Recent Kitchen Comments
February 21, 2007 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Recent comments about the food. Oklahoma University has turned their complaints about campus dining into one of the most hilarious blogs on the internets! IT WASN"T COOKED! Awesome.
posted by parmanparman (52 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Bitching About the Foodservice Industry: America's most loved pastime.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:31 PM on February 21, 2007


Dearest Dave, A few days ago there was a large bowl of shrimp located next to the fruit on the salad bar. This was disturbing for a few reasons. 1)It made all the fruit smell like shrimp. 2)Upon first viewing I believed it to be a large bowl of grapefruit and I was horrified by the close-up view. 3) I was excited about the possibility of grapefruit and had my heart shattered by the presence of carcass in a land so beautiful it has been dubbed Fruit Land by me. Is it possible to distance the shrimpys from the fruitsys? Thank you! -Mushy Banana
posted by parmanparman at 7:33 PM on February 21, 2007

The egg sandwich rant made my day. "True story." Haha, yeah, you didn't need to tell us that.

I'm very excited about the French toast.
posted by smashingstars at 7:36 PM on February 21, 2007

"Would it be possible to drop a bottle of vegan salad dressing down there too? It's hard to tell what's safe on the salad line dressings-wise and the only sure-shot is the lackluster French dressing. It would be... perfection. Love, Joe"
posted by fandango_matt at 7:39 PM on February 21, 2007

The black guy in the Pizza place is your best employee ever! He was very nice and even offered to sing me happy birthday. I think he deserves a raise!
posted by phaedon at 7:41 PM on February 21, 2007

I just wanted to express my deepest thanks for bringing back Chef Billy's Chicken Parmesan! It was so moist and tasty! Thank you!!!!
posted by parmanparman at 7:45 PM on February 21, 2007

Dear Penthouse Housing and Food Service,
I never thought I'd be writing you, but I just had the most amazing weekend....
posted by lekvar at 7:46 PM on February 21, 2007 [5 favorites]

As I met my wife in the Hampshire College dining commons, Saga (as well as several close friends), I have fond associations with such establishments. Though walking there from my on-campus apartment in the bone-chillingly frigid January of '03 made me consider either a) sleeping in Saga b) stop eating (going to the grocery store was even farther, and I didn't have a car). But maaaaaaaan, were they incapable of cooking rice in anything close to an edible fashion.
posted by Kattullus at 7:56 PM on February 21, 2007

Lol. This is really interesting. The one guy got a complaint about low picklage, and bingo the food service person comes up with the idea for side "pickle packs".

I think in general, people take their eating very seriously. Having the ability to eat whenever you want, and whatever you want is probably one of the most important things for people, just that we've "taken care" of it in modern society so we don't even notice how important it is, because we are never unsatiated, and never have to worry about whether or not we'll have that next meal. Every hunger pang is an opportunity for delicious pleasure.
posted by delmoi at 7:57 PM on February 21, 2007

You guys are all focusing on the comments, but Dave's the star here. If his actual customer service is really this good and responsive, he should be made CEO of something (possibly America). Customer service that good doesn't exisist anymore.

Go Dave!
posted by Bookhouse at 8:01 PM on February 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Dear Dave, Coming back this semester for another round of trying to find vegan meals at Couch has been like stumbling on a new flavor of Thanksgiving Tofurkey every day of the week!

Who knew there were so many flavors of Thanksgiving Tofurky?

We had awesome comments and responses at good old Lenoir, but alas you could read them only in person on a bulletin board back in the early aughts.
posted by Airhen at 8:10 PM on February 21, 2007

Dave for President. Send pickle packs to Palestine. Middle East crisis -- solved!
posted by miss lynnster at 8:10 PM on February 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

I love how someone brought up the lack of nutrition information from Quizno's. Having had one open across the street from where I work, I have could find nothing about their content. Further research showed me that they have been hiding ther nutrition info to near conspiracy-level proportions.

How bad is it that you would rather pay fines to the FDA than reveal to the public what you're serving?
posted by sourwookie at 8:17 PM on February 21, 2007

I worked in the dining hall at my school all four years I was in college. We had a comment box, and would post the best complaints/comments/requests on a bulletin board. Then our snarky manager (a fellow student and good friend of mine) would answer them. We were not above belittling those that submitted stupid comments or questions. They were a big hit - too bad we didn't think to post it on the internet. Then again, this was back in the mid-late 90s when the internet was not yet Teh Intarweb.
posted by misskaz at 8:19 PM on February 21, 2007

I started off with "Sweet Christ in Heaven, people will moan about the pettiest things" and ending up thinking, "What a healthy exchange of views leading to a greater public good."
Commendable comestible commentary!
posted by Abiezer at 8:23 PM on February 21, 2007

I have two stories from the college cafeteria of New Mexico Tech. It was not a very good cafeteria -- I once saw an Aramark document that listed the campus service at a quality level below the prison service. It was the sort of place where we sometimes had hot dogs on Monday, hot dogs on Tuesday, and then beany-weenies on Wednesday and Thursday.

