Yage Wang—Staff Writer
On a cloudy yet refreshing early spring day in Sioux Center, Dordt freshman William Ver Mulm navigated his blue Ford out of town and towards Orange City. With his friends, he marched into Northwestern College’s cafeteria to scout out other Midwest flavors. When they first arrived in the parking lot, Lisa Liu, a senior at Northwestern, received them with a warm welcome and served as their guide for the rest of their culinary experience.
To get to the cafeteria, Northwestern students must cross Highway 10 to reach the south side of campus. When Ver Mulm and his friends lined up to pay their lunches, one of Liu’s acquaintances at the cash register paid for their meals.
“I have extra meals to spare, and it just passed Easter so, happy Easter,” Liu’s friend said.
While there, Ver Mulm and his friends learned the fundamental differences between Northwestern’s meal system and Dordt’s. At Northwestern, students typically receive 19 meals per week and can swipe multiple meals at one time.
“It’s really good that you can buy your friends meals and dine with them at the same time,” Liu said.
Ver Mulm and friends moved onto the dining hall where they found selections aplenty: stir-fry, a pizza counter, a salad bar, burrito bowls, and a dessert table. The food is usually scooped into bowls and plates and made ready-to-go in order to avoid a rush hour.
“Northwestern’s dining hall’s first impression was eye-blowing since their settings are utterly different than the Dordt Commons,” Ver Mulm said. “But once we speak about the food, I believe Dordt’s food is much better than Northwestern’s.
Ver Mulm was warned by a high school friend not to try the stir-fry.
“But I can’t resist the temptation of Stir-fry, so I decided to try it.” Ver Mulm said. “After a few tastes of the stir-fry, I regret trying it. The noodles were uncooked, and the sauce was not good as I would expect them to be.”
In comparison to Northwestern, Dordt Dining provides students with freedom in selecting the ingredients they desire. For example, students have the option to choose the vegetables and sauces they prefer.
In addition to the flavor of the cuisines, the environment also affected these students’ evaluation. Many have noted that Dordt’s Commons has narrow windows for students to see the scenery outside, while Northwestern College’s cafeteria boasts of landing windows that contain the overall view of the streets and campus.
“Overall, I think Northwestern’s cafeteria is pretty good. I really like the layout and decorations of the cafeteria,” Alan Wang, a Dordt freshman, said. “They have a lot of windows, therefore the lighting in the building is pleasing and comfortable.”
Ver Mulm and his friends left with appreciation for Dordt dining as well as a few takeaways from their experience.
“I think Commons does a really good job providing a variety of tasty food for Dordt’s students, teachers, and faculties,” Wang said. “Some advice that I can give to Commons is to make sure that the fruit and vegetables in the salad bar are fresh. Besides that, I know a lot of people complain that the meat in Commons is too dry, which is definitely something that needs to be improved.”
For the future of improvements in the Commons, senior students also have some suggestions.
“I think accessibility and flexibility in time is a big thing.” Dareen Christabel, a senior, said. “I think it would be good to be able to access food any time that we want. Right now, the Commons is open only for a brief period of time,”