February 21, 2020

My first experience with campus dining as a senior

Until last week, I had never eaten food at either of the university’s main dining facilities. 

There are plenty of reasons for this, like lack of money and no meal plan or CapBucks, being a commuter, and constantly hearing the bad reviews from other students (which have, admittedly, gotten much better since the switch from Aramark to Aladdin). 

So, in my final semester at Capital, I decided to finally try it out. 

I started with MDR, since it’s the more heavily visited of the two, and it was almost exactly how I thought it would be.

I went for breakfast around 8 a.m. before my 9:30 a.m. class on a Tuesday morning, and it was, put simply, fine. 

MDR was renovated over the summer, changing up the functionality of dining for both students and staff.

I paid about $7 to get in, and being there at such an early time, I feel like the experience was slightly more enjoyable than it would have been if I had gone at a later, busier time.

The food was pretty standard breakfast food: biscuits and gravy, sausage patties, and breakfast burritos. It was all kind of mediocre, but not bad.

What really had me excited was the waffle maker. 

Since I was there at such an early time, I didn’t have to wait for the waffle maker (which I’ve heard is a frequent problem). The toppings, like chocolate chips and M&M’s, were a nice touch, and there was something exciting about making it myself. 

Overall, MDR was a pretty standard experience, but I can see why students get tired of it: eating the same food every single day likely gets old.

I went to One Main around 7 p.m. on a Friday night, and it’s understandable why people think it’s better than MDR.

I knew going into it that One Main was more of a made-to-order experience rather than a buffet experience, which is why it’s a more popular dining facility. 

One Main Cafe also saw renovations over the summer, heavily improving the kitchen as well as adding features like kiosks.

I was surprised (and impressed) by the kiosks, because it gave me more time to figure out what I wanted without feeling the pressure of talking to a real human, as many of us experience. 

I got a burger and fries and paid about $10, which is comparable to eating the same thing at a sit-down restaurant, though I don’t know that it was the same quality (coming back to being “fine”). 

The atmosphere in One Main was better than it was in MDR—it seemed more modern and warm, feeling more like a restaurant and less like a cafeteria. I also enjoyed the sauce bar and the fancy soda machine more than I probably should have.

Although the experiences were, as I said before, just fine, it was kind of nice to finally experience the two and feel like a full-fledged Capital student.

Although I’ve been a full-time student ever since beginning my time at Capital and I’m involved in some organizations, being a commuter has always left me feeling disconnected from campus. After this—even though it took me until my last semester—I feel more like a Capital student than I did before. 

  • Sydney is the managing editor at the Chimes and a senior professional writing and journalism major at Capital University pursuing a career arts and entertainment writing. Some of her favorite things are cold brew, books about dragons, horror films, and her cat, Sterling.

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