The Hokie nation awakens this week from its summer slumber. Welcome back, students!
As you streamed back onto campus, you may have noticed one huge difference compared to last year, over behind McBryde Hall.
It’s a gleaming new, $35.7 million, two-level dining hall where you can gorge to your gut’s content. Allow me to treat you to some of the marvelous amenities of Turner Place at Lavery Hall. There you will find:
– A European cafe that has a gelato bar and serves made-to-order crepes and flambe.
– 1872 Fire Grill, an upscale steakhouse with “luxury seating” that serves chops and sirloins sizzled over smoky charcoal. Tech bills it as “the first of its kind on a college campus.”
– A chain bagel bakery (Blacksburg’s first, by the way), a pizzeria with a wood-fired oven, a chain Mexican grill, a soup cafe, and a juice and smoothies bar.
– 833 indoor seats, including dining for the Corps of Cadets plus 244 outdoor seats; and
– A Japanese steakhouse, Origami, where cooks pull karate moves with flashing spatulas as they prepare dinner on tableside grills, while they serve up cheesy jokes.
You may have read about this back in July, in a big front-page spread in this newspaper. The pictures were amazing.
In those, the place looks like the bastard offspring of a mall food court and a futuristic airport terminal, with ultra-modern lighting, Earth tones, natural wood and lots and lots of glass.
Believe it or not, outside the safe, stony-walled confines of modern academia, that newspaper story caused a few jaws to hit some kitchen tables. Mine was one. Perhaps it caused a wee bit of heartburn among faculty, too, who haven’t had a raise in four or more years.
Forgive us cynics if we come across like atavistic backwoods rubes. We are not at all opposed to nutrition, or to students dining on pizza or bagels or tacos or chicken-noodle soup (provided it comes from a can).
Along with tater tots, PBJ and pigs-in-a-blanket, that’s what used to pass as proper college vittles.
READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN HERE.