Top Colleges for Food

Several years ago when I was visiting colleges with my eldest son, I noticed there was a significant change on how colleges and universities think of food than when I was in school.

I went to The Ohio State University and when I was there (late 80’s and 1990), food was a necessity. Around campus there were a number of dining halls that all served the exact same food. The menu would change day by day, but if you went to one on one part of campus or the other, everyone got the same choices. Food to go meant sneaking out an extra banana and if you wanted anything else, it cost you cold, hard cash.

There was one special option that was available to a very limited number of people each week РDecidedly Different Dining (DDD). DDD was an outcrop of the Restaurant and Hotel management program. It was an opportunity for the students to work in a restaurant-style environment while also serving the students. Once a week they would open up the reservation lines at noon on Wednesday. Within minutes, all of the spots would be taken, so you really had to dial and re-dial to get through. If you were lucky you would be able to get a spot for the Friday night meal.

The room was set up with small tables (unlike the cafeteria tables in the dining commons), with white table cloths and nice china. You would be escorted to your table and served a much higher quality meal (steak, crab legs, etc..) based on what they were cooking that day.

Colleges these days have really stepped up their game when it comes to food opportunities for their students. They have sunk quite a bit of menu and effort in to using food as a draw for new students. Most campuses have a much larger variety of choices. Want Italian tonight? No problem. Halal or Kosher? They’ve got it. Healthy choices? You can find them everywhere. Many colleges even allow the use of their meal plan dollars towards convenience store style items.

The Daily Meal recently created a list of the 75 best colleges for food in America in 2014. Take a look here.

Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf

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I wish they had something good like this when I was in school!

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The ground turkey gives you a lighter tasting meatloaf.

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Out of the oven.

Photo May 16, 5 21 59 PM


Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 50 minutes | Servings: 8 servings


1 TBSP olive oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
1.25 lbs ground skinless turkey
4 slices whole wheat bread, made into fine crumbs
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 TBSP ketchup
2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
1 TSP minced fresh garlic
1 TBSP finely chopped basil, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 325. Spray a 8×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. In a small nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Saute the onion until tender, 4-5 minutes.In med. bowl, combine the onion, turkey, bread crumbs, milk, egg white, ketchup, cheese, garlic, basil, thyme and pepper; blend well.Shape into a loaf and transfer to pan. Bake until browned and cooked through, 50-60 minutes.Let stand 10 minutes, then cut into 8 slices.


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Categories: Cheese3, Main Dish 3, Recipes, Turkey

Author:The Ranting Chef

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2 Comments on “Top Colleges for Food”

  1. June 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    Agree completely. The dining halls are certainly a big part of campus tours. My daughter was very interested in the food options! Thanks for sharing the link!


  2. June 30, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the link! I hardly remember any choices when I was in school. Times are changing….


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