As dining halls go, The University of Illinois has a pretty good thing going: the food’s good, plus there’s a large variety among the various dining halls on campus. Not to mention the awesome specialty dinners (breakfast for dinner, anyone?) that keep students busing across campus for a meal. But there comes a day when you’re starving but nothing is appealing and you just can’t eat pizza again, right? You could be healthy and get a salad…but where’s the fun in that?
For those kinds of days, here’s a few ways you can sneak around the menu and make some dining hall magic.
1. Root beer floats
Hopefully your dining hall has a working soft serve machine (sorry, Ike diners, this one is kind of a hit-or-miss for you—but you have milkshakes, so don’t complain). If so, grab a cup, fill it with some soft serve, and top it with root beer from the soda machine. Boom, creamy deliciousness. It doesn’t even have to be root beer, either; mix it up and make your own creations!
2. Pizza bagels
This one makes a good dorm room dinner as well, if you’re too lazy to haul your ass to the dining hall. Bagel + pasta sauce + cheese from the salad bar + microwave = cheesy goodness. You’re halfway to a culinary arts degree already.
3. Grilled cheese/quesadillas
The panini press is a grand invention, and you should be using it. Take sliced bread or a tortilla (if it’s available), add cheese and veggies from the salad bar and press it into gooey oblivion. Ahhh, heaven.
4. Cookie sandwich
Spice up the cookies from the dessert bar by adding some soft serve ice cream and making a cookie sandwich. If there’s ice cream toppings, you can spice it up a little more with Oreo crumbles, nuts or chocolate chips.
5. Deviled eggs
Peel a hard-boiled egg and cut it in half. Remove the yolks and add some yums from the salad bar (personal favorite: bacon bits, so many bacon bits). Sprinkle on some salt and pepper and enjoy your luxurious success.
6. Yogurt parfaits
Make a parfait that rivals Mickey D’s with flavored yogurt, granola, fruit, and nuts. Your taste buds will totally thank you.
7. Customized waffles
Why have a boring plain waffle when there are so many possibilities? Add bacon bits, cheese, chocolate chips, or fruit to your waffle batter. We weren’t given waffle irons to make them boring.