What’s for Dinner: Eating Outside of Glar

Matthew Welte in his North Village apartment. Photo by Emma Carter.

The Englar Dining Hall: it’s at the heart of campus, it’s open for every (well, most) meals, and its hallowed nickname Glar is part of the McDaniel vernacular.

That said, everyone still needs a break from the dining hall once in a while. Maybe it’s the walk from one of the far corners of campus on a rainy day, or maybe a respite from that ever-present smell of salt, that inspires students to get cooking. Whether it’s a microwave meal or a night out, there are a never-ending number of alternatives students at McDaniel find to satisfy their hunger.

The different living situations on and off campus make for the variety of student-cooked meals. Living in a dorm, you’re not going to cook your mother’s lasagna—you can’t.

Yessica Rodriguez, a sophomore living in McDaniel Hall, still goes to the dining hall for dinner most days. Students living in residence halls don’t have the luxury of a kitchen, so when Rodriguez opts to skip Glar, it’s for a different meal.

“I usually skip breakfast,” she says. With a silver meal plan, Rodriguez has access to 12 meals per week in the dining hall. There’s a lot less flexibility than the 19-meal Gold plan, leaving Rodriguez on her own for several meals each week. Cereal and crackers are her go-to choices when she eats in, and on weekends there’s her favorite restaurant, and the favorite of many other students, Chick-fil-A. But what she really wants is a kitchen.

Living with a kitchen, students have more freedom. Senior Matthew Welte lives in North Village, where he prefers to cook dinner.

“I usually cook pasta,” he says. His favorite dish? Ravioli in alfredo with peas and pancetta—a family recipe. Like Rodriguez, he treats himself to a restaurant meal on weekends.

With a meal plan and a kitchen, it’s easy to be flexible and to make those last-minute decisions to run to Glar for lunch before class. Not having either of those luxuries requires some planning. Commuter students who opt to go without a meal plan see eating around campus a little differently.

Students who don’t have a meal plan have to pay $13 just to step foot in Glar for lunch, and they can’t use a meal exchange—a cost-free dining option to most students with meal plans—at the Pub.

“For me to eat on campus is really expensive,” says sophomore Taylor Hoey, who commutes the few-minute drive to campus every day.

Hoey usually makes her meals and eats at home. “I eat like [other college students] when I’m at home,” she says. Hoey’s day might include a bagel for breakfast, and later a sandwich or macaroni and cheese. Hoey, though, has an advantage that students who live on campus do not: meals cooked by parents. When she’s not eating a home-cooked meal, Hoey likes to go out to eat, especially to her favorite local place: JeannieBird Baking Company.

While Glar is always an option, students like to stay in or go home every now and then. It’s worth skipping the dining hall—you’ll always find something cooking around campus.