Continuing on with last week’s series of blurbs on campus dining options, here’s the rest of the retail cafes and the Union options.
Library: The Library Café is similar to the Beanery and Jazzman’s, but with a larger selection. They have a nice area and I’d probably say slightly better quality of food than a lot of the other cafés, but they are more expensive on average and are in a bit of an awkward location. If you’re in this part of campus, I’d probably recommend the Beanery or Evelyn’s instead, though it depends on what you’re willing to pay or what sort of comfort you’re searching for. Professors certainly seem to like the place.
Evelyn’s: Evelyn’s Cafe is open on the fifth floor of EMPAC from 11 to 2 on weekdays. They have some of the best quality lunch food on campus, but are quite expensive for a student budget, with prices for a full meal (Main Course, Dessert, Drink) getting up to about $16 at times. The setup and atmosphere there are a bit strange, but if you want some delicious food, I’d certainly recommend it. I’d especially suggest going on Wednesdays, when the student-volunteer-managed Terra Café is there for a flat $7 a meal.
Lally: The Lally Galley is located in the oft-forgotten Pittsburgh building at the top of the Approach. I personally have not eaten there during my entire three years at RPI, partially due to it only being open from 8 am to 2 pm, but I’ve heard that the staff is rather grumpy and the atmosphere looked to be potentially even more strange than Evelyn’s. It looks to be similar to the Library Café, though less worth the walk. I’ll probably just leave it to the Business Management majors.
McNeil Room: If you have the chance from 11–2:30 during the week, especially during the first half of that time, you should certainly stop by the McNeil Room, on the second floor of the Student Union, some time while at RPI. Thunder Mountain Curry, their best section, serves delicious Pad Thai or curry for a cheap price. The other stands include a deli area, salad, and sandwiches. I’d avoid the bottled drinks and instead head down to Father’s; unlike the food, the drink prices are actively not worth it. That is, not including the Mango Lassi or iced tea from TMC. Personally, I regularly order a 15 out of 10 heat Pad Thai, though the other options there are also good and have decent prices. The McNeil Room is one of the three best food options on campus.
The Rathskeller: Located on the first floor of the Student Union, the Rathskeller is composed of Sub Connection, Chester’s, and Grill 155. I find Grill 155 to be rather lame, especially with the presence of Big Apple Pizza just off campus, next to Moe’s. Sub Connection is nice for its price, though it somewhat depends on which server you get. I wouldn’t recommend eating there regularly, but it is worth going trying out every once in a while. It’s not as good as Subway. Chester’s has some great fast food, including fried chicken, burgers, sandwiches, and gyros. The latter is something I was very happy to find out about last semester. If you hang out in the Student Union a lot, expect to eat at the Rathskeller a bunch.
Father’s Marketplace: Father’s Marketplace at the Union, right by the Rathskeller, has a nice selection of rather cheap sugary drinks and candy. Almost all the actual food there is overpriced, but it has very nice hours during the week, so it is certainly quite viable. It also has a pretty good selection and some great options for late night snacks and ingredients. The smoothies there are okay, but I would go to Ben and Jerry’s down the hall first.
BARH Marketplace: Not many people know about the BARH marketplace, a little supply closet version of Father’s located at a corner of BARH and open from 8 pm to 11 pm on Sunday through Thursday. They are nice for evening snacks, but that time is quite awkward for most people. There have also been rumors of the staff there acting strange. It’s mostly just worth it for people who live there; there are a lot less of the better options of Father’s there.
Ben and Jerry’s: Ben and Jerry’s, also in the Union, on the other side of the Rathskeller from Father’s, serves smoothies and ice cream during the week. If you go with a bunch of friends, you could consider getting a Vermonster, a giant pile of ice cream scoops. Generally people just spend a bunch there at the beginning and end of the year. It’s worth it every once in a while.
There is a myriad of dining options on campus. One should always be able to find something to fit their fancy for any meal.