State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Homecoming is Perfect Opportunity to Re-Live Dormitory Dining Experience

by on October 12, 2013 8:05 AM

With more alumni crowding into town every minute, finding an open table in a State College restaurant can be harder than a final exam in quantum physics.

That's why Penn State wants you to know that visitors are always welcome at the university's dining facilities. Yes, you can go back again for another taste of college life.

It just might be a different taste than you older grads remember.

Golumpki (green peppers stuffed with rice), Chicken Cosmo, Salisbury steak, Wiener Wings and Ham Loaf were all banished from the Penn State menu long ago.

Now, the menu includes burgers, fries, mac and cheese, subs, Asian stir-fry, made-to-order pasta, barbecue -- and how about this one -- hand carved halal certified gyro?

Jo-Ann Marker is special projects manager for Residential Dining. “We have a wonderful variety, a youthful atmosphere, and can offer alumni a chance to reminisce about their days at Penn State,” she says.

That sentiment is echoed by Susan Bedsworth, communications coordinator for Auxillary and Business Services. "It's a great chance to reminisce, see how things have changed or stayed the same, and see the renovated spaces such as the dining facility in Pollock," she says.

All five dining facilities accept Mastercard and Visa, including Findlay Commons in East Halls, North Food District, Pollock Dining Commons, South Food District, and West Food District. Cash is accepted everywhere except South.

So why haven't you eaten in the dining halls before? "They (alumni) never think of it," says Marker. "We just had parents week last week. They love it. They do smoked plank salmon. There are certain days that we have upscale items. We'll put on lobster tails."

So it's not your father's dining hall experience any more.

Prices for the “all-you-care to eat” dining areas:

Breakfast - $6.60

Lunch - $11.00

Dinner and Sunday Brunch – $13.25

The dining halls also host specials throughout the year. If you're in town on Wednesday October, 16 they're serving up the last Summer BBQ. For $13.25 the menu includes Beef Short Ribs, Carolina BBQ Chicken, Cornbread Fried Catfish, Raspberry Glazed Portabella (for you vegetarians), fresh corn on the cob, baked beans, corn bread and lots more.

On Monday November 4, they're serving up a 14-ounce Cowboy Bone-in Ribeye at all the dining halls. You'll pay 13.25 for the regular dinner plus an additional upcharge for the steak.

So, after a day of half-cooked tailgate hot dogs and chips, the dining halls might be looking pretty good. Bon Appetit!

Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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