Wesleyan Unofficial Orientation Series: Campus Dining

Back in Wesleying’s infancy, one of the first posts was Holly and Xue’s Guide to Eating and Drinking Things at Wesleyan. Then Usdan opened and the whole thing was rendered completely inaccurate…until last summer, anyway. (View the original update here.) In light of wholesale changes to Summerfields and a few minor changes, we’ve again updated the guide for the upcoming year. So without further ado, Wesleying presents the 2009 Guide to Eating and Drinking Things at Wesleyan, made with 10 percent more love than the leading brand.

USDAN MARKETPLACE
Part of our pretty new campus center, the Marketplace has assumed the coveted title of “main campus eatery” from Mocon. It has your basic cafeteria staples—a rotating entrée station (“Classics”), grill, pizza, cereal, a salad bar, ice cream, a self-serve deli thing—as well as the Mongolian Grill (basically a stir-fry station—you choose your veggies and meat), a Belgian waffle station that’s always rendered inoperable when people like me forget to spray, a vegan section, and a Kosher section (formerly its own eatery, the Kosher Kitchen, which was located in the Butt A basement).

There’s also a rotating lunchtime burrito bar/big salad/”Brunch at Lunch” station next to the grill that turns into a pasta station at dinner. Plus, there is soft-serve ice cream on one side and yogurt on the other (both sides alternate between vanilla and chocolate); there is also a freezer with six flavors of hard ice cream, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles. The Marketplace is also the home of late night, which is the only dining option open past 9:00 (other than WeShop) but does not take meals. In all, it’s a pretty good deal, though if history is any indication, it’s going to turn into the freshman preserve that Mocon was with a handful of sophomores using up their 105 mandatory meals thrown in.

For those wondering: Bon Appétit established to-go in the Marketplace in spring ’08—though for lunch only. For an additional 50-cent charge, you can get a to-go container (including a disposable cup) from the cashier; you have 10 minutes to fill it up but can take as much as you want. The WSA Dining Committee had also talked about expanding the Eco To-Go program (which began at Summerfields) to the Marketplace this year (Jen, any word on whether this is happening?).

WEEKDAY HOURS (M-F):
Breakfast 8:00 AM-10:30 AM; full lunch 11:00 AM-2:00 PM; limited-service lunch 2:00 PM-3:00 PM; dinner 5:00 PM-8:00 PM.
WEEKEND HOURS (Sat.-Sun.): Brunch 11:00 AM-2:00 PM; dinner 5:00 PM-8:00 PM.
LATE NIGHT HOURS: 10:00 PM-1:30 AM, 7 nights a week.

SUMMERFIELDS
Arguably the best thing about living in the Butts, Summerfields is located in Butt C and was completely renovated in fall 2003. Unlike the Marketplace, Summerfields is more of a restaurant than a cafeteria—it uses a fixed menu, and while items are ordered a la carte, it has several meal combos.

Summerfields served as the home of late night from its reopening in January ’04 (taking over from Davenport) until 2007, when it moved to the Marketplace. Summerfields is the only eatery on campus other than Usdan that takes meals, and it also does take-out (for both lunch and dinner); it’s also the home of the Eco To-Go program.

HOURS: M-F 11:00 AM-2:00 PM, 5:00 PM-8:00 PM; Sat.-Sun. 5:00 PM-8:00 PM.

WESHOP
It’s like an on-campus 7-11, only several times more expensive and open half as long. WeShop is located between WestCo 1 and 2 and actually has a pretty nice selection for a campus mini-mart. Just don’t be one of the jerks that views stealing candy as a way of sticking it to the man. All it does is force the honest among us to pay $6.75 a pound.

HOURS:
Sun.-Thurs. noon-midnight; Fri.-Sat. 2:00 PM-6:00 PM.

