What ISU Dining has done to Clyde’s is a shame. A true shame. I have many fond memories of the grease-pot it once was. The popcorn machine, the frozen hamburgers, the battered french fries — where have they all gone? What has the world come to?
Of course the university has some silly idea about supporting healthy lifestyles. This is pure hokum. If it truly cared, it would have removed the self-serve ice cream machines from the dining halls. Or the endless soda fountains. Or the dessert bars. A basket of under-ripe bananas near the exit is not going to somehow prevent a person from snagging three double chocolate chip cookies on the way out.
Frankly, I think the university ought to stay out of the whole healthy foods movement. It would just be one more thing for it to bungle. I am personally quite fond of its current policy; i.e. the “let’s stick a few posters about the food pyramid near the doughnut bar and call it good” strategy. It’s useful that you’re required to buy a meal plan if you want to live in the dorms. Some things should be learned early.
In other news, a meal bundle apparently includes only two sides now. As if we weren’t being price gouged enough. Clearly, profit margins were not what some thought they could be. Those little bags of carrots have to be costing the university at least a nickel each; that’s a nickel more than what should be spent on the gluttonous student body. I expect that sometime in the near future a drink will count as a "side."
I wonder, too, how much longer the dining halls will be self-serve, buffet style. Of course — for all I know — they already aren’t; I myself have not visited one in quite a while. There is probably some sorry student whose duty it is to stand by the vat of pasta all day and ladle out portions of linguini.
I think the most expensive waste has to be the salad bar. I remember seeing students roll up with those giant plates and pile layer upon layer of hardboiled eggs, candied nuts and bacon bits atop sparse beds of iceberg lettuce. What a time to be alive.
I think we all know what the real crime is, though, and that’s the pathetic excuse for "toasting" that the C-Store has the impudence to suggest is adequate. I remember I used to ask for my sub sandwiches to be twice-toasted. It felt like such a patronizing request. Like I was somehow questioning the aptitude of the employee in charge of the toaster’s operation.
But, oh — justice was never to be had. It was the fault of ISU Dining that my sandwiches came out soggy more often than crisp, and for that I will never forgive them.
Those were the halcyon days of yore. When a hungry soul could wander down to the West Side Market and pack up a meal bundle consisting of one 6-inch salami sub sandwich, three bags of jalapeño kettle chips and a carton of chocolate milk. Probably enough calories to last a reasonable person 24 hours.
All in all, I think ISU Dining’s best days are probably behind. I am sure it will continue to make attempts at being trendy and whatnot, but I don’t think it’ll ever again be quite what it once was. The “greasy bar food” that Clyde’s once served has apparently gone the way of the history books — and I am truly saddened by that.
I would hope — that moving forward — the university will not get so hung up on what’s healthy and what’s not. I have no problems, of course, with presenting the student a diverse and varied set of nutritionally-balanced options. If, however, this comes at the cost of me being able to make a midnight tater-tot run, then I must say that I think there is another way.