF - if you want to learn more about eating GF at Bennington email glennish@bennington.edu

If you are just gluten-free or gluten-intolerant you’re going to be fine. Celiac is a bit harder, but I’ve made it work. 

I am a marinara sauce connoisseur, what is the marinara sauce situation like at Bennington? — Asked by Anonymous

 not 2 b saucy but…

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it’s alright.

/Ben ‘14

what are the dining hours at bennington like? — Asked by Anonymous

Hmmm… what are they like… if I had to compare them to something, I’d choose a brand new Sharpie, a damp but very cute Australian Shepherd, or a suuuuuuuuper long but pretty interesting podcast on a car ride when you have to pee.

Anyway, weekdays:
breakfast is served 7-10 (hot fud 7:30-9)
lunch is 11:30-1:30
dinner 5:30-7 (fridays have FuN-aS-hEcK tHeMeD dinners!)

Weekend:
brunch a la 11-12 (continental served 8-1)
dinner 5:30-7

B WELL EET WELL,

Chlo ‘16

sooo how's the food? sorry i have to ask xD — Asked by Anonymous

I’ve been looking at food in every one of my classes right now (Italian, The Social Life of Crude Oil, and Web as an Artistic Platform), so I’ll continue that momentum and tell you about eating here. 

Today was Meatless Monday, the first one we’ve had here, and I was pretty excited. I’m vegetarian, but I also think it’s awesome to reduce meat waste for one day and excellently prepare just vegetarian food. That being said, the vegetarian options are always solid. Sometimes the veggies are a bit soft (the nature of them sitting in heat).

You can get a sense of the week’s offerings by going here.

Also, Sam in the office also wrote a post about food at Bennington, which you can read here.

I like the food, but as with any dining hall, each person prefers some days over others. Hope this helps! Come visit and eat lunch with us!

-Kate D. ‘14

I have asked a couple times on here but have not gotten an answer yet. I practice a raw vegan lifestyle. How available would fresh fruits and veg be available (hows the salad bar/are their fresh juices?/is there fruit always available?) and how successful would my lifestyle be at a place like Bennington? — Asked by Anonymous

Sorry that you haven’t gotten an answer for this yet, but here it is! I am not raw vegan but have been vegan here and am now predominantly vegan. Fresh fruit and veggies are always available- there is a fully-stocked salad bar. During breakfast, melon, honeydew, and grapefruit are the main fruits (and my favorite). For the rest of the day, there are bananas, apples, and oranges that you can either eat in the dining hall or take with you.

I have had a meeting with dining services, and there are possibilities outside of the meal plan if they really cannot accommodate your diet. You can make it work, though. There is also a major food group, the Bennington Sustainable Food Project, that works on the student garden and does awesome work with food for the school. 

If you want to talk more about food or dining options with me, feel free to shoot me an email: kated@bennington.edu. I can also put you in contact with dining services so you can chat with them about food possibilities, too. 

Hope this helps!

-Kate D. ‘14

What are the meal plans offered. I see that meals can only be eaten during certain times of the day, but there's nothing about actual meal plans. — Asked by uvcube

There’s actually only one meal “plan” covered under the College’s room and board, but this isn’t to say there aren’t options. Each student has three meals a day during the week, and two during the weekends. There are two dining options: the Dining Hall (D-Hall) and the Student Center (studez).

The D-Hall is a buffet style option with different hot meals at each meal and constant salad, sandwich, cereal, yogurt/fruit, and ice cream bars. The Dining Hall also has a ~shiny, new~ grill station to make your own paninis, stir fries, etc. (I have a friend who made apple crisp en D-Hall!) The Student Center is grill and grocery style, with burgers, sandwiches, and salads made to order, as well as drinks, snacks, and quick meals for those in transit. In addition to these options, cooking at home is totally possible! All student houses have full kitchens to combine ingredients from local grocery stores, farms, and the on-campus facilities. Each student finds their own food groove, and their own favorites.

Check out our online menu for more!

Warning: Stock photos ahead, including this gem - 

~Book Sandwich~

xo Sam ‘16

I'm visiting in a week and I have two questions: How do I find the class I will be sitting in on? and the college I am currently at food is run by aramark, should I expect the food to be similar in quality? — Asked by Anonymous

If you haven’t already set up a visit, set up a visit here or call Admissions ((802)440-4312) and talk to one of our lovely visit coordinators. If you already have a planned visit but have not signed up for a class I would still call a visit coordinator! There are a lot of classes you can sit in on in a variety of disciplines and the teachers usually enjoy having prospective students. 

