City Heights Dining Hall Open to All

Cereal aside, the Dining Hall offers a variety of food. // Photo: Benjamin Neufeld

Open, But Is It Worth Going?

The opening of City Heights, CU Denver’s new freshmen residence hall, has brought a new on-campus dining option to the Auraria community. The City Heights dining hall is not restricted to residents with meal plans, or to freshmen, or even to CU Denver students for that matter. For about $10, anyone can enjoy a buffet style meal, breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the heart of campus. 

Notice the word “can.” Notice the absence of the word “should.” Matter of fact, it might do well to strike out the word “enjoy.” There may be someone out there in this whole wide world that “could enjoy” a meal that seems like it was prepared in a laboratory rather than a kitchen, in a room that looks like the lobby of a psych ward but with less character, surrounded by freshman who may or may not have grown out of their bullying phase; but hopefully that person is not affiliated with the CU Denver community. That person would have to exist in a very dark and twisted state of mind.  

It may have been that this CU Sentry reviewer went at the wrong time, that time being lunch instead of breakfast, but the dining hall’s milk machine, the machine that dispenses the milk, was all out of milk. There was no skim milk, no 2%, no whole milk, no chocolate milk, there wasn’t even any almond milk which comes out of an entirely separate machine. The cereal dispenser, however, was fully stocked, and the thing about the milk machines is that they don’t show that they’re out of milk; this little piece of information cannot be ascertained until an attempt at pouring milk out of the milk machine is made. So, hypothetically speaking, someone may have, or could potentially, get up after eating their, hypothetically speaking, already third plate of food and decide to round out their meal with a little bowl of cereal after noticing the fully stocked cereal machine, and that person could then, hypothetically, fill up their cereal bowl with dry Lucky Charms and then go to the milk machine to add the second most crucial ingredient to their bowl of cereal and then find out that the milk machine is all out of milk, and then that person would, hypothetically, be faced with a choice: shamefully, surrounded by impeccably dressed freshmen, walk their full bowl of dry cereal to the dining hall’s rotating dish pit and send the food away; or, eat the dry cereal, in front of everyone. All hypothetical of course. Thank God that didn’t really happen–that would be so embarrassing. 

So, it’s not necessarily the food that’s the problem (the steak and lo mein stir fry wasn’t too bad. The steak was overcooked, but that might be worth it for the extra protection against salmonella. Regardless, the cuisine certainly isn’t helping them score any points). It’s really the atmosphere–the Sodexo style white walls, the Disney Channel rock ‘n’ roll (driver’s license by Olivia Rodrigo) they play on the speakers, and the fact that the freshmen always eat in groups, so, upon entry, non-freshmen patrons feel like they’re in middle school again, all alone in the cafeteria. 

Sure, it’s all-you-can eat, but at the cost of $10 and pride, is it worth it?

This article is from Volume 07 Issue 04:

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