After an uneventful and stressful Halloweekend due to lots of assignments, I'll admit that the most "Halloweeny" thing I did was listen to the Halloween playlist I made with my roommates. So, I was excited to go to Halloween night at Thorne and actually somewhat celebrate Halloween. After three back-to-back classes, walking into Thorne definitely reminded me that it was still, indeed, Halloween: there was everything from a spooky display of foods to the dimmed dining room playing Halloween classics like MJ's Thriller, to candy apples glistening in their tray, to pumpkins donning scary-looking faces if you dared approach them. I was well in the Halloween spirit, and began to eat my way around what the dining hall had to offer. 

Thais Carrillo

As much as I like to eat dessert before dinner, for the sake respecting tradition I decided to get savory before sweet and start with the entrees. 

Here's what I thought about them!


1) Sauteed Zucchini & Red Onions

I didn't want to start this review on a bad note; I really wanted to like the zucchini. At first, I was hopeful, as I saw the black specks on the vegetable, indicating that some seasoning like black pepper had been put on it. However, once I took a bite, I, unfortunately, was not able to taste any seasoning, and was only met with soggy zucchini in my mouth. It was a bit too watery for my liking. So, my rating is: 

1/10 stars

I think that, in the future, if time allows for it (as I understand that Bowdoin cooking for hundreds of students is far more difficult than me cooking for myself in my kitchen), this dish could be elevated by further sautéing the red onions to enhance the natural sweetness and mildness of the vegetable. Usually, I'd say to add butter and parmesan to the green vegetable, but, so that everyone regardless of dietary restriction can enjoy it, adding garlic or herbs like thyme or using olive oil would enrich the taste of the absorbent vegetable. To prevent sogginess, tossing the cut zucchini slices in some salt and waiting for some time before patting them down with a paper towel will do wonders for the outcome of the zucchini slices.

2) Tempeh Toes

I actually think this dish was quite well-seasoned. However, I was unfortunately not able to get past the texture of the tempeh, which surprised me since I am someone who does well with different food textures. Unable to finish the dish, I was forced to give it:

1/10 stars

Regardless of my rating, if you are someone who is a fan of tempeh, then definitely give this dish a shot!

Milo Young-Perez

3) Pumpkin Burger & Mango Pico

This was actually a pleasant surprise for me. I usually don't eat the vegetarian/vegan options, unless it's tofu, and I ended up liking the taste of this burger. Surprisingly, it did not have a strong pumpkin taste, which I'm actually somewhat grateful for since I associate pumpkin with sweet foods—a savory pumpkin dish would've thrown me off. But, perhaps I need to expand my horizons and be open to pumpkin in savory foods.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this one. The mango pico was a nice, fresh touch and helped cut through the char of the burger. Admittedly, I did not finish most of the burger, as I was too easily lured by the desserts, hence why I am giving it the ranking of:


I definitely admit that I need to be more open-minded in regards of vegetarian/vegan options, so in my future reviews I will be sure to eat those first and keep that in mind!

4) Ghost Pepper Cheese & Chicken Pasta 

I had high hopes for this one. People who were on-campus during the fall of 2020, do you remember what the Ghost Pepper Mac n' Cheese tasted like at Moulton? It was magical: I think it's the only dish at Bowdoin that I consider truly spicy and did not have to add buckets of hot sauce to. It made my nose run, ignited my tongue with a gentle heat, and gave me something to live for, as spice is supposed to do. I remember it being paired with some sort of BBQ chicken, and the sweetness of the chicken and the spiciness of the pasta proved to be a well-needed balance.

It seems that not everyone could handle the spice, as I have yet to see the actual Ghost Pepper Mac n' Cheese on Bowdoin's menu. Sure, I suppose I can somewhat understand why it was removed. It's not a good look on anyone to be constantly grabbing from the napkins tray to wipe your snotty nose and teary eyes—or to accidentally end up rubbing your eyes and getting spice in them in front of your group of friends. But, still, such experiences are a part of life. I dare say it builds character. I believe the variety of yummy milks at Bowdoin would help people be able to at least manage the 2020 Ghost Pepper Mac n' Cheese and build up their spice tolerance.

Anyway, I digress. Unfortunately, I cannot rave about this pasta as I did the 2020 Moulton Ghost Pepper Mac n' Cheese dish. The saving grace of this meal was the chicken, since I like meat. However, I am disappointed to say that it wasn't spicy, and there was not a flavor present besides that of cheese. So, due to the very weak spice of the dish, I am forced to give it the following ranking:

2/10 stars

5) Witches Caldron Beef Stew & Red Rum Rice

The beef stew was a pleasant surprise—definitely my favorite of the entrees. The potatoes were nice and tender, and the overall stew flavorful. As a lover of rice, it only made sense to eat the stew with rice, which definitely upped my rating of the dish. So, I give the stew a: 

6/10 stars

I definitely want to see this stew back on the menu, as I prefer it to a lot of soups that I've tried so far on-campus. I'm a stew instead of soup person, it is what it is! I think it's because I'm west African; of course we have soups but we have a lot of really yummy stews that we usually pair with white rice and plantains. 