I’ve never had food at another school run by Aramark but I will answer this question as honestly as possible. There are two places you can eat on campus: the Dining Hall (D-Hall) and the Student Center (Studes). There are many great things like wok stations, really nice ice cream, FRESH FRUIT, wrap and sandwich station, soups (I am a soup fanatic) and some really nice entrees. That being said there are usually only 3 or 4 “entrees” to eat, and if you don’t like them (sometimes I don’t) then it’s time to make a stir-fry or sandwich (which are really yummy but take time to make). What’s good about the d-hall is there are several options for vegetarians (which I am) or vegans (like friends of mine) or meat-loving carnivores (like other friends of mine). My sister (who is lactose-intolerant and gluten-free) really enjoyed the food. This is the first year of Aramark so the food is still “in transition”. The food is definitely better than my friend’s colleges but that’s just in my opinion. The Student Center has regular diner food and a convenience store-like market. The fries are delicious. After this long rambling explanation the best thing I would suggest is waiting for your visit and seeing for yourself. 

Arden J. ‘16

Friday Dinner

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This past Friday, I organized an event to raise money for my Social Practices in Art course. Each student has to raise $20, so we can have spending money for projects later in the term. 

I requested that each person invited bring one vegetable and a $5 dollar donation. With the vegetables that arrived, I made six dishes and brown rice. I cooked the following: roasted cauliflower and squash, sauteed mushrooms, tamari stir-fried asparagus, sautéed kale and onion, sautéed kale with onion and carrots, and grilled broccoli and zucchini with garlic.

Overall, there was a great turnout and, surprisingly, all the food turned out well.

-Kate D. ‘14

Response to the person who asked about food: Carlos isn't kidding. The food is amazing. I had lunch with a student when I toured Bennington, and I'm a pretty picky eater, but my plate was overflowing and everything was DELICIOUS. — Asked by Anonymous

Yep. Carlos hit the nail on the head. 

My own two cents: I have some dietary constraints and the dining hall is fantastic about getting me the food I need and it is all good. 

-Glennis 

Can students students take food out of the dining hall? And what about refilling travel mugs, etc? — Asked by Anonymous

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A couple things —

You’ll probably get a good slap on the wrist for taking hot food out of the dining hall BUT you are allowed to leave the dining hall with ice cream, cookies, and/or fruit. 

You can refill/get coffee in a number of places around campus: the bookstore (bring your own mug and it’s free!), the admissions office (always free), the library, the student center, and the dining hall. 

…and there may be some other secret spots around campus where you can get caffeinated. 

~~Doug ‘16~~

Me and Alan’s private office pizza party. Ramuntos famous garlic knot crust with spinach, feta and caramelized onions. We might have been a bit territorial. 

Liam

Well it’s goodbye American with a baker’s dozen chocolate babka rolls. Thanks for putting up with my food filled posts for the month of June! In a couple of hours I’ll be boarding a plane bound for Quito, Ecuador and later in July settling into my apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina for my semester abroad. Hope you all have a great rest of the summer and a lovely fall. ¡Hasta luego!
-Selina ‘15

Well it’s goodbye American with a baker’s dozen chocolate babka rolls. Thanks for putting up with my food filled posts for the month of June! In a couple of hours I’ll be boarding a plane bound for Quito, Ecuador and later in July settling into my apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina for my semester abroad. Hope you all have a great rest of the summer and a lovely fall. ¡Hasta luego!

-Selina ‘15

Selina and I made dinner by color last night. We made a scramble with green peppers, celery, spinach and avocado. We also added goat cheese that Selina made and green grapes to top it off. Note the Chaco sandals - our favorite thing about summer. We periodically compare tan lines. Summer is finally here!
-Glennis and Selina

Selina and I made dinner by color last night. We made a scramble with green peppers, celery, spinach and avocado. We also added goat cheese that Selina made and green grapes to top it off. Note the Chaco sandals - our favorite thing about summer. We periodically compare tan lines. Summer is finally here!

-Glennis and Selina

Kicking off summer with some homemade sandwich bread. 
-Selina ‘15

Kicking off summer with some homemade sandwich bread. 

-Selina ‘15

Last week it was banana bread; yesterday chocolate bark. Whatever it takes to get through finals!

-Selina ‘15