Anyway, the first story is Every-Day Fresh-Cooked Steak Guy. His name is sort of explanatory: he let everyone have either a fresh-grilled steak, ham steak, or chicken breast every night. Needless to say, they got rid of him, but we all loved him while he worked there.
The second story has an even more self-explanatory name: The Thanksgiving Turkey That Turned The Gym Into A Salmonella Hospital. I missed that one, lucky me!
posted by vorfeed at 8:26 PM on February 21, 2007

Jeez. When did college students become such annoying little foodies? We were happy with cheeseburgers and pizza. The shrimp are too close to the fruit? WTF?
posted by octothorpe at 8:26 PM on February 21, 2007

Back in my day when you didn't like the food at the dining hall you just smoked more weed until you did.
posted by The Straightener at 8:33 PM on February 21, 2007 [6 favorites]

I have never been so proud of my alma mater.
posted by ThatSomething at 8:37 PM on February 21, 2007

UT Austin's Jester West would not have tolerated this kind of dissent.
posted by mosessmith at 8:46 PM on February 21, 2007

Four best words in the English language:
"Breakfast Served All Day".
Three best:
"Ice-cold milk".
Two best:
"Open Bar".
One best:
posted by Dizzy at 9:24 PM on February 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

I really don’t like bulk yogurt but Dot came up with a great way to present it and has some nice topping options.

Is it like, required that at least one person in every cafeteria be named "Dot"?
posted by brain cloud at 9:26 PM on February 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Bookhouse - yeah totally! Back in my undergrad days, almost nobody in food services cared and the ones that at least gave lip service to caring always ended up saying something along the lines of "... but we're constrained by budget and the bean counters..."

Then there were the townie workers who'd eat left-over stuff on the trays since they weren't allowed to eat stuff from the cafeteria proper <shudder>

My college was actually served by an arm of Mariott, which was supposedly a 'decent' food service provider, but... ugh. We were also locked into being required to pay for food services (and on-campus housing, with only married students exempted [I sucked up the housing charges and got an apartment in town]).
posted by porpoise at 9:41 PM on February 21, 2007

Yeah, why is Dave wasted on food service at OU? His powers of customer service and snark could rule the world!

But speaking of moaning:
Why don't you offer "gluten-free" desserts like cake, muffins, etc? Also, gluten-free bread would be nice. Sure it's expensive but I'm paying a pretty penny to OU and was assured, by the director at the time of my childs' freshman year, that there would be a small variety of gluten-free foods (desserts) available on a regular basis.

Dessert? Really? What's wrong with ice cream?
I'd be more concerned about the bread, anyway.
posted by katemonster at 9:44 PM on February 21, 2007

Is it like, required that at least one person in every cafeteria be named "Dot"?

Her last name is Flowers. Dot Flowers. I bet the food she serves always tastes homemade.

And Dave is a saint. I'm in awe.
posted by mediareport at 9:45 PM on February 21, 2007

And Dave is a saint. I'm in awe.

And quite handsome, to boot!
posted by Kwantsar at 9:59 PM on February 21, 2007

Ah, fun post. Brings me back to ye olde college days when I so looked forward to a tasty delicious greasy omelet prepared by Miss Louise, star of the breakfast service at the cafeteria. "Ham and Cheese, Louise!" as we used to say. No skimping on the ham from that lovely woman. Good times.
posted by Miastar at 10:08 PM on February 21, 2007

Good post. This fall was my first semester away from eating at the dorm cafeteria (food service by the same company as the one in the link, coincidentally enough) and I don't miss it one bit.

Four best words in the English language:
"Breakfast Served All Day".

God, yes. The mornings where I made it in to eat before they had taken the waffle maker away were happy ones.
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:26 PM on February 21, 2007

Get over yourself! They are HUMAN. People sometimes can not find the button for the Double Whopper!
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 10:28 PM on February 21, 2007

Bad news, Cathy our veggie cook has left for greener (pun intended) pastures.

posted by jimmythefish at 10:35 PM on February 21, 2007

Quizno's is people...PEOPLE!!
posted by HyperBlue at 10:48 PM on February 21, 2007

Kwantsar: "And Dave is a saint. I'm in awe.
And quite handsome, to boot!

