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Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Observer


Five foods that need to be regulars at the dining hall

Throughout my almost two years at Notre Dame, there have always been foods that make my miserable permacloud days a little better and make all the debrief dinners longer and funnier. However, this academic year, many of these foods have gone completely missing or aren't regulars on the menu anymore.  I am done suffering in silence while reminiscing about these dishes, so this is a formal request for these dishes to come back or be made regularly.

1Steamed BBQ pork buns

During my freshman year, I had a special Tuesday and Thursday ritual: Rushing into South Dining Hall to check how long the line was at the Asian food section. Whenever I spotted a big line, I got super excited because I knew the steamed BBQ pork buns were on the menu that day. Even though we had to stay in line for over 10 minutes just to get them, they were always worthwhile.

2. Banana bread 

The "Hawaiian Night" banana bread is hands down one of the best dining hall offerings that we aren’t graced with very often. It is so good that most of the time banana bread is on the menu, I only eat it and call it a day. It is the perfect late-night snack to sneak out of the dining hall.  It is also an extremely versatile dish that can served for brunch, breakfast, lunch or dinner.

3. Cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls are by far my favorite “American” dessert. The combination of the fluffy dough, sweet frosting and gooey filling is amazing. Ever since the Sunday brunch cinnamon rolls have disappeared from the menu, my Sunday morning brunches with one of my closest friends have been empty in a way. Now we have one less thing to justify our almost 2-hour brunches. 

4.  Regular pasta stir-fry 

Even though this is now part of the Friday menu during Lent, it deserves a regular place on the menu. This alternative system to the “make-your-own pasta” station is a game changer. Seriously, it is much better than anything I could whip up by myself. Plus, with this new system, there is no need to deal with other people’s chaos. We no longer need to wait in horrendously long lines just to cook in a pan where a guy who can't even fry an egg decided he was gonna chef it up and burn everything. 

5. Brazilian Food

This is not a menu I have personally experienced, but I am sure it would make my life a million times better.

Dining hall Brazilian food is like a legend among the Brazilian community here, something that all the upperclassmen talk about as if they were our grandparents telling us about their glory days. It is a way to show the people we live with a little bit about our culture and that Brazilian food is nothing like Mexican food, a surprisingly common misconception around here. Plus, it gives us a way to deal with our cravings without having to take over the Duncan Hall kitchen like we usually do. 

Lara is a member of the class of 2026 from Taubaté, Brazil with majors in economics and Chinese. When she is not complaining about the weather, you can find her studying in a random room of O'Shaughnessy with her friends or spending all her flex points in Garbanzo. You can contact Lara by email at

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.