USDAN CAFÉ
A living lesson that attempting to combine three separate floors of dining into a roughly 3’ x 10’ space isn’t the best idea. After constantly shuffling around its offerings, Bon Appétit seems to have settled on a menu of hot and frozen drinks, snacks (namely chips and granola bars), and various sandwiches, puddings, and parfaits in a cooler. It’s not much—especially to those of us who fondly remember Davenport—but it’s the only dining option open continuously during the day all week long and is helpful in a pinch.

HOURS: 8:00 AM-8:00 PM, 7 days a week.

PI CAFÉ
What began as a lunchtime sandwich cart outside SciLi has turned into a lifeline for science majors. Pi has a somewhat smaller sandwich selection than the Usdan Café but compensates with a larger variety of specialty drinks and baked goods. It’s a great spot to stop and get breakfast before class—especially if your first class is in Exley—but if you’re in a rush for lunch between classes, Usdan is probably the better bet (Pi is so small that it isn’t terribly conducive to traffic flow). Still, with the closing of Davenport, Pi is the only dining option in the Exley/PAC/Olin lawn area and is pretty good for a makeshift eatery in the corner of the science center lobby.

HOURS:
Mon.-Thurs. 8:00 AM-9:00 PM; Fri. 8:00 AM-5:00 PM; Sat.-Sun. 1:00 PM-6:00 PM.

WESWINGS
Established in 1991 and located in the basement of 156 High St. (right by the intersection of Church and High), WesWings’ menu is based primarily not on wings, but on fried chicken. WesWings tends to be on the pricey side, but it’s well worth it. It’s also the only (on-campus) breakfast option on weekends other than Usdan and is a generally advisable weekend option, since Usdan dinner sucks on weekends. For those of you that live in the Butts and like to kvetch about the location, keep in mind this eatery is literally right in your backyard.

HOURS:
11:30 AM-2:00 PM, 5:30 PM-8:00 PM, 7 days a week.

RED & BLACK CAFÉ
Red & Black is run by the same folks who own WesWings (Ed Thorndike ’89 and his business partner, Karen Kaffen) and is located in Broad Street Books. Like Pi, the menu consists primarily of soups and sandwiches. It’s a bit out of the way but always helpful if you’re in the area.

HOURS:
M-F 8:00 AM-8:00 PM; Sat.-Sun. 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.

STAR & CRESCENT
Located in Alpha Delt, S&C has a rotating menu (like Summerfields) and its own chef. The food consistently receives high marks, though S&C only accepts points (but the first three freshmen through the door eat for free).

HOURS:
Mon.Tues.-Thurs. 12:00 PM-12:30 PM, Mon.-Thurs. 5:00 PM-7:30 PM.

CHIQUE CHAQUE
Here’s all I know about Chique Chaque, courtesy of Holly and Xue’s old guide: “The dining brochure lists Chique Chaque but no one eats there except Psi U brothers.” Sorry. If anyone else has more information, please send.

NEON DELI
It’s not technically campus dining (nor does it accept Middletown Cash), but the Neon Deli probably receives more traffic from Wesleyan in a school year than Wesleyan-operated dining facilities. The owners are super-nice and seem to hire primarily Wesleyan students, and the sandwiches are amazing (and they now have quesadillas!). Neon also has a small grocery section comparable to WeShop (and much cheaper), though the nearby supermarkets (see below) are obviously your best option for substantial shopping.

Neon is located at 130 Cross St., right by the intersection of Vine and Cross (in back of Fauver/across and a bit up the street from Freeman); notably, the building in which the deli resides is owned by Wesleyan (the abandoned store to the right used to be Club Liquors but closed a few years ago). The university had planned to turn the whole building into an expanded WeShop, but it seems those plans have been shelved for the time being.

HOURS:
6:00 AM-11:00 PM M-W; 6:00 AM-midnight Th-Fri.; 7:00 AM-midnight Sat.; 7:00 AM-11:00 PM Sun.

MAMOUN’S FALAFEL CART
Like Neon, it’s technically not campus dining, but the falafel cart receives as much patronage from Wes students as the on-campus locations (and probably more). In addition to its namesake, the falafel cart, which was born out of a failed Main St. restaurant, serves burgers, hot dogs, chicken wraps, and undoubtedly other menu items I’m forgetting.

