The food at the College of William and Mary gets a nasty rap. Due to the prevalence of online content trashing our catering company Sodexo, our cuisine’s downfalls are permanently engraved into the College’s collective conscious, myself included. Cravings for salad never pass without the image of slug-inhabited kale immediately springing into my mind. I automatically slather my burgers with as many toppings as possible, making up for what I assume to be a cold, flavorless patty awaiting me. Every dining hall entrance is greeted with pessimism; rather than expecting a delicious meal, my initial glance over the food at Commons Dining Hall or Sadler merely searches for something palatable.
Within our dining halls, however, lies a constant safe haven. A place where flavor and freshness are expected, not dreamed of. A place rarely talked about in the near constantly negative chambers of “Swampy Memes for Twampy Teens”.
In an unforgiving food landscape, The College’s omelet bars are Shangri-La. As opposed to the drab offerings often displayed at the College’s salad bars, omelet station toppings are consistently top notch, appearing freshly washed and cut, rather than dumped right out of a plastic bag. Diced green peppers have become a staple of my diet, with spinach, tomatoes, or mushrooms often joining them along the way. Additionally, since produce is sautéed before being placed into the omelet, it never disappoints.
This freshness translates to the actual omelet. Made to order, there is never doubt about how long an omelet has been out before eating it, as it is always delivered straight from the grill to your plate. Nothing about it looks manufactured, with refreshing asymmetries in shape flaunting the dish’s lack of artificiality. No additional toppings are needed to make the dish flavorful. The combination of freshly cooked egg, cheese and veggies are always enough to speak for themselves.
With their quality, the omelets at the Caf and Sadler serve as testaments to the people working our dining halls, distinct from Sodexo and the College. With all the negativity surrounding the College’s food, it’s easy to assume that everything related to on campus dining is firmly not up to the standards we should be holding ourselves to. The College’s omelets, along with other fresh-cooked meals like those from Marketplace and the Caf’s Mediterranean bowls, prove that distinctly wrong, exemplifying the fact that our staff can indeed cook. It is not the staff that needs to change, but Sodexo’s systematic failure to provide options outside of those that are fresh.
Regardless of whether Sodexo changes its ways, I am confident that I will be able to find a consistently excellent meal in our dining halls’ omelet stations. Blissfully open in the Caf until one p.m. most days, I know I will always be able to start my day with a satisfying, tasty meal. While it is a shame that the expectation of excellence is the exception rather than the rule, I can at least find solace in the fact that excellence does exist in our consistently maligned dining halls.
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