Wesleying 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 in ’07 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 2010 Guide to Eating and Drinking Things at Wesleyan, made with 10 percent more love than the leading brand. Add or correct in the comments as you see fit.

USDAN MARKETPLACE
Part of our pretty new campus center, the Marketplace (technically pronounced “YOOZ-dan,” zometimes pronounced “OOZ-dan” for the hell of it) 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 (not Wesleyan’s vegan-friendly reputation), 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  mandatory meals thrown in. (2010 note: This is an exaggeration, but freshmen definitely take up more than a quarter of Usdan diners on any given night.)

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.

WEEKDAY HOURS (M-F): Breakfast 8:00 AM-10:30 AM; full lunch 11:00 AM-2:00 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. Its breadth of options may pale compared to Usdan—especially for vegetarians, or more health-conscious types—but if you live in the Butts, you can’t beat it for convenience, especially in the winter.

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-9:00 PM; Sat.-Sun. 5:00 PM-9:00 PM.

WESHOP (or “WeShop Essentials,” according to Bon Appetit)
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 (perfect distance from Olin and SciLi for study breaks) and actually has a pretty nice selection for a campus mini-mart. Nothing says “freshman year” like late-night WeSshop runs to beat the midnight closing time. 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, not to mention small sushi packages. 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. (Note: the cafe still, as of 2010, doesn’t offer meal equivalences, but the WSA continues to keep this on its agenda every so often.)

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. Also offers computers and small study spaces, for coffeeshop-study types.

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 by Karen Kaffen and Ed Thorndike ’89 and located in the basement of 156 High St. (the former eating club of Delta Tau Delta, right by the intersection of Church and High), WesWings’ menu is based primarily not on wings but on fried chicken, and its atmosphere and menu feels more like a ski lodge eatery than a college cafeteria. WesWings tends to be on the pricey side (especially the daily specials), but it’s well worth it (again: especially the daily specials, updated on the website everyday). 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. Check out the restaurant’s site for cool old photos and WesWings history.

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, but fresher prepared and arguably with a bit more variety. It’s a bit out of the way (unless you live in Hi/Lo Rise or work for The Argus), 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.” An ’09 commenter adds the following:

Technically, Chique Chaque is open to everyone. You can eat there for lunch5 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.

NEON DELI
It’s not technically campus dining (nor does it accept points or 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. Some Neon Deli history, courtesy of The Argus.

HOURS: 6:00 AM-10:00 11:00 PM M-W; 6:00 AM-midnight Th-Fri.; 7:00 AM-midnight Sat.; 7:00 AM-10:00 11:00 PM Sun.

MAMOUN’S FALAFEL CART
Like Neon, it’s technically not campus dining, but the falafel cart (based on Mamoun’s Falafel in Manhattan—one in St. Mark’s Place, one on MacDougal Street) 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.)

  • I think Joe should’ve made it even more clear, so here I am:

    SUMMERFIELDS WILL NOW BE OFFERING MILKSHAKES!!!

    Biggest reason to choose Sums over WesWings, if I do say so.

  • I think Joe should’ve made it even more clear, so here I am:

    SUMMERFIELDS WILL NOW BE OFFERING MILKSHAKES!!!

    Biggest reason to choose Sums over WesWings, if I do say so.

  • Brandi

    The new Price Chopper is located at 855 Washington Street. Phone, store hours, and pharmacy hours are listed here: http://www.pricechopper.com/StoreLocator/Store_Detail_S.las?-token.L=232&-token.S=47ET9R99B0C1428P74e2CE14oKgN6L52F79155|15512|1008251839|||

  • Brandi

    The new Price Chopper is located at 855 Washington Street. Phone, store hours, and pharmacy hours are listed here: http://www.pricechopper.com/StoreLocator/Store_Detail_S.las?-token.L=232&-token.S=47ET9R99B0C1428P74e2CE14oKgN6L52F79155|15512|1008251839|||

  • Joe

    As Summerfields manager, I appreciate the nice things written here about what we’re doing. I’d like to point out however, that we’re open until 8:00 pm, not 9:00 as stated above.

