Because You’ve Already Realized You’ll Never Use All Your Mealpoints

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2013 may not have realized it, but that cookout last night was the best meal they’ll have in weeks, at least until Parents Weekend or the next fundraising event. Meanwhile, first-years will be experiencing the first days of their new meal plans. To help out, the second installment in O-Bwog ’09’s advice series looks at the center of the first-year meal plan (for everyone except for the lucky Barnard students), John Jay Dining Hall.

Friendship makes it worth the while. John Jay’s culinary offerings may be, well, less than ideal, but eating there is probably your best bet at meeting your new classmates –- especially since you couldn’t pay most students to sign up for a meal plan Sophomore year.

Put your faith in Wilma’s Grill.  There’s a reason there’s a line. The burgers are solid, the omelets are delicious (the weight-conscious amongst us ask for egg white omelets), and the one-and-only Wilma is always friendly, helpful, and all-around awesome.

Using it for a date isn’t entirely far-fetched. It apparently worked for this couple.

Stay Away from the Hot Food.  Unless it’s fried chicken, or something like the Thanksgiving Feast, which is designed to make you forget every other meal you’ve eaten in the past month (aside from the next item). 

Go to theme dinners. The kitchen does actually put on a decent show on most theme nights; it’s one of the few times that upperclassmen consider returning.

Simplicity is a virtue…Even if the day’s actual menu sucks, there’s always pasta, the waffle iron, or the George Foreman grill (for sandwiches) for you to salvage a decent snack.

…with the exception of the Salad Bar.  As the semester progresses, the lettuce will start to look as tired as you feel.  If you’re going with healthy food, don’t be be dull about it.

Trays were better. Mostly because of the puns, says Bwog’s ancient Editor. He also started to add “Back in my day” before his dentures fell out.

Use Hewitt if you can. Especially for dinner. CC/SEAS student may not want to walk the extra few blocks in the middle of December, but until then, it’s normally a better bet.

Don’t feel guilty about taking extra food with you. The meal plan is a rip-off, charging you almost double the price of a meal at other on-campus eateries (let alone off-campus), but it does allow you to take food with you, so grab snacks for later.

Keep telling yourself, “It’s only for a year.” Repetitive, yet effective. And if you didn’t already, sign up for the smallest meal plan in the spring.


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  1. Getting Money's Worth

    Taking food is an outstanding idea, just don't bring in a backpack and fill it up with fruit, only to get caught with said bag.
    My date was not impressed.

  2. i think ...

    the burgers at Hewitt are MUCH better and always made to order. It's worth the extra walk.

  3. is there

    a limit to how many meals you can get at hewitt if you bought your meal plan from john jay?

    and can barnard girls answer this q: how many times can you use your meals at JJ?

    im a senior trying to decide if i should buy my meal plan from hewitt or from jj - just a small supplementary deal.

    • bc'10  

      i don't think there's a limit to the number of meals you can eat at hewitt. however, you can only eat at hewitt during john jay meal hours (for example, you can't go to hewitt's late night).

      • again  

        oh, and i don't think there's a limit for barnard students as far as john jay meals go, either. however, barnard meal plans don't include dining dollars. instead, you get points that are only good at java city in altschul. so it probably still makes more sense to buy a meal plan from john jay...

  4. john jay

    has been responsible for six deaths and four miscarriages.

  5. Old Timer

    Go to the Jay for BREAKFAST. You can get a good meal then: eggs (Wilma's Grill), toast, fruit, home fries/tater tots, bacon, oatmeal/cereal, waffles/pancakes

  6. wilma's grilma

    honestly i think the food is rather good most of the time, including the regular 'ol hot food. i don't know where you all grew up apparently having julia child as your house chef, but where i'm from, if the choice is between ramen/easymac/cold cereal vs. a nice hot plate with a grain, a veggie, and a protein, i'm choosing the latter and not complaining about it. when you're not in the mood for a homestyle dinner, the pizza is good, their new mini-casserole things are surprisingly fancy in preparation and good as well, and you can never go wrong with the burgers/veggieburgers and grilled chicken. the main issue is that if you look at it in terms of dollars and cents every time you swipe, it is still an absolute ripoff, but when you're a freshman and they force you into it you really can't go wrong.

  7. bahhh

    but my parents made me sign up for it AGAIN

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