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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Dorms, Dishes and Delicacies: Richardson House

Diner cooked in Richardson House is pictured.

You know that feeling when you’re expecting something to be great, but then it’s just okay? “Pitch Perfect 3,” iced coffee from Dunkin’ and waking up early to ‘feel productive’ are a few let downs that come to mind. Unfortunately, last night as I cooked up some pesto pasta, I determined that the kitchen in Richardson House must be added to this disappointing list.

To start off, the cleanliness of the kitchen was fine, but far from great. Dishes were spread about, taking up much of the already-limited counter space. The counter itself was wet and had crusty spots from dried up food, which carried over onto the stove top.

The fridge was full and in complete disarray. The floors and sink were relatively clean, but in my opinion, that’s just the bare minimum.

In terms of functionality, it was more of the same: just okay. Again, there was limited counter space, and the stove only had two burners. The paper towels and trash can were located across the room, right next to where my guests were sitting. So, not only were they in an inconvenient spot, but I was also bound to get a few drops on my guests every time I needed a paper towel. Furthermore, like many other Tufts dorm kitchens, there was no oven.

However, the Richardson kitchen at least had one thing going for it: the sink. The hose-style faucet made washing dishes much easier and faster. The water temperature also got very hot — one user even said the water was ‘volcanic’ — although I haven’t decided if this should be considered as positive or negative. The view from the kitchen was also nice, with the door to the porch providing natural light. I’m sure it would have been nice to actually go out there, but as I was informed by the Richardson residents, the door doesn’t open.

There was plenty of space in the kitchen, but it was not used well. All of the appliances, countertops and cabinets were on one wall, and there was about 10 feet of open space over to the other wall. This could have been used for more counters or a table and chairs, but instead, it was just empty. It was a wasted opportunity.

Richardson did not come to play with supplies. There were many dishes both in the cabinets and on the counters, which appeared to be clean (although I did not use any of them). There were also a variety of ingredients available, suggesting that this kitchen actually sees some action. I was impressed on this front.

Finally, as far as vibes go, Richardson was pretty solid. The kitchen is relatively closed off, so I (the chef) could focus on perfecting the meal while also getting to chat with my diners, who unfortunately had to sit on the floor due to the lack of chairs in the kitchen. Thankfully, the adjacent common room did provide some seating. Overall vibes were good.

Overall ratings:

Cleanliness: 5/10

Functionality: 6/10

Supplies: 9/10

Vibes: 7/10

Recommendations: Bring your own table and chairs if you want to eat inside the kitchen. Do not expect this to be great.