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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

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COLUMN: Battle of the breakfast at IU’s dining halls

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When I fall asleep at night, I fantasize about the breakfast I will eat the next day. The meal is sacred to me — a good breakfast gives you the power to start the day off with energy and deliciousness. Given my love for the meal, I had to put each of the IU dining halls’ morning fare to the test.  

As a freshman living on campus, it can become easy to stick to one dining hall — usually whichever one requires the least amount of walking from your dorm. I sought to break my habit and give all three — Wright, Forest and McNutt — a try to compare what each one has to offer and where to find the best breakfast. 

Wright 

I live closest to Wright, which some feel is the worst dining hall on campus. I tend to find the least amount of food options at Wright — which can make it boring — but nonetheless, I think it has some charm. I am familiar with the breakfast offerings, as I eat there nearly every day. 

I always make my first stop by the toaster to make a blueberry bagel with cream cheese. Sometimes I’ll branch out to an everything bagel if I’m feeling exciting. While that toasts, I will head over to the hot bar. While the options are slim, it is reliable. At the hot bar, you can always find some version of potato, scrambled eggs and a breakfast meat. I always get a healthy amount of eggs, and if they have sausage patties or homestyle potatoes, I’ll get some of those too. When those potatoes are hot and crispy fresh out of the fryer, they are hard to pass up. Personally, I am not a fan of the mini hot dogs they typically serve — that is a breakfast crime in my book. 

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Lastly, I’ll usually make a half full cup of hot coffee with a startling amount of french vanilla creamer.  

The most excited I’ve ever felt about breakfast at Wright was when they had breakfast sandwiches: a fried egg with perfectly melted American cheese on a toasted English muffin. There’s just something so special about eggs that don’t come premixed from a carton.  

I would describe Wright’s breakfast as reliable. It will rarely blow you away or surprise you with a fun dish, but the cream cheese is always stocked and I can count on getting my blueberry bagel every morning.  

Forest 

Forest dining hall stole my heart from the very first time I stepped in there during New Student Orientation, and it’s had it ever since. I find the atmosphere of their dining areas to be far more pleasant and intimate than the vast, open dining rooms in McNutt and Wright. For breakfast this Sunday, they were serving biscuits and gravy, seasoned and cubed potatoes, sausage patties and eggs.  

I was excited to see the sausage patties — which I think are best eaten doused in maple syrup. The biscuits were crispy and buttery on the outside and pair deliciously with the scrambled eggs. 

One thing I noticed about both Forest and McNutt is that they have bread at the toaster, which I haven’t seen at Wright since the first week or two. Forest also has some fun bagel flavors, like Asiago.  

Forest shows up in the beverage department, boasting a coffee bar equipped with different syrup and creamer flavors, iced coffee and even iced tea.  

McNutt 

As I expected, McNutt had all the options of the other dining halls and more. The ceramic dishes there that Wright and Forest largely seem to have ditched made me feel extra classy. 

They stole the show with their breakfast — and most notably — their delicious pancakes. These are the pancakes of my dreams, and the machine-made ones at Forest are no match. They are the perfect thickness, and they have some crispiness on the outside while remaining warm and slightly chewy on the inside. Even plain, they have the slightest caramelized flavor to them. But, if you give a pig (or me) a pancake, she’ll want some syrup to go with it. And lucky for my fellow syrup lovers, McNutt serves theirs warm, giving an extra decadent dining experience.  

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Along with my pancakes, I had to try their iced coffee — a delicacy I unfortunately have no access to in Wright. I am no coffee connoisseur, but I appreciated the availability of vanilla and caramel syrups, different creamer flavors and even half and half. It’s safe to say my little blue cup of iced coffee hit the spot.  

This might just be in my head, as I would guess all three dining halls serve the same pre-scrambled eggs, but the ones at McNutt seem far less rubbery than what I usually have. With some salt, pepper and Cholula, these reminded me of something you could get at a restaurant. 

Final Thoughts 

Wright has rarely let me down, so I have to give it credit there. I can always depend on having a bagel and some scrambled eggs, and its an easy commute from my dorm. That being said, my visits to Forest and McNutt made me envious of the people who live closer to those dining halls, as they have wider options and even iced coffee. All of the dining halls offer bagels, fruit, and an assortment of cereals for those who appreciate a simpler breakfast. And to anyone who hasn’t tried the McNutt pancakes, I promise they’re flipping delicious.

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