The Campus Epicurean: February 23 - March 1

Welcome to another edition of the Campus Epicurean! Before we take a look at the menus for this week, let's turn to a dining hall alternative in the village. Village Dining Feature: Le Pain Quotidien

Rejoice, ye of good taste. Fine European food has come to Claremont. Le Pain Quotidien (French for "The Daily Bread") offers village goers great Old World breakfast and lunch fare. Nestled right next to the movie theater in the new part of the village, the restaurant uses superb breads as the base for their flavorful entrees. Diners can peruse a menu of breakfast options as well as tartins (French for "open-faced sandwich"). I ordered the Shrimp tartine with avocado, tomato salsa & mango slices while my girlfriend ordered the Avacado tartine with nori seaweed, sesame seeds & scallions. Entrees are delicious and, contrary to normal American customs, on the small side for one person. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Tartines at Le Pain range from $9 to $14. Add on drinks and dessert and lunch for two can get pretty pricey. Lunch for two could cost $30-$50. To save your wallet, make a trip to Le Pain a light lunch and stop by the Coop, Hub or Muddhole afterwards to really fill up. Alternatively, take your parents here when they visit and they can pick up the bill. Le Pain Quotidien is a Belgian chain with restaurants worldwide. Check out their menu at: www.lepainquotidien.com

Now on to the menus for this week:

Monday

According to some, in olden times Mongolian warriors would cook food on their shields, creating what we know now enjoy in chain restaurants across the land as Mongolian Barbeque. Pay homage to the Khans and their hordes by making Monday night Mongolian Night. Mudd is offering Muddgolian BBQ as well as a Nacho Bar. Compare and contrast with Pitzer, which is offering Mongolian Grill and its own Nacho Bar.

For the more health conscious, try Scripps where you will find (if their menu does not lie) a Caesar Salad Bar at the expo and a Crispy BLT Chicken Sandwich at the grill.

Tuesday

While the masses often stampede to Frary for Burritos etc. on Tuesday nights, you can blaze your own trail. Pitzer has its own Taco Tuesday and a Sundae Bar. The cooks even make the tortillas right in front of you.

If you don't like tacos, head up to Scripps where they are serving Cheese Tortellini & Breadsticks and Philly Steak Pizza.

Wednesday

Every week Wednesday night is Sushi Night at Collins. Somehow Collins has figured out a way to serve sushi that resembles the actual thing to students every week. Collins has raised the bar for dining hall sushi and Scripps, Mudd and Frary still insist on serving students subpar sushi.

Thursday

Scripps takes first prize tonight with Red Curry Stir Fry Pork at the expo and a Sky Ranch Chicken Flatbread Sandwich at the grill.

Coming in second we have Mudd offering Muddgolian BBQ, a Pasta Bar and a Burrito Bar, ensuring that everybody can find something to fit their tastes.

Friday

Mudd still reigns supreme Friday night with Individual Pizza's Made to Order, a Carne Asada Taco Bar, and a Chicken Tender Bar (although in my experience Mudd's chicken tenders aren't very good).

Saturday

The weekend means steak night for a lot of dining halls. Scripps has the best steak on campus (although it can vary from week to week). Saturday night is crowded at Scripps, so plan accordingly.

Sunday

Sunday features dueling steak nights at Pitzer and Mudd. Pitzer offers all USDA certified sirloin steak, while Mudd tries to make up for its slightly inferior steak with a nice Sundae Bar. Both places overcook their steaks, much to the dismay of rare meat enthusiasts, but Pitzer's steak gets the prize for overall quality.

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or dining hall recipes in the comment section.