Since I'm the chairman of our Rhodes reunion planning committee, I needed to have a meeting with the Rhodes staff member who assists with the planning. When we were deciding on our meeting time and place, there was really no other option in my mind: the Rat for lunch. The "Rat" (officially Catherine Burrow Refectory) is the more formal of the two on-campus eating locations. And to completely simplify it, it's basically a huge, delicious buffet with 3 rooms of different types of cuisine.
I was worried that my memories would be more idyllic than the actual eating experience - BUT - I'm happy to announce it's still as awesome as I remember (and maybe bordering on being more awesome?). AND - if you are an outsider paying for lunch, it's $4! FOUR dollars! (And, I mean, I don't think just anyone can march in for lunch - but I think alumni are always welcome, as are faculty and staff members - so friends, next time you're in town, you can guess where we're eating.)
The main room in the back is still pretty much the same (and I only glanced in at it) - but still has pizza, burgers, fries, grilled cheese, etc. (and the lady I had lunch with had a slice of pizza that looked great - a pesto sauce with mozzarella and sliced tomato). And the room that leads into the back one has turned into a huge salad bar with TONS of toppings. I made myself a salad with: a couple different types of lettuce, chickpeas, black beans, a corn/bean/pepper relish, pickled jalapenos, marinated tofu, gorgonzola crumbles, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli. And while I used a little balsamic vinaigrette, they had about 8 Ken's Steak House salad dressings available.
Then the room to the right of the cash registers was really impressive. They still have the mongolian BBQ-type thing where you pick your vegetables and have them cooked for you on the grill top. And they have added a little section labeled "vegetarian" and another labeled "gluten free" with those items. Then - this was great - they've added an all breakfast, all the time section. From that I got some hashbrowns and a half english muffin with an egg. There's also a sandwich-building station in this room (which I think they had when we were there, but I can't remember where it was) with lunch meats, cheeses, & veggies and TONS of breads/bagels/tortillas to choose from.
After our nice little lunch meeting, you can imagine where I went: straight to the fro-yo! Yesterday it was FF chocolate and FF strawberry. I might have done a swirl. I might have fixed a huuuuuuge cup of it. And I might have wished I still went to Rhodes.
But seriously, something about being on campus was awesome! I guess I don't really go there that often, or if I do, it's for an occasion (like homecoming, or parent's weekend when Megan Cian was still there); even going to the gym (which I haven't done in a few years) is a little different because you actually encounter community members as well as students. But yesterday, at noon, a random Thursday, I felt like I was back in the action. All the students and professors were out doing their normal thing, signs were posted everywhere for the different events on campus, kids were gossiping to each other while they walked to class, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day (and I might or might not have shed a little tear). I went to such a beautiful college - and times were so much simpler then. Oh College...