Blog The Ninth

Blog The Ninth

What’s that, is it good?

As you begin your new academic year you’ll be opening yourself up to new challenges and experiences. Some will be positive and some not so much. That’s part of what makes life so interesting. The same can be said for the food we decide to eat. Some good, some not so good. Some to our taste, some not our cup of tea.

Alongside the numerous retail dining options on campus you have four main Dining Commons to choose from and a menu that cycles every 21 days. Add to that at least 2-3 specials a week and the choice is incredibly varied. Yet humans are creatures of habit. Many of us stick with the same menu items each day because we know what we like, we think we know what we don’t like and stepping outside your comfort zone can be a little scary. Being away from home and what’s familiar tends to make us look for the tiniest scrap of familiarity in a sea of novel menu items. There’s a reason comfort food is called comfort food. We look to it because it’s safe, reliable and we can trust it.

Here’s the thing; Try something new! Once a week step outside your comfort zone and try something completely alien to you. There is so much to choose from at the DC’s it’s hard not to find something you’ve never tried before. I’ve been a  Chef for over 20 years and I’ve seen and eaten a great many dishes yet I still find new items to try in the DC.

OK, great but enough of the fatherly advice already. Here’s the thing. If you’re going to try something new ask the server about it. What it’s like, what the key ingredients might be, its flavor profile, its texture, do all this and more but never under any circumstances ask the server “Is it good?”

Is it good? Is it good? Of course it’s good! You don’t get to be ranked #2 in the nation three years in a row if it’s not good. Is it good? You don’t get to be one of the most respected dining operations in the country with a host of awards and Chefs visiting from all over the world if your food isn’t good. Is it good? ARRGGHHHH!!!!!! Please, make it stop. You are attending a prestigious university and are walking in the footsteps of captains of industry, philanthropists, actors (Richard Gere was a student here), congressmen and congress women, doctors, nurses, educators, scientists, Nobel Prize Winners, activists, diplomats, Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy, Emmy and Academy Award winners the list goes on and on; they all went to school here and I can guarantee you they never once uttered the immortal foolish words “Is it good?”

Think about it. What is your server supposed to say when answering that question? I’ll let you fill in the blank.

Have a heart. Chances are your server has already had a long day and while they will be happy to help you make an informed decision about the food you’re about to eat “Is it good?” is about the last thing on earth they want to hear. I’d wager they’d sooner hear “dude I think you’re on fire” or “Can I just, like, have the chicken, like, without any of that, like sauce stuff” or “Gimme more potatoes Bro”.

For those of you familiar with this blog you’ll be happy to see my rantings have returned in full strength. Did you think I’d gone a little soft? For those of you new to this blog I encourage you to look back and read my other musings but for heavens sake if we ever meet face to face never under any circumstances ask me if they’re good! 

Blog Category: 
Author Name: 
Simon Stevenson
Author Title: 
Pastry Chef/Bake Shop Manager

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE/UMASS DINING OPERATIONS FAQ: UMass Dining is committed to the health & safety of our students, faculty and staff. We are following guidelines set by our local, state and national health officials; we routinely monitor our dining facilities; we have implemented additional sanitation measures to ensure customer safety; and we are in constant contact with the campus community. 

For any meal plan or dining related questions please reach out to us at [email protected] or call us at 413-545-2472.