Over the past summer, I have been in the awkward position of being unable to complain about dining hall food with my friends from outside the 5Cs. When you are as spoiled by food choice as we are at the Claremont Colleges, it is sometimes overwhelming to come to grips with all the dining hall options. For those new to the 5C’s, and for those who would like a bit of a refresher regarding 5C food, allow me to introduce you to a list of the “Best of the 5C Menu”and “Dining Hall Tips and Tricks.”(Disclaimer: This information is based off of my culinary explorations at Claremont over the last two years. I cannot guarantee that dining halls, or their respective meals, will remain the same).
Best of the 5C Menu
- Personal pizza at Mudd: This is arguably the best meal at the 5Cs, as the long lines will testify. Go to the Hoch for dinner on Fridays to order your own small pizza with about a dozen topping options: ham, sausage, peperoni, spinach, tomatoes, etc.
- Scripps salmon and steak night: Salmon and steak night is a wonderfully filling Saturday night dinner. Don’t limit yourself to steak; try the savory salmon mixed in a baked potato with bacon bits and sour cream.
- Pitzer sandwiches for lunch (Monday-Friday): Pitzer’s sandwich bar boasts an assortment of fresh breads, including croissants, pita bread, whole wheat, and other types of bread that can be filled with your choice of roast beef, ham, tuna, turkey, provolone, Swiss, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, bell peppers, and humus (to name a few).
- Frary Saturday brunch: Personal highlights include fresh bagels (a rarity at the 5C dining halls) accompanied by freshly squeezed orange juice, thick oatmeal with frozen peach slices, and banana pancakes. You can also choose from a variety of quality fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas.
- Jay’s Place: As HMC’s version of The Hub, Jay’s place, also known as the “Muddhole”, offers sandwiches and pizzas (among other options) at hours when all the dining halls are closed. The variety of foot-long sandwiches, each of which cost about $6 (in Flex), make the long trek up to Mudd worth it. Technically it’s not a dining hall, but it definitely deserves to be on the list.
Dining Hall Tips and Tricks:
- Innovate at Collins: Make a rich latte or mocha with hot-chocolate, coffee, whole milk, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and caramel. Enjoy a light desert of Greek yogurt, honey, and dried cranberries. Ask for chicken from the grill and make a grilled Panini sandwich with pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and melted provolone cheese.
- Root beer floats: They could accompany every meal at any dining hall. With great power…
- Frary’s Giant Soda Machine: Have some fun experimenting with a variety of soda flavors.
- Not all fruit is created equal: Collins and Pitzer fruit is generally not as good as Scripps or Frary.
- Cereal Caveat: Cereal is a staple of all the dining halls, but be warned that Collins’ and Pitzer’s cereal is often off-brand (Collins’ faux-Rice Krispies last year tasted like cardboard). For quality cereal and especially good granola, try The Hoch and Frank.
- Cookies at Scripps: Line up at six during any weekday dinner at Scripps to pick out a few freshly baked, deliciously gooey chocolate chip cookies.
Get ready for awkward conversations with friends outside of the 5C’s about dining hall food, because you just might miss 5C food when you go back home.