Last Thursday, anyone who walked by Russell Sage Dining Hall and noticed a Hydrive Hummer outside of the building knew that the Sodexo Vendor Food Show was underway. This annual event, which features products from Gillette Creamery, f’REAL shakes, and Sobe, was free to all students who have a meal plan. Excited for a free dinner, I was amazed at the sheer amount of food the dining hall had to offer—making use of both floors of the dining hall. The main dining area of Sage featured Sodexo creations, along with a few familiar faces from the McNeil Room of the Union.
Thunder Mountain Curry was serving up its famous pakoras (if you’ve never tried them, they are amazing), and Maxx Deli had a pulled pork sandwich and pilgrim sandwich—both of which looked like they would have been delightful if I wasn’t a vegetarian.
Also on the main floor were creative renditions of typical foods, like grilled cheese with apple slices, burgers, quesadillas, spring rolls, popcorn, pizzas, and Tofu Tim’s chicken soup. A beautiful fruit arrangement was near the salad section, which I didn’t want to eat from because it was so pretty.
On the second floor, the faculty dining area was turned into a cocktail lounge, serving up virgin piña coladas, sunrises, and margaritas. In the large dining room, it was a dessert heaven with Perry’s Ice Cream (Panda Paws is my favorite), f’REAL shakes, mini cheesecakes, cupcake cones, and cookies. There was also some Sobe, Hydrive, and (my personal favorite) chocolate milk.
In addition to the free food, this year’s food show also featured three eating competitions. The first was an eight-pound hamburger, the second was a 2-foot-long sub, and the last was a 20-scoop ice cream banana split. Contestants had 30 minutes to eat as much as possible (without purging) and the winner received a $100 gift card. It was extremely fun to watch, although I felt bad for the students who looked pained from the huge intake of food. Many of the contestants brought friends to cheer them on and “coaches” to help them work through the tough times (which were definitely tough).
I was particularly impressed with the last group of contestants with the banana split that I watched from start to finish, cheering on a friend. The starting sundae was almost seven pounds and, by the end, the students even brought out straws since the ice cream began to melt. My friend ate 3.25 pounds of the dessert (since he refused to take my advice and eat the heaviest part—the banana), compared to the winner’s 3.75 pounds of sundae. I have to say, the whole thing was impressive; even though no one in any of the three competitions finished their challenge, they all made quite a showing!
Overall, it was a pleasant evening of food and fun and I’d encourage students to make sure they go to next year’s event. Even if you missed this year’s show, however, you may still enjoy some of the creations featured during the evening in your dining hall in the near future.