As second semester rolls to a finish, you probably think you have your meal plan all figured out. You know your favorite Blue Room muffin, you’ve had your Ivy Room smoothie recipe down for a few months now and, above all, you avoid the Ratty whenever possible. But there are still some, dare I say good, meal plan hacks you might not be aware of.
Over the past few weeks, I researched the most underrated food items on campus. I interviewed countless students, used way too many meal credits, and gained a few pounds in order to determine the hidden food treasures within the Brown meal plan. Now finally, the results are in.
1. Blueberry Danish (Blue Room)
How many times have you been to the Blue Room and asked for a blueberry muffin, without even considering other options? Maybe you know what you like, but have you really tried everything the Blue Room has to offer? Next time you stumble in at 8:45 am looking for some pre-9am-class breakfast, try switching it up. Ask for the blueberry danish and I promise you will not be disappointed. It has everything found in a blueberry muffin (aka: blueberries and carbs) but with a creamy filling and flaky puff pastry exterior, making it the superior breakfast snack.
2. Tate’s Bake Shop Cookies (Little Jo’s)
Little Jo’s is probably the most underrated food stop on campus. Of course, most options in Little Jo’s can also be found at any CVS or Walgreens, but there is definitely (at least) one hidden gem: Tate’s Bake Shop cookies. Tate’s are, in my humble opinion, among some of the best cookies in the world. The rich, crunchy, and oh-so-chocolatey flavor combined with the light, flaky texture make each bite melt in your mouth. Be warned, though, I may have gained five pounds since discovering that I could buy these delicious cookies using my meal plan.
3. Tacos (Ivy Room)
Maybe you’ve heard of these, but I still think they’re underrated. These made-to-order tacos are incredibly filling and cost less than $7.30 in points. Not to mention the fact that the taco line at the Ivy Room is often the shortest. But these are not the only reasons why you should swing by the Ivy Room to satisfy your next late-night craving. An Ivy Room taco is arguably the best vegetarian option on campus, made with fresh vegetables and your choice of one to four different types of cheeses. The only problem with these tacos is the time they take to make, so try not to go in a large group. But don’t worry if you do; they’re always worth the wait.
4. Seaweed Salad (Blue Room)
If you’re on a diet, a self-proclaimed “health nut”, or just want to get away from greasy and unhealthy Ratty food, this is the snack for you. It may look a little daunting, but I promise it’s worth your while. Not only is seaweed a light and refreshing snack, it’s also lowkey a superfood. It’s packed with protein and vitamin A (which has anti-aging and anti-stress properties) and has more vitamin C than an orange. It is also a great source of iodine, which keeps your thyroid healthy so you don’t end up gaining that freshman (or sophomore/junior/senior) 15. Your body will thank you.
5. Mozzarella Sticks (Jo’s)
Did you even know that you can get mozzarella sticks instead of fries at Jo’s? Next time you’re thinking about mindlessly asking for a heaping side of fries with your spicy with, try getting the mozzarella sticks. These deep-fried, cheese-filled snacks are a way better alternative to fries. Pro tip: actually put two or three into your spicy with for a crunchy and cheesy surprise.
There you have it. Now go out and spend those end-of-semester meal credits.