After two consecutive weeks at uphill locations, I decided to book a trip downhill this week to cook up some bean quesadillas in none other than Hodgdon Hall.
Hodge is known for a lot of things — the convenient Food-on-the-Run dining location, forced triples and its disorienting floor plan all come to mind. Unfortunately, the student kitchen should not be added to the list of things that make Hodge stand out.
As someone who hails from an uphill dorm, I had to trek with my kitchen kit to reach Hodge, where I then had to do what I like to call ‘the wait of shame’ (sit outside the front door until someone let me in).
Once inside, I encountered my first challenge: finding the kitchen. Just as I started wondering if there was even a kitchen at all, a good samaritan noticed my confusion and led the way to an extremely underwhelming … galley? Or is it a kitchenette? I’m not sure what it is, but I would hardly call whatever Hodge has a kitchen.
Regardless of how you refer to the Hodge first-floor ‘kitchen,’ it is extremely tiny. While my five fellow diners and I were all able to fit in the space, it felt as though my personal space was being invaded.
The general smallness also extends to the counter space. The stovetop, while clean, only offered two burners. The sink was not big enough for dishwashing and there was no strainer over the drain. Let’s just say if you’re planning on cooking in Hodge, I hope you’re willing to pick food scraps out of the sink drain at the end.
Still, I was trying to focus on the kitchen’s functional merits when one of my guests asked, “Hey, where’s the oven?” The answer: There is no oven. If you’re ever planning on baking in a dorm at Tufts, plan accordingly … by not coming to Hodge.
The cooking supplies were similarly lacking. Aside from a few bowls and utensils, the cabinets were completely empty. There was not a single paper towel to be seen.
Despite its many downfalls, Hodge really shined in the cleanliness category. The countertops were wiped off, the fridge was relatively empty and stench-free and the floors were clean. My best explanation is that Hodge residents themselves haven’t even found this kitchen due to its hidden location; thus, it hasn’t faced the damage and usage of a more accessible kitchen.
In terms of vibes, Hodge is somewhere in the middle. There is a bar-height table with a few stools adjacent to the kitchen, which I would describe as a swing and a miss. Yes, it provides a dining space; however, it separates the diners from the chef. The stools must be dragged into the kitchen itself to truly enjoy a meal with others.
Functionality: 2/10 (the lack of an oven really brings this down)
Recommendations: Bring low expectations, as well as rubber gloves for clearing the sink drain.