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NYU Dining Hall & Dining with Tim McNerny

My friend Tim recently invided me to dine at the Palladium, one of the many dining halls at NYU. Next semester we plan on buying meal plans, and reviewing the food at different dining halls. It is pretty inexpensive if you get a meal plan ($8 w/o a meal plan), which comes out to be $5 for all-you-can-eat buffet and drinks are free if they are not bottled. That's how much the cheapest salad costs in New York during lunch. Even Trader Joe has pricey salad.

low cost
balanced meals (vegetable, meat, bread, milk/cheese)
variety (entree, main course, dessert, breakfast for dinner like IHOP)
flexible hours
sustainable practices (no paper plates, plastic cups nor utensils used)
you don't have to worry about doing the dishes

friends that don't eat dorm food are the majority
younger crowd (so if you're a grad student, you might feel uncomfortable)
not open past 11 pm

We had three rounds of food. The first two were good for me. If you dine at the Palladium, eat the grilled meats (which are not over seasoned), and if you have salad, I do NOT recommend the balsamic vinegar (it too is overseasoned). I do recommend the vinegar and oil and firm tofu. Leafy greens are fresh, and they constantly stock the salad bar. Tim (who is below) had what he thought was chocolate mousse, but then after taking a bite, realized it was chocolate cake. HA!

First Round:

Tim had some cereal and salad. What an interesting combo! Well, at least it matches in that they are both marketed as healthy (Frosted Mini Wheats and salad). I believe that was a French Vanilla flavored coffee and blueberry pastery.

Tim had to wait for me to get off work to have dinner, so that's why he looks ecstatic.

Let's see, in my salad, there's lots of broccoli and tofu (Tim and I are going on a broccoli diet for a week next year). I will mention this about the broccoli, it was perfectly cooked, barely blanched, moist and green on the outside and crunchy when you take a bite out of it. Tim agrees. That red gloop looks gross, but it's jello and fruit. I was really excited about the strawberry shortcake and I believe I had the French Vanilla flavored coffee as well.

I, too, was starving, but was craving for salad. I finished everything except for the cake, which I left on the table for the second round.

Second Round:

Tim is such a dessert fiend. Let's see, that looks like a cinnamon roll, a chocolate chip cookie, a slice of carrot cake, and an (I don't know what that is). On the other plate, grilled chicken breast, two slices of cheese and onion rings. We loved the onion rings, lightly battered, while remaining crispy.

At this point, we were still hungry, so Tim sports a cute smile.

I could not get enough of the tofu and beets obviously. I remembered, about five years ago, I just bought a new set of pots and pans. I started boiling some beets, and then fell asleep, until I heard a thump. I ran over to the kitchen and a beet exploded, and hit the lid. There were four scars on my pot. Anyway, that's why I appreciate beets. Also, on the same plate, french fries. I just found the olives, and I will tell you, they are not canned. They were really good.

In this photo, to the right, is the cake I left behind. When you go for the second round, you can't use the same tray or plates. You have to put your tray on a conveyer belt, and take a new tray out. I'm sure that's for hygiene purposes.

Third Round:

Tim felt guilty about eating all those desserts. He decided to go healthy again, so salad for dessert and dessert for dessert. I think this is regular coffee. He wasn't really thrilled about the flavored coffee. I, on the other hand, like it, because it's not too sweet.

At this point, he was getting full, and it was his last plate. We were talking about stashing the cake for later, but we didn't have Ziploc bags.

You might be wondering how I can eat. Well, I was really hungry because I just had orange juice and a Red Eye for the day. I really wanted to try the beef stew and mashed potatoes. They were really good. The beef stew over rice tastes like something you get out of a Chinese restaurant. They used red potatoes and left some skin on (really good). Stay away from the baked chicken. Luckily, I just got one wing. I'm having 2 cherry tomatoes (lycopene and antioxidants). I started eating tomatoes again, when I noticed that the prices for vitamins went up, just because they contain "lycopene." On that smaller plate, I have more tofu and beets.

Okay, this is a pretty inaccurate photo. I'm not really full or bloated, but we thought it would be a funny photo. To the right, was still that cake. I was glad that I had left it on the table still because they didn't have anymore of that cake.

Tim and I are going to start a dining hall group next year, which is just around the corner.


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