Interesting to see that the Associate Director for Housing Operations and Dining Services at the University of Nevada, Reno (top of the page), has also directed other interesting things.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:52 PM on February 21, 2007

Seriously y'all, OU's food service under the benevolent eye of Dave is some kind of standing miracle. The last Christmas meal I had there was choice of steak or salmon, with red caviar and lutefisk on the salad bar. Sigh.

(Wonders what a slightly foxed collection of pre-web "Kitchen Comments" fetches on the collector's market.)
posted by ormondsacker at 11:03 PM on February 21, 2007

I recall with fondness the caf at Place Vanier residence at UBC back in 1983/84, and especially the 'cordon bleu' they served a couple of times a week. I loved 'em. Pretty much everyone I knew hated them, called them 'pus burgers' and gave them to me. I made out like a cordon-blue bandit (and probably gained about 10 pounds from those things alone).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:30 PM on February 21, 2007

Oh wait. I am one.
posted by Brittanie at 12:10 AM on February 22, 2007

How on earth does shrimp look like grapefruit?
posted by chrismear at 1:32 AM on February 22, 2007

Kitchen Comments! I had my own collection of the pre-web stuff to, ormond. Think I trashed 'em all back in 2001...

...and what I remember most in three years of eating at Couch Cafeteria? The wok bar. Grab a bunch of raw or frozen ingredients, choose an oil and a sauce, and cook your meal yourself in one of the provided gas-heated standalone woks. Dave, if you ever read this, please know that my love of cooking started there.
posted by suckerpunch at 2:08 AM on February 22, 2007

Ah, the old dining hall bulletin board. This brings me back. Seriously, seeing new comments and responses get posted was one of the highlights of the week. I still recall some of my own masterpieces:

(Sung to the tune of "Old Man River")

Meatball sandwich
That meatball sandwich
You know we love 'em
And we want more of 'em
So please keep serving
That meatball sandwich
All day

-- Cafeteria comment card submitted by Faint of Butt, circa 2000
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:26 AM on February 22, 2007

Ooh, and then there was the time Bridget submitted a comment about how much she preferred the generic "Lucky Stars" cereal to name-brand Lucky Charms (the generic was more sugary, don'cha know), and management thought she was being sarcastic and wrote a really nasty, snarky response.

The best breakfasts were cooked by Mike the Egg Man. "Two eggs over easy, please, Mike!" I was one of the very few people who ever said "please" and "thank you" to that old man.

The waffle iron, the DIY omelette bar, the DIY stir-fry bar... oh, man...

And this conversation I had with one cafeteria lady (whose name I have sadly forgotten) after spring break one year:
Faint of Butt: So, how was your break?
Cafeteria Lady: Pretty good. I went to Vegas.
FoB: Oh, did you win anything?
CL: Seventeen thousand dollars.
FoB: *choke*

Good times. Good times.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:34 AM on February 22, 2007

I, sadly from a culinary perspective it seems, attended not U of OK but UKC - University of Kent, Canterbury. My college's dining facilities were run by Jacques, who was a bona fide French chef. Once a year, he got to demonstrate to the whole student populace what he was really capable of, at the Darwin Feast. The Darwin Feast was a two-part affair - an hour or so of speaking from the Guest of Honour (Terry Jones and Richard Dawkins were the two I recall), and then the dinner. The dinner was about 6 or seven courses of fabulous food, each course paired with superb wines from the college's (in)famous cellars. Outstanding.

However ... the rest of the time, the food was grim at best. Toast, for example, was universally made from frozen bread, and the heat setting on the industrial toasters was set such that the outside of the bread would not actually get toasted, just sort of dried-out a bit, and at the same time the inside would not even completely thaw out, so it was at best just soggy, at worst, still actually frozen ... I guess it just goes to show that even a very competent chef's skills are no match for a crushingly low budget.
posted by kcds at 4:03 AM on February 22, 2007

The difference between U of OK and University of Kent, Canterbury goes way beyond the culinary. If U of OK had a Darwin Dinner with Richard Dawkins as a speaker the protests would go on for a week.
posted by sourwookie at 5:23 AM on February 22, 2007

I miss the vegetarian chili with bulghar wheat from Ohio University's cafeteria, strangely enough.

