Why I Fell In Love With The Marketplace…

Move-in day my first year at W&M I made a very important decision I have abided by ever since. At lunch with my new hallmates, I decided that I would not eat any pizza from the dining halls. I’d been warned of the freshmen fifteen, and I thought this one small choice could make all of the difference. I have stood by my choice to not eat any pizza from the dining halls, but I will admit to a rather lenient definition of pizza. By pizza I mean a slice of your traditional pizza—crust, sauce, cheese.

Freshmen year eating was all about the Caf (It shows up on the map as “the Commons” but is really known as the Caf). I lived in Spotswood Hall which meant the Caf was a one-minute walk. Basically situated in a giant circle, the big choice when you walk in is left or right. It is crucial to make a full loop of the Caf because there are so many options. My favorite is Sunday morning BBQ sandwich and mac’n’cheese but the pasta section is also a big draw. Ohhh and don’t make me think about the fresh chocolate-chip cookies!! Another great feature of the Caf is seating. Tons of booths are great for group meals, but the Caf also has what I call ‘the romantic tables.’ Set for two all along the perimeter, these are great when you are grabbing a meal by yourself or just want a quiet place to talk to
someone. I do love the Caf.

But how do the last two paragraphs relate? Well, the Caf’s only pizza option is traditional pizza meaning no pizza for me if I went there. There are two other major dining halls on campus: The SC and The Marketplace. The SC is also all you can eat and serves traditional pizza. The Marketplace, however, is ala carte style and serves the deliciousness that is flatbread. Flatbread does involve many of the same ingredients, but is not officially pizza–meaning it is totally allowed! Freshmen year I heard tons of my friends rave about the Marketplace, but mostly about burritos which are not my favorite meals. It wasn’t until spring semester that I went for a meal and discovered flatbread!

The Marketplace is set up as multiple ‘mini-restaurants:’ Italian, Mexican, a deli, home-style, and a grille. For quite some time I went to the Marketplace and headed straight for the Italian line and those tasty flatbreads. Slowly, however, I have built up my courage try different lines, and now I am just as likely to get a grilled sandwich (ham and swiss on sourdough), a burger (on a wheat bun for health), a quesadilla, or the classic flatbread. While the Caf will always be my first food love on camps, I would have to say it’s the Marketplace and I that are truly going steady. And that relationship wouldn’t have blossomed if first day of freshmen year I didn’t decide to not eat pizza.

Categories: Campus Life, Student Blogs

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