Now, onto my favorite part of the night,

The desserts

Afia Oduro-Manu

Starting in a counterclockwise direction was the:

1) Candy Apple

It is the first thing that caught my attention walking into the dining hall. I had always avoided it in past years because it seemed like too much work to eat, but, this year, I tried go into the experience with an open mind. At first taste, I could clearly tell that it was yummy. But, given the thickness of the sugar coating on my apple, I was unable to bite through and get to the actual apple, making it seems like I was starring in the famous "How many licks?" Tootsie Pop commercial. Fortunately, my roommate had the ingenious idea of cutting the apple into slices, which was initially difficult with the dining hall butter knife and sticky fingers, but doable. Finally, I was able to taste the flavors of this beloved fall treat. Alone, corn syrup is sickly sweet, so having the tartness of the freshness of the apple helped cut through and balance against that extreme sweetness and made the crunchy treat actually enjoyable.

8/10 (extra .5 because the creator of the dessert is from Jersey)

2) Dirt Cake

I've always liked Bowdoin's dirt cake: who can go wrong with strong Oreo and vanilla flavors? However, it is only this year that I did not guide my spoon to avoid the gummy worms. While chewing on the gummy worms was certainly a lot of work, they provided a nice change of texture that we get from the crumbled Oreos. They were quite chewy (obviously), but the extra work was worth it. The fruitiness of the treat ended up working together with the vanilla and chocolate flavors in the dish, which is why I give it a:


3) Milk Chocolate & White Chocolate Bark

I unfortunately don't have much to say about this treat. This was one of the last desserts I tried, so by the time I got around to trying it I was all sugared out. So, I have to give it a:


Had I tried it earlier, I'm sure I may have given it a higher rating!

4) Pumpkin Cannolis

I was actually really excited about these since I missed them at Supers due to going too late. Unfortunately, this dessert did not meet my expectations. The cannoli shell was decent, but not as crunchy as I would've liked. Furthermore, the filling did not have a strong pumpkin flavor, and actually tasted bitter to me. Therefore, I had to rate this year's pumpkin cannolis a:


5) Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treat

I will say first that I did not taste a pumpkin flavor in this dish. However, my appreciation for the creative design of the dessert far surpasses my qualms with the lack of a fall flavor. I found the pumpkin shape adorable, and loved the touch of the Air Head (Watermelon flavor, I believe) that resembled leaves and the Tootsie Roll a stem. In the end, I ended up really liking the contrast in sweetness between the sour-then-sweet Air Head, chocolate Tootsie Roll, and sweet, marshmallowy Krispie treat. So, I am pleased to give the rating:


6) Chocolate Ghost Cupcake with Vanilla Frosting

The actual cake was unfortunately on the drier side. The frosting was quite sweet, so definitely not for people who tend to dislike frosting. I love sugar, so I didn't mind the frosting, but I was disappointed by the cake. Hence, my rating is:


And, last but not least, we have the...

7) White Chocolate Covered Strawberry:

Afia Oduro-Manu

Topped with smarties for eyes, this treat was definitely a favorite. I loved the balance between the tartness of the fruit and the sweetness of the white chocolate, as well as the contrast brought with the sour-then-sweet Smarties candies. I think that you can never go wrong with strawberries and chocolate, as it makes for both a refreshing and indulgent treat. So, for both the taste and adorable design, my rating is a:

10/10 stars


1) Mysterious cheese in the shape of a pumpkin and crackers

Now, this was glorious. Since I was stuffed after dinner I saved it for later and it made for the perfect H-L study snack. The cheese was mild but certainly not flavorless, creamy, and paired perfectly with the wheat crackers. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the name of the cheese is. So, if someone could let me know, that'd be great. Even better, I guarantee that if we had that cheese on the Supers menu, I'd be sure to go thrice a week.

Rating: 9/10

Milo Young-Perez

2) Pumpkin Deviled Eggs

Super yummy, honestly should've grabbed more. And the design was cute, I mean look at it!

Afia Oduro-Manu

In all seriousness, the deviled eggs were creamy and delicious, and a welcomed source of protein on my overloaded plate. Additionally, I really liked tasting the celery; I enjoyed how the freshness of vegetable cut through the richness of the yolk and mayonnaise. And, it doubled as a pumpkin stem, which is genius!

Rating: 8/10

3) Spider Deviled Eggs. Now, may I just say that I loved the design.

Afia Oduro-Manu

Kudos to whoever took the time to cut the olives so that they could form spider legs; they came out looking super good. Unfortunately, my dislike for olives did not allow me to enjoy the dish as much as I wanted to, and, because that is something that I was not able to get past, I will have to rate this dish a:

5/10 (but 10/10 for creativity and design!!!)

Wrapping up

All in all, Halloween night at Bowdoin was hit. Although some dishes could benefit from stronger, spicier flavors, the decoration of the dining hall put me in a great spirit and the desserts certainly put me in a food coma—one that made it a lot harder to study, but grateful that I got to eat such yummy food and end Halloweekend on a good note.