By Patrick McAuliffe Jr.
After a brief respite (which was a tad bit too long and boring, if you ask me), Binghamton Review is back and here to offer you a glimpse inside a student’s Sodexual encounters. This time, I went where the air is a bit thinner for some Mile-High Dining. (The name probably won’t catch on, but that’s fine.)
There are two major low points that I find with such a lofty establishment as Appalachian Dining Hall, one of them being its literal loftiness. Perhaps the administration planned it as such that out-of-shape students like me will purchase more food out of exhaustion when they get there (we should call for their resignation!). Plus, this new Night Owl change, which is a rant for another time, makes one’s only options for late night dining the out-of-the-way, slightly more than mediocre selection of C4 or the nocturnal hike to Appalachian. RIP Dubs. The other major problem with Appalachian is that, like a real mountain, it is very hard to access. I’m being more figurative with this one. The daytime hours are very difficult to work with (again with the weekend breakfast time of 11 am!), as it is among the dining halls closing the earliest. Additionally, it is probably the dining hall that is closed the most over breaks, even for days leading up to one (looking at you, winter break).
These issues are very make-or-break for people’s value-judgments about dining halls. However, if you (1) don’t live in Mountainview, (2) decide that the trek is worth it, and (3) are willing to tolerate the strange hours, then, dear reader, you’re in luck! Appalachian has fantastic food, at least relative to every other dining hall. There seems to be something for everyone, and nearly everything is actually aesthetically pleasing. Speaking of aesthetics, I’m not making a mountain out of a molehill when I say that the view over campus is absolutely phenomenal. With lots of natural light and windows on nearly every wall, Appalachian could be some millionaire’s cliffside beach home if it just had some more rooms.
What, you wanted to actually eat there and not just have a feast for your eyes? Fine. There is a Mediterranean place, a pizza place, a grill, a deli, and many other options. My deli experience seemed to be a one-time inconvenience, and I found it to be just fine. The grill makes some unique items like mozzarella sticks, and the personal pizzas don’t look downright awful. It’s just good food.
Appalachian Dining Hall is, in this writer’s humble opinion, the best of the dining halls that comprise this tour so far. Sure, the food and aesthetics are wonderful, but the person that completes the package is a cashier named Tammy. Her cheerful attitude to everybody rounds out your experience in Appalachian. For my final month, I’ll journey to the faraway kingdom of Hinman, where I shall complete my hopeless quest of conquering the dragon that seems to rumble in many a colon on a daily basis.