To outside observers, little ol’ Antigonish, Nova Scotia is home to just another group of University students, but to insiders, it is so much more than that.
There’s no denying it – the roughly 5,000 students that tread the St.FX campus grounds each day are exposed to a culture spilling with spirit. We strut around campus reping the blue-and-white X’s with the pride that comes with being an Xaverian.
We could go on about all the reasons why we love our school, but I’m here to point out one subtle constant that seems to emanate the many traditions and memories lived in the course of our 4-year adventure: food.
Our food traditions start from the get-go: from the non-stop action of Frosh week and bonding at Meal Hall right up to the bittersweet day of graduation and partying until the sunrise at the Golden X INN. If you stop to think about it, you’ll find that most of the memories made in our four-year time frame had something to do with food. So here’s 15 StFX food traditions (or really, rites of passage) that prove that food is at the root of it all:
1. The Ultimate cure to those Thursday night shenanigans: Bacon Fridays at Meal Hall
Getting past the mediocre meatless Mondays and the stir-fry lines of the week is all worth it when you can finally wake up on Friday morning salivating for the anticipated crunchy goodness that’s to come.
2. Mini Moes Coffee
As students, coffee is often a necessary fuel to beat midterm blues and paper grinds. Personally, I was not a coffee person whatsoever before starting university, but I can tell you, Mini Moes has changed me. I think it must be a combination of the lovely ladies that work there coupled with the stress-induced need for a pick-me-up. The hazelnut flavoured light roast has made many dedicated customers.
3. The B.E.A.S.T. at The Waffle Bus
Bacon, egg, tomato, spinach and aioli all on a waffle…need I say more?
4. Rita Wraps
The iconic Rita wrap, originally only available at the Bloomfield center, was founded after a genius woman named Rita (shocker) tossed crispy chicken, a medley of fresh vegetables, added some sauce and wrapped it up. And thus, a StFX classic was born.
5. Fishbowl Fridays and Thundermug Thursdays
Being amongst the few large food-chains in Antigonish, the slightly over-priced Boston Pizza earns its dollar from the series of alliterated promo events that accompany each day of the week. Not to mention the fact that drinking out of strangely-shaped glasses is kinda fun.
6. Feast Days at Meal Hall
Just when you think you can’t take any more of the same old meal hall food and a home cooked meal is dangling on the horizon, Sodexo picks up the slacks big time with copious amounts of perfectly roasted meat and a delicious range of salads. These are not days anyone likes to miss, meal hall pass or not.
7. Getting your hipster fix at Tall and Small
Be that we live in a small town, we don’t have the typical trendy places that a highly developed city school might have, but we do have Tall and Small. Whether you’re just in need of some amazing fresh food or just want to meet up with that friend or family member you haven’t seen in forever, Tall and Small always delivers the cozy vibes and stellar food you so long and desire.
8. Oh you dropped your plate? *Standing ovation* at Meal Hall
Creating Meal Hall memories one embarrassing moment at a time. Whether it has happened to you, a friend or a stranger, I don’t reckon there will be a time when someone can get away with being a clutz without the unwanted recognition of your peers.
9. Mission on over to Subway when desperation has hit
You wake up one morning, mid-paper season and hesitantly open the the slightly foul-smelling abyss that makes up your fridge. For Xaverians, when this happens we tend to make that walk of shame down James Street to be saved by the reliable selection that Subway offers.
10. Taking that someone special out to The Townhouse
There is only a finite number of spots that you can take your partner out to for a (‘Nish version) fancy dinner. We all know that when Valentine’s day rolls around, if you want a spot, you’ll have to head to this spot quick.
11. Family potlucks with friends
As our junior year approaches, we don’t have Meal Hall to rely on to run into all our closest friends which means more effort has to be made to see them. Now we have to resort to family style potlucks to show off our newfound cooking skills (or lack there-of) from recipes we found on Spoon U.
12. All Roads Lead to the Golden X Inn
When Wednesday rolls around, many Xaverians clear their evening schedules to make way for wing night at The Inn. Wednesdays have become the night to lap up the greasy wings in preparation for a great night of good music and fun with the crew.
13. Snow Queen for X-Ring
Once December 3rd arrives in the ‘Nish, hotels are overflowing and x-ring alumni are prancing around town to relive the memories made during their their x-perience. Amongst the preparations, the pictures, the ceremony, the second round of pictures and the Super-Sub party at night, one thing many x-ring families have kept in their bank of traditions is heading to Snow Queen for dinner.
14. The Antigonish Farmer’s Market
Each Saturday from May 7th-December 17th, the Tommy Landry Barn holds the The Antigonish Farmers Market, which puts on display the many talents that local farmers and craftspeople hone. The market makes for a marvellous weekly event every Saturday morning while you procrastinate your paper.
15. Last but not least: Pizza druchies
The infamous rivalry between Kenny’s and The Wheel Pizza has been a topic of conversations since the 90s. We all know that though we may stubbornly prefer one slice over the other’s, these two places will always be there to satisfy our post-party cravings.