Waffles. Tater tots. Ice cream. Sounds like something out of five-year-old me's fantasy. Now we're in college, but let's be honest... who doesn't still love all of those things? Considering just how difficult it would be to make any of these childhood favorites in a dorm, I was inspired to go on a hunt for the best waffles, tater tots, and ice cream at the easiest convenience for freshman: the dining halls. Let the Battle of the Dining Halls begin...

Round 1: Waffles

Five-year-old me's favorite thing in the world was using the waffle maker. Especially when I snuck in some chocolate chips. Now that my cooking is limited to a microwave in a basement down 3 sets of stairs, I've obviously run into an issue.

The first stop in the Battle of the Dining Halls was D-Hub, considering the walk from the dorm wasn't far at all. But of course, with convenience comes consequences. Don't get me wrong, the JMU emblem on the waffles made me melt, but the consistency did not. It was a bit grainy and the syrup was definitely not Aunt Jemima's.

After a long trek to E-Hall, I came across the waffle station. At first I was quite disappointed when they handed me half of a waffle, but looking around I realized why: the toppings. Marshmallows, sprinkles, crushed oreos, whipped cream, blueberries, starwberries. Five-year old me had found my happy place. I had 3.

Raigan Shackelford

Sorry D-Hub, the winner of round one is E-Hall.

Round 2: Tater Tots

As always, the first stop in Battle of the Dining Halls is D-Hub. The trick with D-Hub is getting there in a reasonable time. If you get there right when they open, then your tots will always be super fresh. But if you don't... They are either one extreme or the other: burnt or greasy. A pro, however, would definitely be the self-serving aspect. You can never have too many tots.

As partial as I am to E-Hall due to my lovely waffle experience, its tots are the same way. After all, what can you really expect?  Unfortunately for my inner child, but fortunately for my waistline, E-Hall has people to serve you the appropriate portions. Bummer.

Sorry E-Hall, D-Hub wins this round.

Round 3: Ice Cream

Any place can have soft serve, which D-Hub and E-Hall both have: vanilla, chocolate, and swirl. Sometimes D-Hub will only have one or two of the three. But what is it that really sets the two dining halls apart (other than inconsistent stock piles of their ice creamy goodness)?

E-Hall's crown jewel: the most glorious hand-scooped station where all sorts of ice cream is available, even vegan banana avocado! That's right.. VEGAN ice cream. Vanilla, chocolate, cookie dough, and so much more (though they aren't vegan). In addition to hand-scooped heaven, the toppings are glorious as well: caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, crushed oreos. WOW. No doubt about it, E-Hall takes ice cream home for the win.

Sorry D-Hub, E-Hall wins.

Annie Slabotsky

Battle of the Dining Halls Winner: E-HALL

Looking for a mouth watering waffle? E-Hall's the place to be. Want some fresh and crispy tots? E-Hall and D-Hub both have your back. Craving ice cream at just about any time of the day? E-Hall is the one for you. Don't worry, your inner five-year-old will thank you.