As I began my first year of college a little over a month ago, I was concerned that I would suffer from homesickness. I worried that I would long for the familiarity of my high school friends and would miss seeing my family every day.
In reality, I've experienced quite the opposite. (*knocks on wood*) I'm #blessed to say that I love college: the classes, the new friends I've made and my new dorm room. The only thing I'm not completely head-over-heels in love with is the food.Don't get me wrong, Wash U food is a far cry from terrible--we've been up there on the list for best college dining hall food for awhile. We have everything from a stir fry bar to all-you-can-eat brunch buffets with made-to-order omelette stations, but it's still not the same as the food from my hometown. I guess you could say that I'm experiencing "food homesickness."
So I got to thinking about all the Boston foods I wanted to be reunited with. Of course, my stomach began to growl for a cannoli from Mike's Pastry's on the North End (and yes, Mike's is better than Modern, no argument).
And then I was desperate for a visit to my favorite scenic Newbury Street brunch/lunch spot, Cafeteria Boston. I could not wait to share an order of fig and goat cheese pizza, truffle pizza, and goat cheese and beat salad with my home friends.
Eventually, I began to wonder, What foods do my Wash U friends miss the most? I thought of all the different places my friends here are from and the unique signature dishes their hometowns have to offer. I decided to set out on a quest to wallow in food homesickness not alone, but in the company of my Wash U peers.
First, I talked to my friend Maddy from Chicago. At the top of her list was deep dish pizza (no surprise here). She says, "They obviously have pizza here in St. Louis, but it's just not the same, even when deep dish is on the menu--so that's definitely something I miss on the regular." Maddy is also "food homesick" for a slightly less famous Chicago snack: the sugar-coated nuts sold on Michigan Avenue.
2. New York
Next, I talked to a New Yorker, my friend Chad, who claims he misses the genuine New York bagels. "Einsteins is just mediocre, and it's really upsetting," he told me. Chad is not alone in his bagel withdrawal; I found that the general consensus for most New Yorkers was a strong "food homesickness" for those esteemed Brooklyn water bagels.
Finally, I talked to my friend Leslie, who lives just outside of Miami. Leslie misses the stone crabs and key lime pie from a restaurant called Joe's. "The stone crabs are always fresh, and they give you a paper bib, so you don't ruin your clothes," she told me. "The key lime pie is just so creamy and easy to eat." Leslie also misses Spanish food from Miami, saying, "It's just always good, plus it's a delicious reminder of my own Spanish roots."
As it turns out, I was far from alone in my hometown food withdrawals. Everybody I talked to here has that one certain food that just isn't the same at Wash U or even in St. Louis more generally. In a way, talking to people about the food they longed for made me feel a little less food homesick, and even more confident in the fact that I've truly found my new home at Wash U.