There are two carts: One is located on High St. in front of Eclectic (200 High), and the other is on Pine St. just to the side of Exley. They’re only open at night–I’d guess they open around 10:00 or 11:00 and stay open until at least 2:00 or 3:00–but I’m not sure of the exact hours; if anyone can be more specific, please comment.

And for good measure, the local grocery stores:

STOP & SHOP:
416 East Main St. (take the “A” bus). Open 6:00 AM-midnight Mon.-Sat. and 7:00 AM-10:00 PM Sunday.
195 West St. (in Cromwell, in the big shopping center with K-Mart—take the “D” bus). Open 6:00 AM-midnight Mon.-Sat. and 7:00 AM-midnight Sunday.

A&P:
820 Washington St. (big shopping center—take the “C” bus). Open 7:00 AM-11:00 PM Mon.-Sat. and 7:00 AM-9:00 PM Sunday.

RITE-AID:
10 Main St. (right at the intersection of Main St. and Church St.). Open 8:00 AM-9:00 PM Mon.-Sat. and 9:00 AM-6:00 PM Sunday. (I know it’s not technically a supermarket, but Rite-Aid has a pretty decent selection of foodstuffs—especially in its new location, which just opened last October and looks to be twice the size of the old one.)

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  • anon

    Another good grocery store is It’s Only Natural on Main Street.

  • anon

    Another good grocery store is It’s Only Natural on Main Street.

  • Anonymous

    #9 what the fuck? you use buses in middletown?

  • Anonymous

    #9 what the fuck? you use buses in middletown?

  • anon

    Freshman year we tried to get usdan called uzzie, but it never really caught on. Sigh.

  • anon

    Freshman year we tried to get usdan called uzzie, but it never really caught on. Sigh.

    • Was it with a long-u, or a short-u? The latter makes no sense considering the pronunciation of the original. The former is very cloying as a word, b/c it combines the u and z sounds, thus prolonging the nasally long-u, eg, “eeeeew-zee.” Boozey-uzzie could just be the word’s salvation, however; Booze-dan sounds a little bit too formal.

  • anon

    usdan is actually family with significant ties to wesleyan, although technically yes it is dedicated to a woman

  • anon

    usdan is actually family with significant ties to wesleyan, although technically yes it is dedicated to a woman

  • Anonymous

    “Not to mention intentionally mispronouncing the name has a nice Wesleyan-esque ‘fuck the man’ quality to it.”

    Usdan, of course, is a woman.

  • Anonymous

    “Not to mention intentionally mispronouncing the name has a nice Wesleyan-esque ‘fuck the man’ quality to it.”

    Usdan, of course, is a woman.

  • Anonymous

    Technically, Chique-chaque is open to everyone. You can eat there for lunch 5 days a week or dinner mon-thurs. I think it’s like 6 or 8 points, which is a great deal because it’s unlimited food–but it’s only one meal, there’s no options. Yeah, it’s open to everyone, but to be honest it’s always a little awk unless you’re a rush, pledge, or invited by a brother.

  • Anonymous

    Technically, Chique-chaque is open to everyone. You can eat there for lunch 5 days a week or dinner mon-thurs. I think it’s like 6 or 8 points, which is a great deal because it’s unlimited food–but it’s only one meal, there’s no options. Yeah, it’s open to everyone, but to be honest it’s always a little awk unless you’re a rush, pledge, or invited by a brother.

  • falafel-lover

    there’s a menu online too.

  • falafel-lover

    there’s a menu online too.

  • Anonymous

    things i can remember the falafel cart sells:
    falafel (can come with fries or eggplant in it)
    fries (w/cheese)
    steak and cheese
    chicken and cheese
    burger (w/cheese)
    hot dog
    soda
    baklava
    bottles of their hommade hotsauce (in a ketchup bottle)

    there’s probably more i’m forgetting, but the cheese fries are made with real cheese and are not to be missed, and the hot sauce is seriously tasty, get some on your falafel if you like that sort of thing.

