As an incoming freshman, I had many anxieties. Would I make friends? Would I do well in my classes? Would I like my roommate? Would I have anything to eat?
I had heard the horror stories of college dining hall food. I came from a home where my dad cooked me every meal and I always had a plethora of dietary options. I became a pescatarian (meaning I only eat fish, but I do so very rarely) the summer before my freshman year of high school. My parents were very supportive of my vegetarianism and were always very concerned that I wouldn’t have anything to eat. Vegetarians are always forgotten. No one ever remembers us. Vegetarian options are few and far between at restaurants or weddings or anywhere. Once I was at a summer high school lacrosse camp in Florida and I asked for the vegetarian lunch. Big mistake. I was served a raw Portobello mushroom on a plate. Like what? Believe it or not, there are other things for vegetarians to eat other than raw fungi.
So let’s just say I had my doubts about how the food would be for me and my fellow vegetarians alike before I got to St. Lawrence. I was so nervous about moving in on Move-in Day that I skipped breakfast. My parents dragged me to McDonald’s before we got to campus and I refused the egg and cheese breakfast sandwich they got me. It was the first food item that was put in my dorm fridge. After moving in, my roommate, her family, my family, and I went to the Northstar Café (better known as The Pub). I was ravenous at this point as the post-move in anxieties had vanished. I ordered a black bean burger and I was prepared for it to be the worst. This was the transitional moment of my thoughts on college cuisine. I was ready to sink my teeth into the worst black bean burger of my time. I started chewing and…. Wait a second. It was amazing! I didn’t know what to do with myself, I was beaming ear to ear.
You’re probably thinking, "So, what do you eat? Bean burgers all day every day?" No, there are so many things to choose from that I have never been bored or felt like my meals were monotonous. There are theme dinners like the Adirondack Dinner, Canadian Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, and Easter Dinner in Dana Dining Hall where it is all you can eat, which is a vegetarian’s dream come true. Or, there is the Johnson Grab and Go, The Pub or the Kirk Douglas Café. You will never not find something to eat, vegetarians and carnivores the like.
But here’s what you came for, my Top Five List of Best Vegetarian Meals at St. Lawrence: 1. Broccoli cheddar soup from the Johnson Grab and Go- This is the best soup I have ever had in my life. I’m not kidding. If I could marry a soup, it would be this one. 2. Goat cheese, walnut, and cranberry salad from the North Star Café- This is also known as “THE Salad” because when it’s available at the Pub, you know everyone’s getting it. 3. Veggie nuggets with a side of broccoli and BBQ sauce- Soy nuggets dipped in barbeque sauce are even better than actual chicken nuggets, in my opinion. The broccoli here is the greatest. I didn’t even like broccoli really before I came here and now I eat in with basically every single meal. 4. American cheese, broccoli, and black bean quesadilla - or any quesadilla really. If you go to SLU, you’re going to eat a lot of quesadillas during your time here. And these are not your small quesadillas, either. These quesadillas are massive! They’re two giant flour tortillas filled with delicious veggies and cheese of your choice served with a smile. Enough food to fill you for dinner. 5. Pasta sauté from Dana Dining Hall- If you’re super hungry this is the meal for you. Pick your type of pasta, pick your sauce, pick your veggies, pick your meat… wait no, we’re all vegetarians here. Watch as the chefs sauté pasta and you might find yourself asking “You can sauté pasta?” YES, and it tastes delicious.
Overall, I've learned that making friends at St. Lawrence is easy and that bonding over a meal at the Pub is the usual. The dining spaces on campus are always buzzing with friendly conversations and delicious meals. And if, for some reason, you feel the need to switch it up, Sergi's will deliver to your door!