Ultimately, I signed up for my fraternity’s food plan. Rest assured, no calories were listed. Or counted. Or discussed. More on that to come.
The next food station I perused was called “Hearth” and it featured grilled salmon (Calories 200), and Southern-style green beans (90). The “Grilled” station advertised a Cuban sandwich (470), a balsamic Portobello mushroom (50) and (Yikes!) French fries (210). I was relieved to see something not on many healthy diet plans. There was also a “Simmered” station, where there were soup options: chicken corn chowder (110), vegetable split pea soup (70) and three bean chili (150). The food choices vary from day to day and there are gluten-free, allergy-free and vegan options and an incredible salad bar.
Also a wood-fired pizza oven. I’m thinking our house cook once tried her hand at pizza and it must have been cooked in a petrified pizza oven. Not one of my friends recalled a single salad at any time. But we did have red beans and rice and sausage, hamburgers, spaghetti and meatballs and industrial-sized cans of green beans. Our housemother was a devout Catholic so there was always fried shrimp, fish and gumbo on Fridays. Hot dogs and chili. All kinds of po-boys and chips. Fried chicken, corned beef hash and the mysterious “Salisbury steak” were also available.
A couple of servers at The Commons told me the students were “wild about it.”
It’s a very cool place to people watch, hang out, converse or the always present heads-down smartphone routine.
Outside there was a classic New Orleans thunderstorm going on. Typical of the complimentary comments was this thumbs-up: “It’s significantly better, leaps and bounds above Bruff Commons for both scenery and food,” said finance major Luca Busalacchi, a Hahnville High graduate. He and two friends were still hanging out 30 minutes after they finished lunch, sans umbrellas. “And it’s a great place to watch a rainstorm.”
(above photo by Rachel Hunter)