  • Anonymous

    things i can remember the falafel cart sells:
    falafel (can come with fries or eggplant in it)
    fries (w/cheese)
    steak and cheese
    chicken and cheese
    burger (w/cheese)
    hot dog
    soda
    baklava
    bottles of their hommade hotsauce (in a ketchup bottle)

    there’s probably more i’m forgetting, but the cheese fries are made with real cheese and are not to be missed, and the hot sauce is seriously tasty, get some on your falafel if you like that sort of thing.

  • Anonymous

    #7. Athenian is an excellent spot for late-night drunk food. I recommend the gravy fries.

  • Anonymous

    #7. Athenian is an excellent spot for late-night drunk food. I recommend the gravy fries.

  • Ben

    Pre-frosh (#7): The Athenian Diner is located on Washington St. in the same shopping center as the A&P (which also holds Staples, RadioShack, Japanica, and a laundromat…and there’s a Home Depot across the street). It’s about a mile and a half walk from Foss Hill and Clark (a little more from the other dorms)–probably too far in the winter at three in the morning. It’s open 24 hours and also does carryout. You could take the “C” bus there, but be warned the buses stop running at 6:00 Monday-Friday (and 5:45 Saturday). All the more reason to find friends with cars.

  • Ben

    #1: Agh, I always screw up S&C Monday lunch. Thanks for the tip.

    #2/#3: Good idea, especially considering I included Neon. I’ll add something later today. I’ll also try to add something on the WesWings food cart if they make more details available.

    prefrosh: It’s technically “yooz-dan,” but most–particularly those of us who were around for Mocon–insist on calling it “uz-dan,” which at least in my opinion sounds far better. Not to mention intentionally mispronouncing the name has a nice Wesleyan-esque “fuck the man” quality to it.

  • Pre-frosh

    What is the Athenian Diner and how close is it to campus?

  • Pre-frosh

    What is the Athenian Diner and how close is it to campus?

  • prefrosh

    my host pronounced it “ooz-dan” but I’ve since learned that it’s supposed to be “yooz-dan”… which is it?
    thanks

  • prefrosh

    my host pronounced it “ooz-dan” but I’ve since learned that it’s supposed to be “yooz-dan”… which is it?
    thanks

  • Anonymous

    Kosher Kitchen?

  • Anonymous

    Kosher Kitchen?

  • anon

    the two sides of usdan

  • anon

    the two sides of usdan

  • Anonymous

    Definitely mention the falafel carts! They are an integral part of eating at Wes, especially for the majority of us who are out past midnight on weekends.

    There’s the one on High across from Eclectic, and Mamoun’s on Pine by the Science Center. And you might mention the odd carts that show up sometimes on weekends to siphon off business from these two throughout the year.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely mention the falafel carts! They are an integral part of eating at Wes, especially for the majority of us who are out past midnight on weekends.

    There’s the one on High across from Eclectic, and Mamoun’s on Pine by the Science Center. And you might mention the odd carts that show up sometimes on weekends to siphon off business from these two throughout the year.

  • Anonymous

    The falafel cart(s) deserve a mention, I think. I bet we give them about as much food business as Rite Aid.

  • Anonymous

    The falafel cart(s) deserve a mention, I think. I bet we give them about as much food business as Rite Aid.

  • Anonymous

    Very good guide, for the most part. Just two things:

    You forgot Sushi in the Usdan Cafe. That’s my fav. thing there :D

    Also, unless something is changing this year (and I don’t think it is), the S&C is not open for lunch on Mondays. Sorry!

  • Anonymous

    Very good guide, for the most part. Just two things:

    You forgot Sushi in the Usdan Cafe. That’s my fav. thing there :D

    Also, unless something is changing this year (and I don’t think it is), the S&C is not open for lunch on Mondays. Sorry!