Dear J: Why are the dining hall lines so long? When's the best time for dinner?
The short answer: the earlier, the better. I usually go at around 6:30 p.m. or so to Dewick or Carmichael and there is no line. Around 7 or 7:30 p.m. is prime dinner time so there will be a wait, so earlier is better. Although 6 or 6:30 is quite early for dinner, you can always save your food for later. On nights when there is a special dinner, however, such as Asian Food Night, Latin Food Night, Chinese Takeout Night or whatnot, you want to go as early as possible — seriously! Dinner opens at 5 p.m., so head over as soon as you can. The line starts building up around 5:30, and by 6 or 6:30, it’s not even worth it to wait in line.
Dear J: Which dining hall offers the best breakfast?
The options are quite similar at Dewick and Carm, they just alternate what they offer on different days so your best bet is to check the menus to see what you want for breakfast. You can view their menus here. Personally, I like Carm better as a breakfast/brunch option, but convenience is a major factor for me because my dorm is much closer to Carm! You can also check out the local cafésfor breakfast options like coffee and pastries for something lighter. One hack is to keep extra food in your dorm. Even though I would like to wake up early enough to catch breakfast, most days out of the week, I either miss the 10:30 a.m. breakfast time cutoff or I just don’t want to walk to a dining hall. At Carm, I always ask for some cereal and milk cartons in the drink line. That way, I have a stash in my room and can enjoy breakfast whenever I want. You can do the same thing with muffins, yogurts, etc.
Dear J: I know the dining hall workers work very hard but I just can’t bring myself to enjoy the food at Tufts. What can I do?
Tufts has to cater to thousands of students, so sometimes that just means that the food has to be simple and inoffensive. I personally love spicy food, so I always keep Sriracha sauce in my fridge to put on my food. You can stock up on hot sauce packets and other condiments to put on your food or buy your own at a grocery store nearby like Whole Foods. I don’t know what year you’re in, but as I’ll be a sophomore next year, I am looking forward to cooking more if I’m able to score an apartment-style dorm with a kitchen. Medford and Somerville also offer a variety of foods from different cultures — there are plenty of options nearby if you want good food. This can be rather expensive, but some places accept JumboCash like Picante or Whole Foods.
While I have you here: Please remember to separate your compost, trash and recycling after eating at a dining hall.