Greatest undergrad food experience ever, though, was when I was studying abroad in Austria. We lived in a dorm attached to a hotel training school. The hotel school kids had to put on a giant banquet for their final exam. There were so many leftovers, they invited us down to grab whatever we wanted......ooooooh.
posted by at 6:32 AM on February 22, 2007

The difference between U of OK and University of Kent, Canterbury goes way beyond the culinary. If U of OK had a Darwin Dinner with Richard Dawkins as a speaker the protests would go on for a week.
posted by sourwookie at 7:23 AM CST on February 22 [+]

Sadly, I have to agree. The Vagina Monologues certainly did not go over well while I was attending. Though, like any college campus, the student body as a whole is considerably more liberal than the rest of the state. It'd probably surprise most of you. Thankfully, my own preconceptions of the school did not match up to reality or I definitely would not have enjoyed my time there nearly as much.

That said, Food Service at OU (particularly the cafeteria) is amazing. This brought back old (sort of, it's been five years now) memories of writing comments just like this in to Dave. Sadly, it wasn't online at the time, just a newsletter. We had a great time attempting to top one another in sheer absurdity. I really wish I had saved some of those we wrote. These have nothing on them... or maybe the nostalgia factor just makes it seem that way.

Last thing I expected to see on the blue today... It's weird to see things that were just a random part of your life on here...
posted by Bugg at 7:38 AM on February 22, 2007

Also, I really wish the conservative newspaper (The Fountainhead), which was running at the time I attended, could still be found online. It was truly deserving of the batshitinsane tag. I used to read it regularly, simply to see how they could top the offensiveness of the previous issue. I wish I could find an excerpt to show... Though it's probably a good thing that it went defunct.
posted by Bugg at 7:46 AM on February 22, 2007

How on earth does shrimp look like grapefruit?
posted by chrismear at 4:32 AM EST on February 22

Oh I totally got this-- it is all in the context. You ponder the benevolent fruit-in-cups section and espy some pale pink things and figure they are sections of peeled grapefruit only to reel back in horror when you discover they are reeking, vile fish, thrusting their beastly, repugnant fish smell molecules into the surrounding area and contaminating the sweet, innocent flesh of all the delicate fruit for miles around. You totter off, a broken reed, unable to contemplate the idea of eating ever again.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:00 AM on February 22, 2007

Meh? I didn't see anything funny about this - kind of boring, really.
posted by agregoli at 8:06 AM on February 22, 2007

Hmmmm, they have their very own Milo Minderbinder.
posted by IronLizard at 9:16 AM on February 22, 2007

A non-evil Minderbinder, which is the beauty. And, yeah, even with Vagina Monologue kerfluffles and batshit alterna-weeklys (Bugg: heh) and such, it still manages to be Oklahoma's reviled school for weirdo liberals. My sister-in-law tells me Oklahoma State's new ad campaign is "Oklahoma's Real University".
posted by ormondsacker at 10:39 AM on February 22, 2007

Back in the pre-Internet day, Kinsolving (UT) dorm cafeteria (do they still give you 8-oz. helpings of tuna to add to your salad on request?) had a bulletin board; student patrons wrote their comments on pre-printed forms and the manager wrote responses. We'd enjoy stopping on the way out from dinner to peruse the bulletin board to see what the gripes and kudos were and what the manager had to say. Biggest issues were variety vs. efficiency, "Mom didn't make it like that," scaling up favorite recipes from home, holiday and special-occasion foods, occasional "balance brought forward" -type menu selections that didn't pan out or were culinary way-cool monster smash successes, and patron /server relations and etiquette.

When I lived in a 50-person co-op, all of the above could be handled orally during dinner announcements toward the end, when the "Who cooked?" question would elicit the name of the miscreant or hero/heroine, and general discussion would turn informally to kitchen and dining-room issues.

Nowadays, if I were managing a student food service concession, I'd try to have a semi-unofficial 'blog to handle this.
posted by pax digita at 12:44 PM on February 22, 2007

A non-evil Minderbinder

Please: Milo wasn't purposely evil, he was just an ingenious capitalist with somewhat underdeveloped social skills. Well, perhaps just a bit on the sociopathic side.
posted by IronLizard at 5:24 PM on February 22, 2007

IronLizard: (Paraphrased)
In place of a fire extinguisher, he left a note.
Sorry. Evil. Or at best amoral to the point of negligence.
posted by abulafa at 12:45 AM on February 23, 2007

Well, I did say he was a bit sociopathic It was just his self esteem being hammered by those not as successful as him, really. They just didn't understand..
posted by IronLizard at 6:17 AM on February 23, 2007

« Older Free music files and notes   |   Quel Pays Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments