You could make a pretty solid argument to my entire college life being a build-up to me getting to talk to you about what the best places to eat at Furman are.
I think a concern most people have when selecting colleges is the food. It sounds silly to bring up or ask about, but it’s genuine – you’re not going to be going to class every day, you’re not going to have extracurriculars every day, you’re not going to be going to football games every day. But you’re probably going to be in that dining hall every single day.
And, of course, food isn’t just limited to a cafeteria. We have the Paladen, the Paddock, Bread and Bowl, the Library Cafe, and apparently there’s even myths of a fabled restaurant on the golf course you can use points at. I’ll break a few of them down for you.
The Dining Hall (The DH)
I believe when they talk about “the 1% at Furman”, yes?
The DH is where you’ll eat most of your meals freshman year, just by virtue of your swanky unlimited meal plan. The Dining Hall is pretty solid, all things considered – cooking enough for hundreds of people is always a challenge, but I genuinely think that Bon Appetit rises to the occasion. I say this honestly because, freshman year, it did not always rise to the occasion, but they had a change in management and things have progressed swimmingly since then.
The good thing about the DH is options. You’ve got plain-Jane American food with hamburgers and fries, pizza, sandwiches and soups, a pretty solid salad bar, a homestyle cooking line, and a made-to-order grill that’s usually Mongolian stir fry but occasionally they mix it up with omelettes, tacos, etc. They do a good job of having new veggies, and most of it is from the Upstate, which is cool. The shining star of the DH is that you can get as much “Jamaican Me Crazy” coffee as your body can consume while you’re in there.
Truthfully, anywhere you go is going to get stale after a while. After four years, I can say that I won’t be wistfully missing the DH once I graduate. However, that’s not to say that it’s bad – the DH is always a solid choice
The PalaDen (or PDen)
The PDen is my favorite spot to eat on campus. There’s a wide range of options you can use your points (or exchange meal swipes!) for – Moe’s, a creperie (I alone on Furman’s campus hate crepes, so I prefer to eat real food instead of deflated pancakes), an Asian bistro (complete with sushi) and of course, Chik-fil-A.
There’s also a few odds and ends, like sandwiches or small salads you can get, and a small offering of snacks and groceries. Personally, I’d rather blow my meal points on sushi than a gallon of milk, but to each their own. The fun thing about the PDen is the end of the year scramble to try and burn through all your remaining points. Or, on the other hand, watching everyone become a Math major as they figure out exactly how many more Chik-Fil-A nuggets they can get with the 9.34 worth of points they have left.
because even freshmen like these deserve to eat fancy every now and then.
The Paddock is the ideal spot to take your parents to dinner when they come to visit you, for a very simple reason: you get to take your parents out to dinner with their own money. It just doesn’t get better than that.
The Paddock is a nice change of pace when you want to eat something a step above college food but don’t want to go off campus or want to save a little money. There’s a ton of options, and usually a lot of regular events, like team trivia nights, raffles, or occasionally some live music. It’s a great option for stepping things up for a night without having to shell out any real money!