    Stop in for a Milkshake!

  • Joe

    As Summerfields manager, I appreciate the nice things written here about what we’re doing. I’d like to point out however, that we’re open until 8:00 pm, not 9:00 as stated above.

    Stop in for a Milkshake!

  • Ben

    I could be wrong, but I believe Neon now closes at 10 rather than 11 Sunday-Wednesday (perhaps because of the shortened hours at Freeman?).

  • gro’ sto’ fo’ sho

    Does anyone know how the area grocery stores compare in terms of price? The three in the area that I know exist are Stop & Shop, Aldi, and Price Chopper.

  • gro’ sto’ fo’ sho

    Does anyone know how the area grocery stores compare in terms of price? The three in the area that I know exist are Stop & Shop, Aldi, and Price Chopper.

  • anon

    The falaffel carts are only there from wed-sat. not there on sun, mon or tues

  • anon

    The falaffel carts are only there from wed-sat. not there on sun, mon or tues

  • james tosh

    weshop candy costs 8 bucks now

  • james tosh

    weshop candy costs 8 bucks now

  • @3, those changes aren’t yet finalized by the administration.

  • @3, those changes aren’t yet finalized by the administration.

  • anon

    @2, vecchitto’s is the shit. and yes, everyone should go there immediately.

  • anon

    @2, vecchitto’s is the shit. and yes, everyone should go there immediately.

  • Anon

    Also, Public Market on main street has some good stuff, particularly if you’re in need of Italian specialty ingredients.

  • Anon

    Also, Public Market on main street has some good stuff, particularly if you’re in need of Italian specialty ingredients.

  • johnwesley

    why no love for It’s Only Natural? :/

  • johnwesley

    why no love for It’s Only Natural? :/

  • anonn

    Based on the recent Wesleying post about campus updates, Summerfields is now open until 9 and Usdan no longer has extended lunch.
    And as someone who worked there, I would like to say that the burrito station is the best lunch option at Usdan. :)

  • anonn

    Based on the recent Wesleying post about campus updates, Summerfields is now open until 9 and Usdan no longer has extended lunch.
    And as someone who worked there, I would like to say that the burrito station is the best lunch option at Usdan. :)

  • Anon

    I don’t know if everyone is familiar with Vecchitto’s, an Italian Ice place in town – they’re only open over the summer. their italian ice is AMAZING and the italian guys that run it say they are trying to open up an italian ice cart on the Wesleyan campus. everyone should go there right when the year starts (before they close) and demand that they get on that because an italian ice cart would be awesome.

  • Anon

    I don’t know if everyone is familiar with Vecchitto’s, an Italian Ice place in town – they’re only open over the summer. their italian ice is AMAZING and the italian guys that run it say they are trying to open up an italian ice cart on the Wesleyan campus. everyone should go there right when the year starts (before they close) and demand that they get on that because an italian ice cart would be awesome.

  • Jamie

    I was at Wesleyan for the summer and there is a new and cheaper grocery store! Its called Price-Chopper and it is located in the same shopping center as Home Depot, on the left side. In addition, if you sign up for their club card yada yada every grocery store has one, every time you spend $50 there, you get like 10 cents off a gallon for gas at Sunoco, or something close to that I don’t remember exactly. But a good addition for those of you who have cars!

  • Jamie

    I was at Wesleyan for the summer and there is a new and cheaper grocery store! Its called Price-Chopper and it is located in the same shopping center as Home Depot, on the left side. In addition, if you sign up for their club card yada yada every grocery store has one, every time you spend $50 there, you get like 10 cents off a gallon for gas at Sunoco, or something close to that I don’t remember exactly. But a good addition for those of you who have cars!