Unofficial Orientation Series: Eating and Drinking at Wes

*This post is an updated version of the Eating and Drinking installment of last year’s Orientation Series*

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Eating and drinking is a necessity for all living beings, even during your hazy college days. While we all have to adjust our food standards from delicious home-cooked meals to university food, trust me, it could be worse. Wesleyan has many options for dining that you can enjoy regardless of your dietary orientation. Wesleyan was chosen the most vegan-friendly small US school by PETA, and our friends at the Mongolian Grill are always willing to cook-up a chicken tortilla topped with cheese if it’s protein that you want.

This is a part of the Unofficial Orientation Series 2013 to remind you to eat your veggies.

Usdan Marketplace

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Home to the ‘main’ dining hall, the Usdan University Center (whose pronunciation always baffles anybody—correctly pronounced yooz-dan and not ooze-dan or uss-dan or uzz-dan) is where you’ll pick up your packages, send your mail, stumble to for food at midnight (see below), and hang out. The largest of the three Usdan eateries is the Usdan Marketplace, occupying the entire second floor. Here you’ll find what you’d expect in a conventional cafeteria—a rotating menu ‘Classics’ section, pizza, pasta, deli, fried food, grilled food, assorted cereals, a salad bar, a vegan section, a Kosher section, a celiac-friendly section, bread and bagels, Panini grills, a Mongolian grill (stir-fry station during lunch, rotating quesadillas, fajitas, Philly cheese-steaks, breakfast sandwiches during dinner), ice cream, and a fair variety of drinks. Breakfast includes breakfast sandwiches, the bagel station, a waffle station, and assorted cereals; brunch on the weekends includes two omelet stations, but the line fills up quick so get there early. You pay by meal or by points, and it’s an all you can eat buffet.

Price: One meal swipe or 8 points (breakfast, lunch) or 9 points (dinner, brunch).
Hours: Weekdays: Breakfast (8-10:30am), Lunch (11am-2pm), Dinner (5-8pm). Weekends: Brunch (11am-2pm), Dinner (5-8pm).

Summerfields

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The other main dining hall is located in the heart of the Butterfields (Butts), on the first floor south end of Butt CSummerfields is a little different from the Marketplace: there’s a specific and generally non-rotating menu; you order what you want, pay, and then pick it up. The menu includes all kinds of grilled and fried food (burgers, chicken tenders, fries, etc.), some awesome grilled sandwiches, enormous salads, legendary quesadillas, and has been picking up a taqueria theme—new burritos, tacos and much more. A meal swipe will get you a drink and almost anything on the menu (plus a dessert if you eat dinner). At peak times (12-1pm for lunch and 6-7pm for dinner) Summerfields will be super slow, but at other times most items are pretty quick. There’s a rumor that Summies might be changing its Taqueria menu this year, but we’ll see what will come of it.

Price: Meal or varies (meal-equivalent for 8 points at lunch and 9 points at dinner).
Hours: Lunch (Monday through Friday, 11am-2pm), Dinner (every day, 5:30-9pm).

Late Night

Late Night is a great place to go if you need some fuel to work on that paper or problem set due the next morning, or if you’re hungry after a great night out. Located in Usdan Marketplace between 9:30 pm and 1 am, Late Night functions much like Summerfields, but only for points. Pretty much anything fried or grilled is available, as well as some assorted desserts and drinks. There’s a rotating, super-cheap, specials menu—keep an eye out for that if you’re low on points. Late Night is notorious for evaporating points really quickly; be careful but don’t miss out!

Price: Points only, varies.
Hours: Every day, 9:30pm-1am.

Star & Crescent

Located at Alpha Delta Phi, the Star & Crescent offers amazing food for lunch and dinner on most weekdays. The weekly S&C menu (which is always 8 points per person) is posted on this blog every Monday. Each meal includes a salad, entrée, and a dessert. You can either eat with your friends / the friendly Alpha Delts or get take out if you’re in a hurry. FROSH TIP: the first three freshmen through the door eat for free—you’ll usually need to arrive 20 or 30 minutes early and sometimes you’ll get bested even then (especially for the grilled cheese and tomato bisque days).

Price: 8 points or free if you’re lucky.
Hours: Lunch (Tue, Wed, Thu noon-1pm), Dinner (Mon – Thu 5-7:30pm). Sometimes suddenly closed.

Chique Chaque

I’ve never heard of this place, nor eaten there. But the previous writer of this post seems to know more than me:
The Star & Crescent of Psi U, except all-you-can-eat buffet style and only Psi U brothers and pledges eat there (though it’s open to everybody). This particular blogger has no clue what the hours are; prices are similar to S&C, probably.

WesWings

No need for me to waste my breath, this explains it all: “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.” – Zach Schonfeld ’13

Price: Points only, varies.
Hours: Every day, Lunch (11:30am-2pm), Dinner (5:30-8pm).

