May Oo Khine
Must-Trys from Dartmouth's Cafés!
Now that I'm back home in Myanmar, I've had a chance to plop down on my couch and scroll through the gallery on my phone. It's been a month since I've left campus, but I miss running to grab a steaming French cappuccino at Collis before class or spending too much time debating between a salad or a quesadilla at The Hop. Wondering what are some staples and must-try foods from the cafés around campus? Read on!
- No. 1
Southwest Chicken Salad (Lunch, Dinner) – The Courtyard Café
In South East Asia, a salad means some chicken or another choice of protein in a spicy onion, tomato, chili, and ground peanuts mix. I was not familiar with salad dressing or adding fruit or corn in a salad and honestly, I wasn’t quite sure how I would like the glaring differences. This all changed when I decided to opt for a healthy option at The Courtyard Café and got myself a Southwest Chicken Salad. It is a mix of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, chicken, taco crisps, and beans in chipotle dressing. This salad really was a game changer for me — I can grab it to go and squeeze in a quick bite before class or easily save it in the fridge for breakfast.
- No. 2
Protein Stir-fry with veggies and sauce (Lunch, Dinner) – Collis Café
I love having lunch at Collis Café solely because of this dish on the menu. You can choose between steak, chicken, beef, or tofu with a side of white rice or brown rice. Add whatever vegetables you want on top and everything will be lightly fried in a sauce of your choosing: Szechuan, hot sauce, teriyaki sauce, orange sauce, or a flavorful spicy plum sauce! Take it from someone who has lived and breathed rice for 19 years, Collis did everything right with this one!
- No. 3
Build-your-own-Burrito (Lunch) – The Courtyard Café
Every weekday, The Courtyard Café puts out a different menu item in the self-service section. From mac and cheese Tuesdays to potato skin Thursdays, you can get a container or a plate and dig in yourself. My favorite is the burrito special where I can choose my own fillings from an array of pulled pork, bacon, cheese, salsa, and veggies! I usually leave out the tortilla because I like it better with just some brown rice and a scoop of sour cream.
- No. 4
All-American Burger (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) – The Courtyard Café
Another staple from The Courtyard Café! Every week, the café serves a different “burger special." With the All-American Burger, you get a crispy bun with a fat beef patty, along with an ample serving of fries. The All-American Burger is HUGE! Some of my friends can't finish it in one sitting so they usually save it for a quick snack later. So, you definitely don’t have to worry about going to class on an empty stomach after you order one of these!
- No. 5
Cappuccino Cake (On Special Days) - Novack Cafe
You might have heard of '53 Commons, our cafeteria, and its famous chocolate chip cookies. I consider Novack Cafe's Cappucino Cake just as iconic (secretly even more)! This cake is the perfect blend of coffee cream and rich chocolate, with just the right amount of sweetness so that it is not too overwhelming. Unfortunately, Novack does not have this on its menu on the regular so you'd always have to drop by frequently to window-shop the bakery display. It is totally worth it though!
- No. 6
Takis – Collis Market
Takis is a spicy Mexican snack — crispy chips covered in a red spice that melts in your mouth. This photo was taken at an event during Latinx Heritage Month during fall term when I tried my first Takis. From then on, I make sure to always have a stash of the delicious snack in my dorm room and am always on the lookout for Takis at Collis Market, Dartmouth’s mini 7/11. Be careful though — some of my friends cannot handle the hotness!
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From the pandemic to the election, to online learning, every month seemed to be a new level of Jumanji. However, we have made it. And though 2020 has given me great lessons and experiences, I am looking forward to this new year and for what it holds.