10 Things You Are Doing Wrong At Clurg


Sewanee: The University of the South’s McClurg Dining Hall. Photo courtesy of Sewanee’s Flickr. 

By Barton Perkins
Contributing Writer

There are things we all know about Clurg. We know that while the food isn’t that of a three-star Michelin restaurant in the heart of Paris, the food is usually pretty solid. Anyone who disagrees is complaining too much. But then again, I have complained about Clurg a bit in the past myself––that is until I learned the following tricks and traps. This list is the pinnacle of my knowledge on how to optimize the best aspects of eating at Clurg. Use it well, my young padawans.

Take a look around. Clurg always has two things: a wide variety of options and a decent number of people in it during prime mealtimes. So, unless you are in a rush to be somewhere, just take a slow walk around the cafeteria and make sure you see everything that’s offered. You might find something you really want with a short line. Never settle for the first thing you see. Unless it’s chocolate, then all bets are off.

Next on my list, the coffee Clurg offers…is not like Stirling’s. Even remotely. But you can still work with it. I’ve found it much more palatable iced, which can be easily done at clurg. Or you can even put a bit of hot chocolate or milk in there to improve the flavor. Or you could do both.

The pho line rarely ever has a line. In my opinion, it is vastly underrated. Coupled with the fact that it gives you such a large variety of options to customize your stew with, you can essentially make some pretty amazing food very quickly. Additionally, if you dislike the broths offered by the pho line, you can make your own! It’s actually pretty easy, just use some of the boiling water used for tea, and steep herbs in it you can find in the salad bar.

On occasion, the vegan line can have some pretty solid things in it. Don’t knock it ‘till you try it. Sometimes they have falafels or other deep-fried goodness. Or curry. That in my book very easily beats out the beans and rice so often found there. But maybe beans and rice are just what most vegans like? I wouldn’t know, as I’m probably the furthest thing you can think of from being a vegan.

It’s no secret that we all love the omelet line. Eggs are, after all, quite yummy. However, the line has always been a problem for me personally. Some days it seems to wrap around the entirety of the cafeteria. So here is my first trick: hit up the omelet line as much as you can, but only hit it up when the line is short. Some people might have a lot of patience, but the majority of us are impatient and hate having to wait thirty minutes for a damn egg.

Be nice to the Clurg workers. They are people too, and a lot of them are super nice. Try and get to know them. Say “Hi” and stuff. Plus, they prepare your food every day. They could totally tamper with the pizza of anyone they don’t like, and they could probably never be caught, or at least not until you’ve eaten a fair bit of spoiled food. Keep that in mind.

While I regard the sandwich line as a poor man’s pho line myself, the line to get a sandwich is usually longer, yet, it has its merits. Perhaps the best of it, is that you can get the sandwich bread out of the line, add anything to it from the rest of clurg, and then have it made into a panini. With some experimentation you can learn how to use the sandwich line to recreate some sandwiches from Mountain Goat and Stirling’s. It’s actually pretty intuitive.

Don’t talk with your mouth full. It is freaking disgusting.

The best part of eating in a communal space is that is forces you to spend time with other people. Sit with your friends, but don’t forget to talk to the ones you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe, try and learn new things about them by paying attention to their stories, no matter how boring they may be. My point is, make the most out of it and this time of your life. You won’t be having lunch with these people every day forever, so enjoy it while you can.

Finally, with some creativity, you can turn the dessert line into your own sundae bar. Anything can be added to ice cream. Anything can be covered in chocolate. Do not question me. It can be delicious. And fattening. Remember to run that day.