When my meal plan was successfully put on my card, it changed how I eat here completely.
Suddenly, I have a chunk of money on a card that would be foolish NOT to use. I would head downstairs anytime between 7 am and 7 pm and find something affordable and delicious.
Since Culinary Exchange (“Cul Ex”) is essentially a cafeteria for students in the residence, one might expect sub-par fare. However, each meal I’ve eaten so far has been great.
Now, I have only been blogging full-time for three weeks or so. The food pictures that need to accompany any kind of food blog always slip my mind until AFTER I’ve eaten. That speaks to the deliciousness of the food, I think. So, please enjoy some post-food pics:
Because there is only one cooking class going on right now, the food options have pretty much stayed the same. During the fall, their expanded menu will feature items including made-to-order pizza, stirfry, and specials (even sushi), and overall there will be daily and weekly changes.
For now, I don’t mind the stable menu. In fact, I find it kind of nice, because I don’t have to think too hard about what I want.
It reminds me of when I attended a school that had a uniform policy – not thinking about my clothing every day meant that I had an underdeveloped fashion sense, but it also allowed me to focus on my studies more single-mindedly. I’m a creature of habit, I suppose.
As for my vegetarian leanings… that’s been harder to figure out, simply because I want to try everything. It seems fairly straightforward to opt for no meat.
The upside of eating more veggies and less meat is that you save a lot of money. A regular salad is $5, while a burger/side combo is $10.
Not that the prices seem ginormously high, either. You get a healthy-size portion of food for your dollar.
For example, the plate of fries pictured above is $2. That’s a lot of fries. Take my word for it.
And this breakfast special is $4.50.
Plus, as a student, you don’t pay PST or GST on your meals. Bam. There, RRC just saved you an additional 13%. Beauty.
Another lovely aspect of Cul Ex is their new patio, which opened in the midst of a Fringe frenzy. There were a couple of days that the kitchen had limited offerings because they’d run out of items the night before or because the chefs hadn’t had time to prep anything for the next day. These minor inconveniences couldn’t stand up to the novelty. A patio. In the residence.
No longer did our drinking need to be confined to our rooms or lounges – we could go breathe the fresh air and sip our beverages. Alcohol purchases can’t be made through the meal plan, for obvious reasons.
Overall, the meal plan has changed my experience here for the better. I think I could tire of the food here after a couple of months (just as you’d tire of the same music after constant exposure to it), but the convenience of Cul Ex would only encourage me to focus on what’s important while in school – my studies.
I promise, I will try to work on my food photo timing.