Red & Black Café

Also owned and run by Ed ThorndikeR&B offers awesome sandwiches, paninos, soups, and a whole lot more. The Café is located inside Broad Street Books, so you might try it out while getting all those books you’ll need (if you haven’t already bought them for cheap elsewhere, which we suggest you do). R&B is often a nice change of pace if you’re getting tired of Usdan and Summerfields food, though it can be a bit pricey. The grilled tomato panino is a personal favorite.

Price: Points only, varies.
Hours: Weekdays: 8am-8pm, Weekend: 9am-5pm. Sometimes randomly closed.

Pi Café:

Your one-stop-shop for anything coffee- or pastry-related. Pi Café is located on the first floor of the Exley Science Tower, and is a popular place for breakfast and lunch (never try it ten minutes before or after morning classes begin). Pi offers a variety of inventive coffee- and chocolate-related drinks, as well as bagels, pastries, sandwiches, and sushi if you get there quickly. Pi is fairly cheap (~3 points for a bagel and a hot chocolate) and a good place if you’re looking for midmorning or afternoon snack. Pi closes fairly early, though during Reading Period before exams it’s sometimes open from 9pm-midnight. If you buy one Chai Charger every day, you’ll run out of points pretty quickly, so time your coffee addiction with your lunch and dinner (free to-go cups in Usdan and Summies) to save some money.

Price: Points only, varies.
Hours: Mon – Thu: 8am-9pm, Fri: 8am-5pm, Weekends: 1-6pm.

Usdan Café

Another fairly quick, fairly cheap place to grab a sandwich, sushi, coffee, or a drink. Usdan Café is located on the first floor of Usdan. Like the Marketplace upstairs, the line is a mile long between 11:55am and 12:20pm. Usdan Café does not always have the best food, but the sushi is a great time-saver if you want to grab a quick bite before going to class.

Price: points only, varies.
Hours: Every day, 8am-8pm.

Espwesso Café:

Pronounced as if a baby was saying ‘espresso,’ Espwesso Café is entirely student-run. Espwesso runs late at night on week-nights (Sunday through Thursday) and offers free drip coffee, subsidized by still-absurdly-cheap fancier drinks. Espwesso charges $0.25 for a cup, so if you want to pay nothing, bring your own reusable one. Espwesso’s atmosphere in the basement of Albritton also makes it a nice place to just relax and have a cup of coffee with a friend, to work on your papers, or get together for group projects.

Price: Points and Middletown Cash, cheap or free.
Hours: Sun – Thu, 9pm-1am.

Weshop Essentials

All-important for juniors and seniors. Still fairly critical for freshmen and sophomores (especially those who live in WestCo, which is connected to Weshop, and spend way too many points here). Weshop(pronounced Wes-Shop or bastardized to weh-shop, never wee-shop) is Wesleyan’s own mini-supermarket. You can get all sorts of packaged foods, milk, juices, meats, cooking supplies and utensils, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, candy, and a whole lot of other stuff. You can also get fresh food, including fresh fruits, veggies, and cheeses if you don’t sign up for the Fruit and Veggie Co-op or the Cheese Co-op. Prices tend to be way higher than at regular super-markets, but you spend your points. If you have a kitchen in your building, you might try your hand at cooking with some stuff from Weshop. Since last year, Weshop started to accept meal swipes for a sandwich or salad, bag of chips, an apple, and cookies. It’s also a good option if you’re short on time and want to grab a bite before or after class.

Price: Points only, varies; meal swipes 11am-2pm.
Hours: Sun – Thu, noon-midnight, Fri – Sat, 2-6pm.

Daniel Family Commons

The third and final food location in Usdan. The DFC is located on the third floor and is used by faculty and staff. The food is usually identical to the stuff in the Marketplace, but tastes better for some reason (I suspect the use of fancier plates/flatware). Students can only use the DFC if invited as the guest of a professor or administrator. There is, however, a lunch voucher program that allows a professor to get lunch with up to three students for free at the DFC. Each professor has at least one of these vouchers, and more are readily available at the office of Dean Mike Whaley.

Price: points only (8), or free.
Hours: Weekdays, 11:30am-1:30pm.

Farmers’ Market:

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According to a former Wesleying blogger, Syed: The Wesleyan Farmers’ Market describes itself as “a student-run initiative committed to supporting local agriculture, providing fresh, affordable, nutritious food, and building community in Connecticut.”  Local vendors sell fresh produce, cheese, baked goods, sandwiches, spreads, spices, and more.  Bon Appétit also usually serves a meal at the market that can be paid for using your WesCard.  Be sure to bring cash though, since the real world doesn’t accept points.  The market takes place outside of Usdan every other Wednesday when it’s warm outside, but relocates to Beckham Hall if there’s inclement weather.

Price:  For goods from vendors: varies.  For Bon Appétit meal: same as a Usdan Marketplace meal.
Hours: Every other Wednesday, 11:00am-2:00pm.

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  • nom

    Don’t forget about the option to text in your order to Summies and then pick it up!

  • unfortunately

    Unless they changed their pricing for this next year, star and crescent is more than 8 points..I’m pretty sure it’s 12, at least for dinner. AWESOME food though, NOM